Six years following the release of “Gone Girl” director David Fincher is finally back with a new movie, “Mank,” and this one has been in the works for a while. This Netflix release chronicles a turbulent time in the life of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz when he collaborated with Orson Welles on the original script for “Citizen Kane.” The two tangled over credit, and shared in the 1941 Oscar win for Best Original Screenplay.
David’s father, Jack Fincher, wrote the script for “Mank” back in the 1990s; this one-time editor of Life magazine died in 2003. David had intended to make the movie after wrapping “The Game” in 1997. He had even cast Kevin Spacey, who had a scene-stealing role in Fincher’s 1995 film “Seven.” But it was the director’s insistence on shooting “Mank” in black-and-white.
Fast forward almost a quarter of a century and Fincher has finally made “Mank,” with Oscar winner Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) in the title role and Tom Burke (“The Souvenir”) as Welles. The movie will be released in select theaters next month before debuting on Netflix on December 4.
“Mank” also stars Tom Pelphrey as Herman’s younger brother Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Tuppence Middleton as his wife Sara, Arliss Howard as MGM studio chief Louis B. Mayer, Toby Leonard Moore as producer David O. Selznick, Charles Dance as William Randolph Hearst (the inspiration for the character of Kane) and Amanda Seyfried as Hearst’s mistress, actress Marion Davies
Fincher began making well-regarded movies in the early 1990s, But it wasn’t until 2008 that he received his first Oscar nomination for directing “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Despite his film having the most nominations that year (13),”Slumdog Millionaire” came out on top for both Best Picture and Best Director (Danny Boyle).
Two years later, Fincher was back with a major frontrunner, “The Social Network,” which won him Best Director at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, and BAFTAs (despite “The King’s Speech” sweeping those homegrown awards). But the Oscar went to DGA winner Tom Hooper, who helmed Best Picture winner “The King’s Speech.”
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