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David Fincher’s Mank: Everything We Know

November 1, 2019
4 min read

Following its first foray into the Oscars arena, and quite an impactful one with last year’s ‘Roma’, Netflix seems to be securing win upon win in terms of the quality of content that it seems to be scoring, mediocre filler releases notwithstanding. More than that, the sheer number of projects with the biggest names attached to them that are in Netflix’s repertoire, including Dee Rees, Noah Baumbach, Steven Soderbergh, and especially Martin Scorsese, is simply a staggering achievement. The latest to be added to that rich repertoire is David Fincher, who will be making his return to feature film making after six years following his last, the excellent ‘Gone Girl’.

In fact, the Netflix-Fincher partnership has resulted in some of the best television I have viewed in recent times, including ‘Mindhunter’ where he served behind the camera as director as well, ‘House of Cards’, directing the first two episodes of the series, and ‘Love, Death and Robots’ that he produced.

Mank’ is going to be another fine addition to that list, and just as early bird Oscar predictions go, everything about it screams Oscar bait. However, when it is Fincher’s return to film that we are talking about, it shouldn’t sound like any less either. Without further ado, here is everything that we currently know of the celebrated director’s first feature-length film in a long time, ‘Mank’. Read on.

Mank Plot: What Is It About?

The film derives its name from prolific screenwriting personality Herman Mankiewicz whose biopic this film is going to be. The film will chart the Mankiewicz’s tumultuous journey through writing Oscar Welles’ acclaimed classic and iconic 1941 film, ‘Citizen Kane’, widely regarded among the best films ever made. Mankiewicz’s other screenwriting credits include ‘The Pride of The Yankees’, ‘It’s A Wonderful World’, and ‘Avalanche’.

Needless to say, he became an unforgettable name in cinema with ‘Citizen Kane’, and it is that journey that the film will specifically try to capture. While Fincher is mostly known for directing crime thrillers, this would be David Fincher’s second attempt at a biopic, the first one being ‘The Social Network’, widely regarded among the best films of the 21st Century.

Mankiewicz’s relationship with Welles too turned sour towards the end since he alleged that Welles tried to claim sole credit for the script of the film, even offering to buy Mankiewicz off, an aspect that would surely be encompassed within the film. Mankiewicz also won an Academy award for his work on Orsen Welles’ classic, which is also where I expect the film would end.

It is widely reported that ‘Mank’ has been a project that the prolific director has been wanted to work on since his 1997 feature, ‘The Game’, but kept on getting delayed. One among the primary reasons apart from Fincher himself getting busier with other projects was the studios’ inability to commit to Fincher’s vision of shooting the film in full black and white in the style of the 40s, just like ‘Citizen Kane’, amid a period of rapid transformation in Hollywood with respect to the cinema scene. It is, however, now reported that ‘Mank’ would be happening exactly as per Fincher’s original vision, so expect to see some black and white greatness following ‘Roma’ again, that will reportedly be further modified to suit the grainy style of 40s cinema.

Mank Cast: Who Is In It?

Whence I earlier stated that the film is gearing up to be an Oscar runner solely from the outlook, I wasn’t overstating, since Gary Oldman who recently won an Oscar for his impeccable performance in ‘Darkest Hour’ has been roped in to portray Mankiewicz. Tuppence Middleton will play Sara Mankiewicz, Lily Collins is cast as Rita Alexander, and Amanda Seyfried will play Marion Davies. Tom Burke has been cast as Orson Welles and Craig Robert Young will play Charlie Chaplin.

Mank Crew: Who Is Behind It?

‘Mank’, as stated earlier is going to be David Fincher’s return to directing full length feature films after six years since ‘Gone Girl’. Fincher has mostly been working on top profile TV projects until then and in the writing department. Furthermore, the story for ‘Mank’ apart from being derived from Mankiewicz’s real life is going to be based on an early version of the script Fincher’s father wrote sometime early in the 2000s. Fincher will also be producing the project alongside producing partner Cean Chaffin and Douglas Urbanski.

Mank Release Date: When Can It Premiere?

‘Mank’ is all set to be released straight to streaming on Netflix, although there still isn’t a definitive date. It would be prudent to assume that the film would be available sometime near fall 2021, coinciding with its supposed Oscar compatibility.

Read More: Best David Fincher Movies

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