Been a while since any film news — much less, let’s be honest, some concerning the second-most-powerful company in Hollywood — got a fully thought-through “Whoa! This is nuts!” from me, but David Fincher is, of course, no normal studio player. Per THR, his next feature (assuming it, like 1,400 others before it, is not eventually scuttled) will be Mank, a black-and-white biopic of Citizen Kane scribe Herman J. Mankiewicz scripted by his father, Jack Fincher, led by Gary Oldman, and funded by Netflix.
The “over 20-year journey for Fincher, who initially wanted to tackle the story after making his 1997 feature The Game,” comes to a head when cameras roll this fall. Mankiewicz’s story is classic Hollywood fare inside and out: a writer on the aforementioned picture, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and The Wizard of Oz, he also feuded with Welles over necessary credit (cue Kael, depending on who you ask) and stands as a perpetual object du jour in the fight against dastardly auteurism, which my Twitter feed regularly tells me is something for which we must seek penance.
Maybe it’s a smidge ironic that Fincher returning to features post-Mindhunter in a new pictorial format is, oh, the precise opposite formula for democratic consideration. (And the possibility he’ll be directing an Orson Welles stand-in with the usual clinical severity, Jesus!) But who cares. As promising as any A-level film currently in development? I’d dare say so.
Fincher’s next work can be seen on season 2 of Mindhunter, which he revealed drops on Netflix on August 16 when talking to Elvis Mitchell. Listen to their conversation below.