BREAKING: After making the groundbreaking series House of Cards and Mindhunter at Netflix, David Fincher will direct his first feature film for the streaming service. He’ll helm Mank, a long gestating dream project for the filmmaker about the man who shared the Best Original screenplay for Citizen Kane with Orson Welles. Gary Oldman is going to star as screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz in a drama that was scripted by Fincher’s late father, Howard Fincher.
The film is coming together for a November shoot in Los Angeles, and Fincher will shoot in black and white. Ceán Chaffin will produce the picture with Douglas J. Urbanski, Oldman’s partner who was Oscar nominated for producing Darkest Hour, the film that won Oldman the Best Actor Oscar.
Mank was once going to be Fincher’s follow his 1997 film The Game, and at one time it was going to star his future House of Cards star leading man Kevin Spacey as the storied screenwriter. It fell apart because of the filmmaker’s insistence that he shoot in black and white, as Citizen Kane was shot. Fincher was particularly passionate about the script written by his own father, the former Life Magazine bureau chief who died in 2003.
Mankiewicz was one of the best known and best paid screenwriters in the early years of Hollywood and he clashed loudly with Orson Welles over the credit on the seminal drama Citizen Kane, and it took a great toll on him. A former Berlin correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and the drama critic for The New York Times and The New Yorker, Mankiewicz wrote for the some of the most prominent movies of his period, and both he and Welles shared the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Citizen Kane in 1941. Other films he worked on during his career included The Wizard of Oz, Man of the World, Dinner at Eight, Pride of the Yankees and The Pride of St. Louis. While he was known for a satirical sense of humor he lent to his scripts, this story isn’t a happy one.
Oldman just starred for Netflix in the Steven Soderbergh-directed The Laundromat, the drama about the massive data leak known as the Panama Papers, alongside a cast that includes Meryl Streep and Antonio Banderas.
Fincher also exec produced the animated short story collection Love, Death & Robots for Netflix,