David Fincher working on 'Chinatown' prequel series for Netflix with original writer Robert Towne

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway in a scene from the movie Chinatown. (Photo by Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images)

David Fincher is working on a prequel series to Oscar-winning screen classic Chinatown for Netflix, according to reports.

Not only that, but the Social Network director will be working on the project with original writer Robert Towne.

Variety reports that the series will follow the young Jake Gittes, played by Jack Nicholson in the 1974 movie, as he starts out as a private investigator.

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Thus far Netflix hasn't commented on the project.

The classic neo-noir, directed by Roman Polanski and produced by the late Robert Evans, is frequently hailed as one of the greatest of all time.

Jack Nicholson in a scene from the movie Chinatown. (Photo by Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images)

It also starred Faye Dunaway and Jack Huston, though a sequel, The Two Jakes, released in 1990 and also penned by Towne, flopped.

Though Chinatown was nominated for 11 Oscars, it was only Towne who converted his, winning the gong for Best Original Screenplay, still considered one of the best ever written.

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Towne, now 84, has worked on a raft of classic movies, credited and uncredited as a 'script doctor', including The Godfather, Marathon Man and Bonnie and Clyde.

He also penned the screenplays for Days of Thunder, The Firm and the first two Mission: Impossible movies, though he hasn't made a movie since 2000.

Most recently, he consulted on celebrated series Mad Men.

Fincher, meanwhile, has plenty of form on Netflix, including his exec producer role on House of Cards, and as director and exec producer of crime thriller MINDHUNTER. His next film – Mank – is a biopic of Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, starring Gary Oldman in the title role. It’s also a Netflix exclusive.