Fincher at the Paris premiere of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in 2012
David Andrew Leo Fincher|
August 28, 1962
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
|Occupation||Film director, film producer, television director, television producer, music video director|
Donya Fiorentino (m. 1990; div. 1995)|
Ceán Chaffin (m. 1996)
|Children||1 (with Fiorentino)|
David Andrew Leo Fincher (born August 28, 1962) is an American director and producer, notably for films, television series, and music videos. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for the romantic fantasy drama The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and the drama The Social Network (2010). For the latter, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Director and the BAFTA Award for Best Direction.
He is also known for having directed the psychological thrillers Seven (1995), Fight Club (1999), and Gone Girl (2014) and the mystery thrillers Zodiac (2007) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), as well as being instrumental in the creation of the U.S. television series House of Cards.
Fincher was born on August 28, 1962 in Denver, Colorado, the son of Claire Mae (née Boettcher), a mental health nurse from South Dakota who worked in drug addiction programs, and Howard Kelly "Jack" Fincher, an author from Oklahoma who worked as a reporter and bureau chief for Life. Howard died of cancer in April 2003. Fincher knew from a young age he wanted to go into filmmaking. When Fincher was two years old, the family moved to San Anselmo, California, where filmmaker George Lucas was one of his neighbors. Fincher moved to Ashland, Oregon in his teens, where he graduated from Ashland High School. During high school, he directed plays and designed sets and lighting after school, and was a non-union projectionist at a second-run movie theater, production assistant at the local television news station KOBI in Medford, Oregon, and took on other odd jobs such as fry cook, busboy, and dishwasher. Inspired by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Fincher began making movies at age eight with an 8mm camera.
Fincher was employed at Korty Films as a production assistant. He moved up the ranks and became a visual effects producer, working on the animated Twice Upon a Time (1983). He was hired by Industrial Light & Magic in 1983 as an assistant cameraman and matte photographer, and worked on Return of the Jedi (1983) and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). In 1984, he left ILM to direct a commercial for the American Cancer Society that depicted a fetus smoking a cigarette. This quickly brought Fincher to the attention of producers in Los Angeles, and he was given the chance to direct the 1985 Rick Springfield documentary The Beat of the Live Drum. Though he would continue to direct spots for Levi's, Converse, Nike, Pepsi, Revlon, Sony, Coca-Cola, Chanel, and other companies, Fincher began to focus on music videos. He directed the video for 1986's "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off", which was the biggest commercial success for pop/R&B singer Jermaine Stewart, and worked extensively with Madonna, directing videos for "Express Yourself", "Oh Father", "Vogue" and "Bad Girl."
Set on a directing career, Fincher co-founded video-production company Propaganda Films and started off directing music videos and commercials. Like Fincher, directors such as Michael Bay, Antoine Fuqua, Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Alex Proyas, Paul Rachman, Mark Romanek, Zack Snyder, Gore Verbinski and others honed their talents at Propaganda Films before moving on to feature films.
1990s: Alien 3, Seven, The Game and Fight Club
After directing several music videos, Fincher's feature debut was Alien 3 (1992). While it received an Oscar nomination for visual effects, the film was not well received by critics or moviegoers. Fincher became involved with several disputes with 20th Century Fox over script and budget issues. In Director's Cut: Picturing Hollywood in the 21st Century, he blames the producers for not putting the necessary trust in him. He stated in an interview with The Guardian in 2009: "No one hated it more than me; to this day, no one hates it more than me." After this, he retreated back into the world of commercial and music video directing, including the video for the Grammy Award-winning track "Love Is Strong" (1994) by The Rolling Stones.
In 1995, Fincher directed Seven. The film, based on a screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker, told the story of two detectives (played by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman) tracking down a serial killer who bases his killings on the seven deadly sins. The film grossed more than $100 million domestically (over $300 million internationally).
After the success of Seven, Fincher went on to film The Game (1997). The story focused on a closed-off San Francisco businessman (played by Michael Douglas) who receives an unusual gift from his younger brother (Sean Penn), in which he becomes the main player of a role-playing game that takes over his life. The film had middling box-office returns despite being well received by critics.
