David Fincher

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David Fincher (2012)

David Andrew Leo Fincher (born August 28, 1962 in Denver , Colorado ) is an American film director , producer and actor . His best-known films include Seven (1995), Fight Club (1999) and Gone Girl (2014).


David Fincher was born on August 28, 1962 (according to other sources on May 10, 1962) to reporter Howard Fincher. His father worked for Life magazine, among others, and his mother Claire was employed in a drug addict rehabilitation clinic. As a child, he and his family moved to Marin County, California . Early on he had the desire to work as a film director later. Inspired by George Roy Hill's western comedy Zwei Banditen (1969), he began recording his own films with an 8mm film camera in the garden at home at the age of eight . He should also be influenced by George Lucas ' science fiction film The Empire Strikes Back (1980). He also attended the filming of Lucas' American Graffiti (1973), which was filmed in Marin County. As a student he attended Ashland High School in Ashland, Oregon . There he also worked as a projectionist and saw the entire film production of these years up to 180 times. On Saturdays he worked as a production assistant for a local television station.

The autodidact Fincher, who never went to film school, learned the trade from the age of eighteen at the animation company Korty Films in Mill Valley , California . He benefited from the fact that George Lucas was a direct neighbor of his parents 'house, so that he was able to work at George Lucas' special effects company Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) from 1981 to 1983 , where he began as an animator . After working on projects like Lucas' The Return of the Jedi (1983) or Steven Spielberg's adventure film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Fincher founded in 1986 - together with later Hollywood directors such as Mark Romanek , Michel Gondry and Neil LaBute and Michael Bay - the production company Propaganda Films . During this time, the American made music videos for artists such as Michael Jackson , Madonna , George Michael , Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones . In addition, Fincher produced commercials beginning with his "Smoking Fetus" (1984, American Cancer Society ). His customers included Adidas , AT&T , Budweiser , Chanel , Coca-Cola , Heineken , Levi's , Nike and Pepsi .

In 1992 Fincher made his debut as a feature film director with Alien 3 . However, the film did not receive good reviews, and commercially it fell slightly short of high expectations (1.5 million viewers in Germany and 86 million US dollars, adjusted for inflation, in the United States). This failure became understandable, however, a few years later, when the catastrophic production conditions of the film were made public: While Fincher was already shooting the film, the script was being worked on at the same time .

His thriller Sieben (1995) won over the critics three years later and was also a great success at the box office. The work in which Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt chase a psychopath (played by Kevin Spacey ) who commits a series of morbid murders in the order of the seven deadly sins was formative for the definition of the modern thriller (neo-thriller). Fincher was able to build on the previous success with the thriller The Game (1997), in which a selfish business boss ( Michael Douglas ) becomes an involuntary participant in a life-threatening game through his brother ( Sean Penn ).

The subsequent work Fight Club (1999) with Edward Norton and Brad Pitt in the leading roles was able to convince the critics but not at the box office and only became a cult film after its video and DVD evaluation. Fincher also worked with Pitt in 2008 on the drama The Strange Case of Benjamin Button , which is based on the short story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald and which earned him his first nominations as a director for the Golden Globe Award and Oscar . In between the thrillers Panic Room (2002) and Zodiac - Die Spur des Killers (2007), in which Fincher and well-known actors like Robert Downey Jr. , Jodie Foster , Jake Gyllenhaal and Forest Whitaker worked together. The latter film tells the story of the serial killer of the same name who caused fear and horror in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s .

With the project The Social Network , which was shot in February 2010 and released in theaters in October 2010, Fincher took on the genesis of the social network Facebook . Jesse Eisenberg took on the leading role of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg . The “complex network of flashbacks, changes of perspective, anecdotes and digressions, whose daring pace unfolds a so-called effect” was in the favor of the public and critics, despite criticism of the truth of the story. Hollywood's Parforce Artisans received numerous awards, including directing awards from the Los Angeles and New York Film Critics Associations , the National Board of Review Award, the National Society of Film Critics Award, the Golden Globe Award, and an Oscar nomination.

The first part of the Millennium trilogy The Blinding was released in December 2011. Fincher opened up to new media and created the 2013 online series House of Cards as Executive Producer for Netflix . In addition to the production, he directed two episodes and was for the Responsible for marketing the series. In 2014, Fincher came adaptation of the novel Gone Girl - The perfect victim of Gillian Flynn to the movies. He addresses the relationship level of a marriage based on the sudden disappearance of a woman (played by Rosamund Pike ) and the emerging suspicion about her husband ( Ben Affleck ).

Fincher has been making his films with digital cinema cameras since Zodiac (2007) . In the film industry, the “child prodigy” is considered a perfectionist. Among other things, Fincher had the eight-minute initial dialogue on The Social Network with Jesse Eisenberg and Rooney Mara shot 99 times.

