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‘Mank’ Producer Says Fincher’s New Film Feels Like a 1930s Movie: ‘It’s an Incredible Piece’

Producer Eric Roth is raving about Fincher's return to filmmaking, which is eyeing an October release.

"Citizen Kane"

“Citizen Kane”

BFI

For many moviegoers around the world, David Fincher’s return to filmmaking with “Mank” is the single most anticipated film event of 2020. The “Fight Club” and “Social Network” auteur has not released a feature since 2014’s “Gone Girl,” and adding to the anticipation is the fact “Mank” is a longtime passion project for Fincher. The director’s father, screenwriter Jack Fincher, wrote the “Mank” script before his passing in 2003.

One of the producers on “Mank” is Oscar-winning “Forest Gump” screenwriter Eric Roth, who last worked with Fincher as the screenwriter of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” In a discussion on “Pardon My Take” (via Film Stage) published this week, Roth says the drama is set for a release on Netflix this October. Netflix is behind “Mank” and has not announced a release date yet.

“Mank” stars Gary Oldman as “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. Fincher’s location manager William Doyle has said the film is “not just a biopic.” The story follows Mankiewicz as he overcomes personal and professional setbacks during the production of Orson Welles’ masterpiece.

Roth added about the film, “It’s an incredible piece. He did a black-and-white ’30s movie. It looks like a ’30s movie and feels like one.” The producer also joked, “Six people will go see it, but it’s pretty amazing.”

While Netflix has not confirmed the “Mank” release date, a fall debut around October or November has been widely expected considering the title is one of the streaming giant’s big Oscar contenders. Similar to last year’s “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story,” Netflix is expected to world premiere “Mank” at one of the fall film festivals. A theatrical release for “Mank” will depend on theaters re-opening, although a new Oscar rule for 2021 will allow “Mank” to be eligible for Oscars even if it just streams.

In addition to Oldman, the “Mank” ensemble cast also features Amanda Seyfried as actress Marion Davies, Lily Collins as Mankiewicz’s secretary Rita Alexander, Tuppence Middleton as Herman’s wife Sara Mankiewicz, and “The Souvenir” breakout Tom Burke as Orson Welles. The film also reunites Fincher with his longtime composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who won the Oscar for their work on “The Social Network.” Reznor said last year he would only being used period-authentic instruments to compose the “Mank” score.

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