The Playlist reports that David Fincher's adaptation of Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" has been dead for months.
In fact, it goes so far as to claim the reports in April about the film getting a tax credit in Australia was a desperate move by the government to entice the filmmakers and producers into continuing with the project.
The reasons for the project collapse are numerous. Fincher's first choice Brad Pitt passed. Backup choices Daniel Craig and Matt Damon didn't want to be away from their families for the shoot which would've been at least five months.
Fincher considered Channing Tatum but Disney didn't want him. Disney wanted Chris Hemsworth but Fincher didn't. Ultimately Fincher decided at that point to move onto his other project "Gone Girl".
Add in the big-budget flops of "John Carter" and "The Lone Ranger," Disney is now understandably not keen to roll the dice on an ambitious $200+ million 3D tentpole adaptation like 'Leagues'.
Another Fincher-related project is the "The Girl Who Played with Fire," the adaptation of Stieg Larsson's second book in the Millennium trilogy following "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo".
Scribe Andrew Kevin Walker has come onboard to work on Steve Zaillian's earlier drafts of the script for the film and his work is almost finished. The catch is the short window of availability for actor Daniel Craig.
The only time before 2015 that Craig would be available to film 'Played With Fire' would be early next year. However Fincher will likely be well into post on "Gone Girl".
So it looks as if Fincher will no longer helm 'Played With Fire', though with his pay or play deal he gets a nice bonus either way.