Fight Club (1999) is a screen adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's 1996 novel about an insomniac office worker who opens up a club devoted exclusively to bare knuckle fighting for men. Featuring Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter, and Seven collaborator Brad Pitt, the film was an early disappointment at the box-office and received mixed reviews. Entertainment Weekly, which had originally given the film a D-, later ranked the DVD #1 on its list of 50 Essential DVDs.
2000s: Panic Room, hiatus, Zodiac and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
In 2002, Fincher followed up with the thriller Panic Room. The film earned over $92 million at the U.S. box office. The story follows a single mother (Jodie Foster) and her daughter (Kristen Stewart) as they hide in a safe room of their new house, away from criminals (Forest Whitaker, Dwight Yoakam, and Fight Club collaborator Jared Leto) bent on finding a missing fortune. Fincher acknowledged Panic Room as a more mainstream thriller, describing the film, on the DVD's audio commentary, as "[basically] a date movie" and a "really good B movie" about "two people trapped in a closet".
Five years after Panic Room, Fincher returned on March 2, 2007 with Zodiac, an adaptation of Robert Graysmith's books about the hunt for the Zodiac Killer that starred Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey, Jr., Anthony Edwards, and Brian Cox. The first of Fincher's films to be shot digitally, the majority of the film was recorded on a Thompson Viper Film Stream Camera. However, high-speed film cameras were used for the Blue Rock Springs and Presidio Heights murder scenes for the slow-motion shots. It was originally to be released in the fall of 2006 but was pushed back after Fincher refused to cut 20 minutes off the film.
Zodiac was one of the best-reviewed films of that year, with only two other 2007 films appearing on more top-10 lists (No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood). However, the film struggled at the box office in the U.S., earning only $33 million, but did well overseas with a foreign gross of $51.7 million. Worldwide, Zodiac was a decent success. Despite an aggressive campaign by the studio, expectations surrounding Robert Downey, Jr.'s supporting performance, Fincher's direction and Vanderbilt's adapted script, the film did not earn a single Academy Award nomination.
A story about life and death, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story of the same name. The film was Fincher's third with Brad Pitt. The film started shooting in November 2006 in New Orleans, before moving on to the Virgin Islands, Montreal, and L.A. Both Zodiac and this film are co-productions of Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. The budget for the film was estimated at $150 million, partly due to the CGI effects used to reverse the aging in Pitt's character. It received 13 nominations at the 81st Academy Awards, including Fincher's first nomination for Best Director. It won three Academy Awards for Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, and Best Visual Effects.
2010s: The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl and television career
Fincher directed the 2010 film The Social Network, about the legal battles of Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of Facebook. The film features an Oscar-winning screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, adapted from the book The Accidental Billionaires. Filming started in October 2009 and was released a year later, to critical acclaim. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross created the Oscar-winning soundtrack for the film. The film went on to win many awards, including three Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing.
In 2011, Fincher directed the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, based on the book by Stieg Larsson, with a script written by Steven Zaillian. The film was shot in Sweden, with Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander and Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross composed the soundtrack for the film, collaborating with Fincher a second time. The film received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Actress for Mara, and won the award for Best Film Editing.
Fincher is an executive producer of the Netflix television series House of Cards, of which he also directed the first two episodes. The series has received critical acclaim, earning nine Primetime Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series and winning Fincher the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for the first episode.
Fincher signed a three-series deal with HBO for Utopia, Shakedown, and Videosyncrazy. Utopia was set to be an adaptation of the British series of the same name. Shakedown, a noir-ish crime drama, was about the tabloid world and the underbelly of Los Angeles in the 1950s and centered on a real-life private detective. Videosyncrazy, a comedy set in the 1980s, would follow Robby, a college drop out, pursuing his dream as a music video and film director in Hollywood. In August 2015, budget disputes between Fincher and the network halted production of Utopia, and consequently all three projects were dropped altogether.
Fincher is attached to direct another Netflix TV series, Mindhunter, starring Holt McCallany and Jonathan Groff. The series is based on the book Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit. Fincher is in negotiations to helm the World War Z sequel with Brad Pitt as co-producer and lead role.
