Doctor Sleep may have tanked at the box office, but that hasn’t stopped Netflix from launching their own spin-off of a four decade-old Jack Nicholson classic. As per The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming giant’s latest swing for the fences is a prequel to Chinatown, the 1974 neo-noir in which Nicholson played Jake Gittes, a P.I. who uncovers — but, in the film’s bleak-o-rama conclusion, cannot stop — deep corruption in 1937 Los Angeles.
As per THR, Netflix is bringing back legendary screenwriter Robert Towne, who won an Oscar for writing the original film, and teaming him with David Fincher, who let’s remember hasn’t directed a theatrical feature motion picture since 2004’s hit film Gone Girl. While Fincher will co-write with Towne, it’s not clear yet if Fincher will also be directing. (Chinatown director Roman Polanski will almost certainly not be returning, for obvious reasons.) It’s assumed the show will follow the adventures of a pre-Chinatown Gittes in an L.A. with plenty of other deep-seated issues involving local utilities and politics.
A decade-and-a-half after the multi-Oscar nominated hit, Nicholson and Towne exhumed Gittes with 1990’s The Two Jakes, which Nicholson also directed, but the film failed at the box office. It has its fans, though, while some argue that the real spiritual sequel to Chinatown is another popular film about commerce running roughshod over 1930s Los Angeles: Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Of course, that has a happy ending.