Marking his first feature film since 2014’s Gone Girl, David Fincher will finally return this year with the highly-anticipated Mank. A black-and-white biopic of Citizen Kane scribe Herman J. Mankiewicz scripted by the director’s late father, Jack Fincher, and led by Gary Oldman, the Netflix production is reportedly skipping out on fall festivals, but when will it arrive? Today finally brings an update from seasoned screenwriter Eric Roth, who produced the film.
In an appearance on Pardon My Take (and a hat tip to Joe Frady for spotting), Roth reveals the film is set for an October release on Netflix. “It’s an incredible piece,” he says. “He did a black-and-white ’30s movie. It looks like a ’30s movie and feels like one.” He also joked, “Six people will go see it, but it’s pretty amazing.” Later in the chat, he also revealed a Truffaut-style biopic on The Doors manager Danny Sugerman was once in the works that he was set to script, with Fincher producing, and none other than Fred Durst directing, but it never moved forward.
Speaking of the October release for Mank, one may recall a year ago last June when The Irishman producer Irwin Winkler revealed Martin Scorsese’s mob drama would be getting a Thanksgiving release. Netflix then denied it… only to have it come to fruition, so we’ll wait and see how this shakes out.
Filling out the Mank ensemble, Tom Burke plays Orson Welles, Amanda Seyfried plays star Marion Davies, Lily Collins plays Rita Alexander, Mankiewicz’s secretary, and Tom Pelphrey takes the role of Mankiewicz’s brother. Also in the cast is Arliss Howard, Ferdinand Kingsley, Jamie McShane, Joseph Cross, Sam Troughton, Toby Leonard Moore, and Tuppence Middleton. Reteaming after Mindhunter, cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt shot the film and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross will once again team with Fincher for the score.
Mankiewicz’s story is classic Hollywood fare inside and out: working on Citizen Kane, 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.
Listen to Roth’s interview below.