‘Mank’ First Trailer: Netflix Unveils David Fincher’s Long-Awaited Return to Film

The Netflix original film pairs Fincher with Oscar winner Gary Oldman and his late father, Jack Fincher.
Gary Oldman in "Mank"

The long wait for new David Fincher film footage has ended thanks to Netflix’s premiere of the first trailer for “Mank,” the director’s first feature film since the 2014 theatrical release of “Gone Girl.” Along with Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and Ron Howard’s “Hillbilly Elegy,” Fincher’s “Mank” is one of the streaming giant’s top Oscar prospects this year. “Mank” will be getting a theatrical release before it arrives on streaming at the start of December.

“Mank” is a long-in-the-works passion project for Fincher as his father, Jack, wrote the screenplay before passing away in April 2003. The story centers on Herman J. Mankiewicz, the Oscar-winning co-writer of “Citizen Kane,” as he overcomes personal and professional battles to finish the script for Orson Welles’ iconic drama. “The Souvenir” breakout Tom Burke stars as Welles, The cast also includes Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies, Charles Dance as William Randolph Hearst, Tom Pelphrey as Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and Lily Collins as Mank’s secretary Rita Alexander.

Netflix’s synopsis for “Mank” reads: “1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of Citizen Kane for ‘Orson Welles.'”

As usual, Fincher has assembled an all-star craft team to bring “Mank” to life. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the director’s longtime composers and Oscar winners for “The Social Network,” are providing the film’s original score. To keep with the film’s period setting, Reznor and Ross relied only on instruments that would be available at the time, which means fans shouldn’t expect a synth-oriented score. Shooting the film is cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, who first worked with Fincher as a gaffer on “Gone Girl” before serving as DP on several episodes of “Mindhunter” Season 2. “Mank” is shot in black-and-white to look and feel like a 1930s movie.

“It’s so freaking good,” Fincher’s “Social Network” screenwriter Aaron Sorkin recently raved of “Mank.” “Written by [Fincher’s] dad, who is a brilliant screenwriter. But David has directed this movie just magnificently. It’s breathtakring even by David Fincher standards. Gary Oldman gives an amazing performance, so does Lily Collins, and so does Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies.”

Netflix will release “Mank” via streaming on December 4. A limited theatrical release is being planned for November. Watch the first official trailer for the drama in the video below. An extended version of the teaser is playing exclusively on Reddit for a limited time (at the 30 minute mark).

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