Approach and style
Fincher likes to map out camera movements with computer-generated imagery, commission intricate sets, get heavily involved in post-production, and re-shoot footage after the principal photography has wrapped. He does not normally use hand-held cameras when he shoots a film, preferring cameras on a tripod. His most frequent use of a hand-held camera was for Seven, in which five scenes were shot that way. Secondly, Fincher likes to confuse audiences with his camerawork. Sometimes, it is difficult to determine if a shot is human-controlled, motion-controlled or computer-generated imagery. Thirdly, close-ups are uncommon in Fincher's films. Fourthly, he tries to move his cameras as little as possible. Lastly, the interior of a refrigerator can be seen in a number of Fincher's films. This can be seen as part of character and story development.
Fincher married model–photographer Donya Fiorentino in 1990 and divorced in 1995. They have a daughter, Phelix Imogen Fincher. Fincher is married to producer Ceán Chaffin.
|2001||The Hire (Short films)||Yes|
|2005||Lords of Dogtown||Yes|
|2006||Love and Other Disasters||Yes|
|2008||The Curious Case of Benjamin Button||Yes|
|2010||The Social Network||Yes|
|2011||The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo||Yes|
|2013–present||House of Cards||Yes||Yes||Directed 2 episodes|
As a music video director, Fincher has won two Grammy Awards for Best Music Video, for his work in "Love Is Strong" by The Rolling Stones (1995) and "Suit & Tie" by Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z (2013), and three MTV Video Music Awards for Best Direction, being one of the most awarded directors in the category, alongside Spike Jonze. He also earned back-to-back MTV Video Music Awards for Best Direction in 1989 for "Express Yourself" and in 1990 for "Vogue". In 1990, he earned three of the four available nominations in the Best Direction category.
- "Dance This World Away", Rick Springfield (1984)
- "Celebrate Youth", Rick Springfield (1984)
- "Bop Til You Drop", Rick Springfield (1984)
- "Shame", The Motels (1985)
- "Shock", The Motels (1985)
- "Celebrate Youth", Rick Springfield (1985)
- "All The Love In The World", The Outfield (1986)
- "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off", Jermaine Stewart (1986)
- "Everytime You Cry", The Outfield (1986)
- "One Simple Thing", Stabilizers (1986)
- "Stay", Howard Hewett (1986)
- "She Comes On", Wire Train (1987)
- "Should She Cry", Wire Train (1987)
- "Endless Nights", Eddie Money (1987)
- "Downtown Train", Patty Smyth (1987)
- "I Don't Mind At All", Bourgeois Tagg (1987)
- "Notorious", Loverboy (1987)
- "Love Will Rise Again", Loverboy (1987)
- "Johnny B", The Hooters (1987)
- "Storybook Love", Willy DeVille (from The Princess Bride) (1987)
- "Can I Hold You", Colin Hay (1987)
- "No Surrender", The Outfield (1987)
- "Say You Will", Foreigner (1987)
- "Don't Tell Me The Time", The Motels (1987)
- "Tell It To the Moon", The Motels (1988)
- "Heart of Gold", Johnny Hates Jazz (1988)
- "Englishman in New York", Sting (1988)
- "Shattered Dreams" (second version),
Johnny Hates Jazz (1988)
- "Get Rhythm", Ry Cooder (1988)
- "Most of All", Jody Watley (1988)
- "Roll With It", Steve Winwood (1988)
- "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" (version 1988), Paula Abdul (1988)
- "Holding On", Steve Winwood (1988)
- "Heart", Neneh Cherry (1989)
- "Bamboleo" (second version), Gipsy Kings (1989)
- "Straight Up", Paula Abdul (1989)
- "Most of All", Jody Watley (1989)
- "Real Love", Jody Watley (1989)
- "Bamboleo" (third version), Gipsy Kings (1989)
- "She's a Mystery to Me", Roy Orbison (1989)
- "Forever Your Girl", Paula Abdul (1989)
- "Express Yourself", Madonna (1989)
- "The End of the Innocence", Don Henley (1989)
- "Cold Hearted", Paula Abdul (1989)
- "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" (version 1989), Paula Abdul (1988)
- "Oh Father", Madonna (1989)
- "Janie's Got a Gun", Aerosmith (1989)
- "Vogue", Madonna (1990)
- "Cradle of Love", Billy Idol (1990)
- "L.A. Woman", Billy Idol (1990)
- "Freedom '90", George Michael (1990)
- "Who Is It?", Michael Jackson (1992)
- "Bad Girl", Madonna (1993)
