David Fincher must be feeling on top of the world right now, what with 13 Oscar nominations for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a successful box office haul. Yet that's not the kind of credibility that can get your next movie made in Hollywood. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount has let the rights to Brian Michael Bendis' Torso lapse, leaving the project in limbo. "It's a weird and odd situation," Bendis said. "We heard it was greenlit one day, then the next we heard it wasn't. Hopefully, it'll have a happy ending."

Paramount has had the rights since 2006, and hired Ehren Kruger to adapt the book. But last month, part of the original rights deal expired and Paramount declined renewing them, and buying them outright. The studio still owns the Kruger screenplay, and is in negotiations to strike a new option agreement with Bendis and Marc Andreyko, to whom the rights reverted. Fincher is still attached as director, though one who is sans screenplay.

It is a very weird situation -- the project has A-List all over it. Not only does it have Fincher directing, but it attracted interest from Matt Damon and Casey Affleck. While based on a graphic novel, it's not superhero stuff, but the true story of Eliot Ness and the Torso Murderer. Considering everyone has been desperate for a sequel to The Untouchables for years, you'd think this was a slam dunk ... but apparently nothing is during these economic times. But as everyone in their right mind wants to see this done, I hope Paramount makes its mind up to stake a claim or let it pass on to another studio.