David Fincher is at long last readying his return to feature filmmaking with the Netflix biopic “Mank,” Variety reports. The drama will star Oscar-winner Gary Oldman as “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz in a story that focuses on the Hollywood legend’s tumultuous development of Orson Welles’ iconic 1941 movie. Mankiewicz won an Oscar for “Citizen Kane.”
“Mank” is set to be Fincher’s first feature directorial project since the release of “Gone Girl” in 2014. The filmmaker has since been behind the camera for his Netflix serial killer drama “Mindhunter,” which is expected to return to the streaming platform for its second season later this year. Fincher also produces the Netflix animated anthology series “Love, Death & Robots” and started Netflix’s original TV series boom with “House of Cards.” “Mank” is set to keep the Netflix-Fincher partnership alive in a major way. The script was written by Fincher’s father, Jack, before his death in 2003.
Nabbing Fincher’s next directorial effort is another big win for Netflix, which managed to break into the Best Picture Oscar race for the first time earlier this year with Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma.” Fincher is the latest high-profile filmmaking auteur to partner with the streaming giant. Directors such as Dee Rees, Martin Scorsese, and Noah Baumbach all have Netflix original films launching in theaters and on the streaming platform before the end of 2019.
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Oldman won the Best Actor Oscar for his leading performance in Joe Wright’s “Darkest Hour.” The actor’s upcoming credits include reuniting with Wright for “The Woman in the Window” and starring in Steven Soderbergh’s Netflix awards title “The Laundromat” later this year.
As reported by Deadline, “Mank” was originally going to be Fincher’s directorial follow-up to his 1997 movie “The Game,” but it was stalled because the studio did not agree with the filmmaker’s preference to shoot the film in “Citizen Kane”-inspired black and white. During that time, Fincher was in talks with his eventual “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey to play the title role. Mankiewicz’s other Hollywood scripts included “The Wizard of Oz,” “Pride of the Yankees,” and “The Pride of St. Louis.”
Fincher will produce “Mank” alongside producing partner Cean Chaffin and Douglas Urbanski.