Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
The Institute for the Liberal Arts has announced that the recent Robert George and Cornel West collection will be adapted into a direct-to-DVD drama.
Academy Award-nominated director David Fincher has been tapped to direct the film. He was drawn to the material, he said in a recent interview with The Daily Gazette, because he has “always been drawn to heightened stories and stylized dialogue.” This story, Fincher notes, “has a lot of similarities with House of Cards, which I recently produced. It’s entertaining, but you really have to suspend your disbelief and think these characters are real people.”
The script has not yet been finalized, but screenwriter and frequent Fincher collaborator Steve Zaillian provided some insight into how he has shaped the story.
“I would say, thematically, this script is facing the same challenges as Hannibal”, Zallian’s 2001 sequel to Silence of the Lambs. “George is such a cartoonish villain,” says Zallian, “that it’s been hard to ground him. How can I possibly write a man with such backward, outdated views but convince the audience he’s someone who is widely respected in our world?”.
Although the film will not be released in theatres, Fincher has assembled an all-star cast. Robert George will be played by Tom Hiddleston, who Fincher says “has a real gift for making villains seem sympathetic”. Academy Award winner Denzel Washington is rumored to have been cast as Cornel West. Jacob Adenbaum will be played by Armie Hammer, best known for portraying the Winklevoss twins in Fincher’s The Social Network.