Netflix Producing ‘Chinatown’ Prequel Series From Robert Towne and David Fincher for
“Forget it Jake, It’s ... before Chinatown.”
The latest long-dead project getting a surprising revival in 2019 is Chinatown, which Deadline reports is up for prequelization as a TV series at Netflix. Original Chinatown screenwriter Robert Towne is working on the screenplay with David Fincher:
Fincher will be executive producer along with Towne and Josh Donen. The idea behind the prequel series would be to focus on a young Jake Gittes (played in the film by Jack Nicholson) as he plies his business in a town where the wealthy and corruption involves areas like land, oil and gangs. The hope is that Fincher might direct the pilot, but that is not part of the deal which at this point covers a pilot script. Roman Polanski directed the original film and the late Robert Evans produced it.
I, uh, do not expect Roman Polanski to be involved in this show.
Towne and Nicholson always said they wanted to make Chinatown into a trilogy. The sequel, the underrated The Two Jakes, came out in 1990, directed by Nicholson. A final film, called Gittes vs. Gittes was planned, but it never happened. (As you might suspect, The Two Jakes was a flop, and that pretty much killed the series until now.) 30 years later, Chinatown has life again. But who the hell do you cast to play the young Jack Nicholson? That’s an intimidating role.
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