Netflix has just released the first images from David Fincher‘s long-awaited movie Mank to coincide with the 79th anniversary of Citizen Kane‘s wide theatrical release.
The film is based on the true story of the life of screenwriter Herman J Mankiewicz, played by Gary Oldman. The plot follows his time working on the now-famous Citizen Kane, and the problems that arose with Orson Welles during production and leading up to the film’s release.
The screenplay for Mank was actually completed back in 2003, and was the last one written by Fincher’s late father, Jack Fincher.
Some believe the film will follow the alleged claim that Welles didn’t really deserve the screenwriting credit he got for Citizen Kane. The claim has been debunked, but that doesn’t mean the movie won’t be worth watching, or exciting.
The cast is full of high-wattage stars. Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia) stars as the actress Marion Davies, with Lily Collins (Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile) as Mankiewicz’s secretary Rita Alexander.
Orson Welles is being played by Tom Burke (Strike, The Souvenir), but Welles is rumoured to be a more secondary character to Mankiewicz.
Mankiewicz’s brother Joseph and wife Sara are played by Tom Pelphrey (Ozark) and Tuppence Middleton (Sense 8, Downton Abbey) respectively.
Fans of Fincher’s other big hitter, Mindhunter, initially thought that work on Mank was responsible for the delay to season three of the hit show. However, Mindhunter and Mank cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt has now said he doesn’t know if season three is even happening.
Mank was filmed in Orson Welles’ Kemper Campbell Ranch in Victorville, California. Location manager William Doyle told the Daily Press: “What better place for synergy between the real-life story and this story?”
He also confirmed that the movie, Fincher’s first since 2014’s Gone Girl, is “not just a biopic.”
Producer Eric Roth told the Pardon My Take podcast (via Film Stage): “It’s an incredible piece. He did a black-and-white ’30s movie. It looks like a ’30s movie and feels like one.
The world-famous San Diego Zoo has a wild attraction: Africa Rocks. Come hang with baboons, penguins, lemurs and more.
“Six people will go see it,” Roth joked, “but it’s pretty amazing.”
Though sometimes contemporary films in black and white can feel gimmicky, Fincher is known for his effortless blend of style and substance, and given the film takes place in the 1930s and 40s, it seems fitting for Mank.
Mank will be available to stream on Netflix.