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Michael Douglas reveals why making his best movie was “exhausting”

Michael Douglas is a Hollywood legend, who has starred in some of the best movies of all time. He's also worked with some brilliant, but challenging directors.

Michael Douglas

When asked for the best David Fincher movies, The Social Network, Zodiac and Gone Girl are frequently cited. As for best Michael Douglas movies – there’s plenty to choose from including the likes of erotic thrillers Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction, or there’s drama movies Falling Down, or The American President. But one of Fincher and Douglas’ most underrated, and perhaps misunderstood movies is The Game (1997).

The Game is a movie in which a high-powered businessman has his entire life collapse around him, in a sophisticated ‘game’ engineered by his brother Conrad (Sean Penn). Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in 2015, Douglas said; “He was the ultimate preening perfectionist, dressed perfectly, so aloof, so above it all. Untouchable, man,” which we believe is a description of Douglas’ character Nicholas Van Orton, and not of director David Fincher.

“It’s a movie I absolutely love. But it was a hard, tough shoot. David, as you might know, is the yang of Soderbergh’s yin [Douglas worked with Soderbergh on Traffic and movie based on a true story Behind the Candelabra]. He does a large number of takes and I think we shot more than 90 days, mostly at night. And sometimes you really don’t know what you’re doing another take for.”

Douglas concluded; “There are times when it was exhausting, but I was so proud to be a part of it. I mean, take one look at his [Fincher’s] body of work. It’s extraordinary, visionary.” The Game belongs up there with science fiction movies such as Total Recall for presenting a vision of a man whose entire world is upended, leading him to question the very fabric of reality.

Due to the fact that pretty much every David Fincher movie has been met with critical acclaim, The Game is one that is frequently overlooked. It also is more controversial and divisive than some of his other thriller movies. Fincher’s next movie The Killer starring Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton is set for release in November 2023. It’s not yet known what Douglas’ next project will be, following on from 2023’s Ant-Man 3.

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