David Fincher was married to Donya Fiorentino from 1990 to 1995. He is the father of a daughter.





  • 1999: Being John Malkovich (as Christopher Bing)
  • 2001: Alien Evolution (as David Fincher)
  • 2002: Voll Frontal ( Full Frontal ; as a director)
  • 2004: Murder by Numbers (as David Fincher)

Special effects

Producer and other functions

Direction in series

Music videos


  • "Smoking fetus" (The American Cancer Society)
  • "You-will" series ( AT&T )
  • "Ginger or marianne" / "Pool hall" ( Budweiser )
  • "The director" ( Chanel )
  • "Blade roller" ( Coca-Cola )
  • "Converse"
  • "Del sol" ( Honda )
  • Levi's :
    • "Reason no. 259" / "Rivet"
    • "Restaurant"
  • Nike :
    • "Agassi-live" series
    • "Barkley on Broadway"
    • "Children"
    • "Find something"
    • "Instant karma"
    • "Magazine was it"
    • "The-ref" series
    • "... of flight"
    • "Gamebreakers"
    • "Speed ​​Chain"
  • "Bullet the blue sky" ( Pepsi )
  • "Demolition" ( YM Magazine )
  • "Constant Change" ( Hewlett-Packard )
  • "Beer Run" ( Heineken )
  • "Pollen" ( Lexus )
  • "Pebl" ( Motorola )
  • "Mechanical Legs" ( Adidas )
  • "Smart Pops" (Orville Redenbacher)

Awards (selection)

Films in the top 250 of the IMDb
space Movie
11 Fight Club
20th seven
189 Gone Girl - The perfect victim

Fincher has received several awards and nominations over 100 times, primarily for his works as a director. He won a Golden Globe , a BAFTA Award , a Grammy , a César, and an Emmy, and was twice nominated for an Oscar .


  • 2009 : Nomination in the category Best Director for The Strange Case of Benjamin Button
  • 2011 : Nomination in the category Best Director for The Social Network

Golden Globe Award

  • 2009 : Nomination in the category Best Director for The Strange Case of Benjamin Button
  • 2011 : Award in the Best Director category for The Social Network
  • 2015 : Nomination in the category Best Director for Gone Girl - The Perfect Victim


  • 2009 : Nomination in the category Best Director for The Strange Case of Benjamin Button
  • 2011 : Award in the Best Director category for The Social Network


  • 2013 : Award in the category of best director in a drama series for House of Cards (Episode Chapter 1 )
  • 2013 : Nomination in the category Best Drama Series for House of Cards
  • 2014 : Nomination in the category Best Drama Series for House of Cards
  • 2015 : Nomination in the category Best Drama Series for House of Cards


Cannes International Film Festival

  • 2007 : Nomination for the Golden Palm for Zodiac - The Trail of the Killer

MTV Video Music Awards

Saturn Award

  • 1993 : Nomination for Best Director for Alien 3
  • 1996 : Nomination in the category Best Director for Seven
  • 2009 : Nomination in the category Best Director for The Strange Case of Benjamin Button


  • Schnell, Frank (Ed.): David Fincher. Bertz + Fischer Verlag , Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-929470-81-0 .
  • Charles Martig: David Fincher: Hell on Earth or David Fincher's negative theology of revelation . In: Thomas Bohrmann, Werner Veith, Stephan Zöller (Eds.): Handbuch Theologie und Popular Film. Volume 1 . Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2007, ISBN 978-3-506-72963-7 , pp. 201-211.
  • Carsten Bergemann: [Article] David Fincher. In: Thomas Koebner (Ed.): Film directors. Biographies, descriptions of works, filmographies. 3rd, updated and expanded edition. Reclam, Stuttgart 2008 [1. Ed. 1999], ISBN 978-3-15-010662-4 , pp. 245–248 [with references].

Web links

Commons : David Fincher  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b cf. Biography at allemovie.com (English; accessed January 9, 2011)
  2. a b c d cf. David Fincher . In: Internationales Biographisches Archiv 26/2009 from June 23, 2009, supplemented by news from MA-Journal up to week 39/2010 (accessed via Munzinger Online )
  3. a b c d e Walker, Tim: All the best connections . In: The Independent , October 9, 2010, p. 38
  4. a b c Playboy: Interview: David Fincher ( Memento of the original from August 29, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , September 16, 2014 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.playboy.com
  5. a b cf. Criticism by Ulrich Kriest in film-dienst 20/2010 (accessed via Munzinger Online )
  6. cf. Rohrer, Finlo: Is the Facebook movie the truth about Mark Zuckerberg? at bbc.co.uk, September 30, 2010 (accessed January 10, 2011)
  7. cf. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at imdb.com (accessed December 15, 2011)
  8. The Top 250 of the IMDb (as of April 29, 2017)
  9. ^ David Fincher Awards. In: IMDb.com. Retrieved August 11, 2016 .