- "Love Is Strong", The Rolling Stones (1994)
- "6th Avenue Heartache", The Wallflowers (1996)
- "Judith", A Perfect Circle (2000)
- "Only", Nine Inch Nails (2005)
- "Suit & Tie", Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z (2013)
|Alien3||44% (45 reviews)||59 (20 reviews)|
|Seven||80% (70 reviews)||65 (22 reviews)|
|The Game||72% (53 reviews)||61 (19 reviews)|
|Fight Club||79% (162 reviews)||66 (35 reviews)|
|Panic Room||76% (182 reviews)||65 (36 reviews)|
|Zodiac||89% (233 reviews)||78 (40 reviews)|
|The Curious Case of Benjamin Button||72% (238 reviews)||70 (37 reviews)|
|The Social Network||96% (290 reviews)||95 (42 reviews)|
|The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo||86% (224 reviews)||71 (41 reviews)|
|Gone Girl||88% (295 reviews)||79 (49 reviews)|
Box office performance
|Film||Studio||Release date||Box office gross||Budget||Reference|
|North America||Other territories||Worldwide|
|Alien3||20th Century Fox||May 22, 1992||$55,473,545||$104,340,953||$159,814,498||$50 million|
|Seven||New Line Cinema||September 22, 1995||$100,125,643||$227,186,216||$327,311,859||$33 million|
|The Game||PolyGram||September 12, 1997||$48,323,648||$61,100,000||$109,423,648||$50 million|
|Fight Club||20th Century Fox||October 15, 1999||$37,030,102||$63,823,651||$100,853,753||$63 million|
|Panic Room||Columbia||March 29, 2002||$96,397,334||$100,000,081||$196,397,415||$48 million|
|Zodiac||Paramount / Warner Bros.||March 2, 2007||$33,080,084||$51,705,830||$84,785,914||$65 million|
|The Curious Case of Benjamin Button||December 25, 2008||$127,509,326||$206,422,757||$333,932,083||$150 million|
|The Social Network||Columbia||October 1, 2010||$96,962,694||$127,957,621||$224,920,315||$40 million|
|The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo||Columbia / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer||December 20, 2011||$102,068,888||$130,101,637||$232,617,430||$90 million|
|Gone Girl||20th Century Fox||October 3, 2014||$167,238,510||$199,700,000||$366,938,510||$61 million|
Awards and nominations
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- Davies, Gareth A (December 23, 2008). "Forrest Griffin to show his police brutality". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
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- Swallow, James (2003). "Dark and Light". Dark Eye: The Films of David Fincher. Reynolds & Hearn. p. 11. ISBN 1-903111-52-8.
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- "Director's Cut: Picturing Hollywood in the 21st Century". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- Salisbury, Mark; Fincher, David (January 18, 2009). "Transcript of the Guardian interview with David Fincher at BFI Southbank". The Guardian. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
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- Entertainment Weekly – The 50 Essential DVDs. January 19, 2001
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- Zodiac Director's Cut DVD, 2nd Disc, Visual Effects featurette.
- Best of 2007 « CriticsTop10. Criticstop10.com. Retrieved on 2014-02-01.
- "2007 Box Office". Box Office Report. January 6, 2009. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- Nominees. 80th Annual Academy Awards. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. oscars.org
- "Confirmed: Eisenberg, Timberlake and Garfield Cast in David Fincher's The Social Network". "Slashfilm.com. September 22, 2009. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- Brooks, Xan (January 17, 2011). "Golden Globes: Colin Firth crowned while The Social Network wins lion's share". Guardian. London. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
- "Trent Reznor Scoring David Fincher's Version of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"". Slashfilm. January 7, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- O'Connell, Michael (April 10, 2012). "Netflix Launching Entire Run of David Fincher's 'House of Cards' in One Day". The Hollywood Reporter.
- House of Cards | Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Emmys.com. Retrieved on 2014-02-01.
- "David Fincher may have found next 'Girl'". Variety. January 22, 2013.
