36 BTS Facts And Easter Eggs In David Fincher’s Movies That'll Urge You To Start A Marathon

    There’s being meticulous, and then there’s David Fincher.

    Director David Fincher is an icon when it comes to psychological thrillers (in my humble opinion), but you may know that he’s also defined by his purposeful visual storytelling and meticulous attention to detail.

    As one of my favourite directors to date, I love reading about the intricacies of Fincher’s filmmaking and behind the scenes facts that make the movies so much more enjoyable, so I wanted to share with you some of my favourite revelations! 

    A lot of David Fincher film spoilers ahead: You’ve been warned!

    1. One of the sets in Se7en was based on a real crime scene.

    Morgan Freeman investigating a crime scene in Se7en

    2. Detective Mills wasn't supposed to have a broken arm in Se7en.

    Brad Pitt with arm in a cast in Se7en

    3. Meat Loaf wore elevated shoes to play Bob in Fight Club.

    4. Robert Downey Jr. asked for the straw trick to be included in Zodiac.

    Robert Downey Jr looking at something in the distance in Zodiac film

    5. The John Doe notebooks in Se7en were real props created especially for the film.

    John Doe's notebooks in Se7en

    6. There’s an interesting nod to the Swedish The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in Fincher’s reboot.

    Ellen Nyqvist as a barista in The Girl with the Dragon tattoo reboot

    7. The “diabetic” reveal in Panic Room was subtly hinted at throughout the film.

    Kristen Steward drinking soda in Panic Room

    8. Gone Girl production was shut down for four days because Ben Affleck refused to wear a NY Yankees baseball cap.

    Ben Affleck looking confused in Gone Girl

    9. The rain in Se7en was due to Fincher’s contingency plan.

    Back street rainy LA in Se7en

    10. It took 12 hours to film the Fight Club sex scene.

    Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter in Fight Club scene, in bed

    11. The first scene of The Social Network took 99 takes.

    Rooney Mara break up scene in The Social Network

    12. Marla Singer’s phone number in Fight Club was the same one in Christopher Nolan’s Memento.

    Teddy's phone number on a polaroid in Memento

    13. In Se7en, Mills' gun was firing Mexican blanks (which was not a choice of Fincher’s).

    Brad Pitt firing a gun whilst Morgan Freeman looks away in Se7en

    14. There’s a restaurant in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which had previously been used for a Daniel Craig film.

    daniel craig at dinner

    15. Fincher asked for Michael Douglas’s input as to whether or not Deborah Kara Unger should get the role in The Game.

    Deborah Kara Unger in The Game

    16. Fincher relented having to do this scene in Panic Room.

    View this video on YouTube

    Columbia Pictures / Via youtube.com

    In Panic Room, there’s a sequence where Jodie Foster’s character tries to grab the phone but accidentally knocks it further away, and knocks over a lamp. When Fincher read the script he hated it but was convinced by the writer, David Koepp, because he stressed how the scene would work for a movie like this. In the DVD commentary, Fincher said he relented but decided he could only do it in slow motion. “If you’re gonna pander, pander”. 

    17. There’s an array of clever and subtle references to Citizen Kane in Mank.

    Charles Dance stood in front of a grand fireplace in Mank

    18. All of the blood in Zodiac was added digitally.

    A girl scared in the car, covered in blood, in Zodiac

    19. There’s a Tyler Durden easter egg in The Social Network.

    Mark looking at his fake facebook profile in The Social Network

    20. Fincher sent stern selfies to Rosamund Pike when filming Gone Girl.

    Rosamund Pike at an event for Gone Girl

    21. The helicopter POV scenes in Se7en are all looking down at doubles

    Morgan Freeman running across the desert in Se7en

    22. Edward Norton really did punch Brad Pitt in Fight Club.

    View this video on YouTube

    Fox 2000 Pictures / Via youtube.com

    “I want you to hit me as hard as you can,” says Brad Pitt to Edward Norton in a hazy scene outside of a bar, and that’s exactly what Norton did. Before the scene played out, Fincher secretly went up to Norton and told him to really hit Pitt, and to connect with him somewhere. The end game? Norton went straight for the ear and Pitt’s reaction in the film is all genuine!

    23. There’s more to the camerawork than meets the eye when it comes to Panic Room.

    View this video on YouTube

    Columbia Pictures / Via youtube.com

    Not only is the camerawork in Panic Room swift and stylish, but it also symbolizes something pretty interesting, particularly in the sequence where the camera moves through the house and each individual room. At first, the smooth sequence acts as a map of the house and raises tensions when audiences realize how close the burglars are to the two women in the house, but, the permeability of the camera also represents the burglars' aims and acts in contrast to their own failed efforts. The burglars become desperate to get into the panic room and they can’t do this as easily or effortlessly as the camera does. 

    24. The cast were genuinely frightened in the “Sloth” murder scene in Se7en.

    SWAT team looking at a skeletal victim in Se7en

    25. There’s a nod to Fight Club in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

    Brad Pitt as an old man in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button film

    26. There’s a lot of Sony product placement in Panic Room

    Surveillance cameras in Panic Room

    27. Fincher altered the opening credits of The Game because of the teaser the marketing department put out.

    View this video on YouTube

    Propaganda Films / Via youtube.com

    If you’ve read a few of Fincher’s interviews, you may know there’s a small history of some friction between his vision for his film versus the marketing departments. For The Game’s initial teaser, the clip featured the marionette puppet being tortured, but the marketing department had other ideas and released, in Fincher’s words, “a crumbling face puzzle piece thing.” In the DVD commentary, Fincher stated he then added puzzle pieces to the opening credits so that the second teaser would bear a connection to the film, similar to the puppet that appears later in the movie.

    28. Amy and Desi’s sex scene in Gone Girl was shot over two days.

    Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris about to kiss in Gone Girl film

    29. Meg’s fear of small spaces is hinted at early on in Panic Room.

    Jodie Foster viewing the new home in Panic Room

    30. There’s a Starbucks cup in every Fight Club scene.

    Starbucks coffee cup in Fight Club

    31. Fincher had to fight to keep spoilers out of the Gone Girl trailer.

    View this video on YouTube

    Regency Enterprises / Via youtube.com

    The whole reason Gone Girl works as a story is all down to that first, spoiler-free watch, and that’s why Fincher fought with studio executives to ensure the trailer didn’t give away the plotline. In the DVD commentary, Fincher said the studio was worried about audience tracking and someone suggested they use the shot of the female protagonist, Amy, returning home covered in blood, which Fincher shut down and won. He knew that even a brief shot of Amy outside of the norm would hint that something was amiss! 

    32. The “What’s in the box?” ending in Se7en was an accident.

    Morgan Freeman opening a package in Se7en

    33. Fincher wasn’t allowed to film on the Harvard campus for The Social Network.

    People walking outside a university campus in The Social Network film

    34. The production team flew Oak trees into Lake Berryessa for Zodiac.

    Zodiac killer in front of oak trees pointing a weapon at two victims in the film

    35. In Zodiac, San Francisco was created using CGI.

    Mark Ruffalo stood in the street during a crime scene in Zodiac

    36. Brad Pitt and Edward Norton really learned how to make soap for Fight Club.

    Edward Norton and Brad Pitt making soap in Fight Club film

    I think we can all agree that Fincher’s easter eggs and behind-the-scenes details make his films even more worthy, but which Fincher film is your favourite?!