- "Ben Affleck To Star In David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' For Fox/New Regency Before Directing Warner Bros' 'Live By Night'". July 11, 2013.
- "David Fincher and James Ellroy Developing HBO Series Shakedown - /Film". Slashfilm.com. 2014-12-18. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- James White (2015-10-09). "David Fincher Will Direct The Full First Season Of HBO's Utopia | News | Movies - Empire". gb: Empireonline.com. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- Andreeva, Nellie (2014-12-18). "David Fincher Shepherding HBO Comedy About 1980s Music Video Industry". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- Rodrigo Perez (2016-05-22). "David Fincher's 'Utopia' With Rooney Mara Is Dead At HBO, 'Videosyncrazy' Might Be DOA Too". IndieWire. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- Justin Kroll (2016-08-10). "David Fincher Eyes 'World War Z' Sequel With Brad Pitt". Variety. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- "David Fincher • Great Director profile • Senses of Cinema". Sensesofcinema.com. 2002-04-24. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- "David Fincher - And the Other Way is Wrong". YouTube. 2014-10-01. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
- Walker, Tim (October 8, 2010). "David Fincher: All the best connections". The Independent. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
- Mottram, James (December 18, 2011). "The anti-social network: Why David Fincher is the perfect man for 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'". The Independent. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
- Pierce, Nev (2014-09-27). "David Fincher on Gone Girl: 'Bad things happen in this movie…'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
- "10 Music Videos Directed by David Fincher". unrealitymag.com. March 20, 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Basham, David (March 30, 2000). "David Fincher To Direct A Perfect Circle Video". MTV.com. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- "Demo Reel (Billy Idol's "LA Woman")". IMDb. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- "Michael Jackson – Who Is It on Vimeo". Vimeo. July 20, 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Dash, Anil (June 26, 2009). "The Best Music Video Michael Jackson Ever Released". dashes.com. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- "Digital Domain Productions". Digital Domain. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- "Justin Timberlake – Suit & Tie (Official) ft. JAY Z". YouTube. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
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- "The Game Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
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- "Fight Club Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- "Fight Club Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. October 29, 1999. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- "Panic Room Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- "Panic Room Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. January 23, 2002. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- "Zodiac Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- "Zodiac Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. November 28, 2006. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
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- "Alien 3 (1992)". Box Office Mojo.
- "Seven (1995)". Box Office Mojo.
- "The Game (1997)". Box Office Mojo.
- "Fight Club (1999)". Box Office Mojo.
- "Panic Room (2002)". Box Office Mojo.
- "Zodiac (2007)". Box Office Mojo.
- "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)". Box Office Mojo.
- "The Social Network (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
- "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- "Gone Girl (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
- 73rd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2014.
- Waxman, Sharon, ed. (2005). Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System. HarperEntertainment.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to David Fincher.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: David Fincher|
- David Fincher at the Internet Movie Database
- David Fincher at AllMovie
- David Fincher at MVDbase.com
- David Fincher at Senses of Cinema: Great Directors Critical Database
- David Fincher at Rotten Tomatoes
- Feraci, Devin (January 8, 2008). "EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DAVID FINCHER (ZODIAC DVD)". CHUD.
- Foley, Jack. "Zodiac - David Fincher interview". IndieLondon.
- Foundas, Scott (January 9, 2008). "David Fincher discusses Zodiac's rising star". LA Weekly.
- Guyot, Paul (2007). "David Fincher - Seven & Fight Club". DVD Talk.
- Horowitz, Josh (January 2, 2008). "David Fincher Didn't Want To Make 'Another Serial-Killer Movie' … Until 'Zodiac' Came Along - Part I". MTV News.
- Horowitz, Josh (January 4, 2008). "David Fincher Discusses Reunion With Brad Pitt, Possible 'Fight Club' Musical. He also details the 'Alien 3' he never got the chance to make.". MTV News.
- Mockenhaupt, Brian (March 1, 2007). "The Curious Case of David Fincher". Esquire.
- Smith, Gavin (September–October 1999). "Film Comment: Gavin Smith goes one-on-one with David Fincher". Inside Out.
|Awards and achievements|
|National Board of Review|
for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
| Succeeded by|
|National Board of Review|
for The Social Network
| Succeeded by|