David Fincher To Direct Gary Oldman In Herman Mankiewicz Biopic
(extreme Barenaked Ladies voice) It's been 5 years since David Fincher released Gone Girl, and while he hasn't directed another movie since, at least we've had a season of Mindhunter to keep us company. In the meantime, Fincher has come very close to directing a World War Z sequel and gone to work on the second season of Mindhunter (coming this August to a Netflix near you). Still, we thirst for a new David Fincher movie. Friends, the long drought has come to an end, as Fincher – in his infinite wisdom – is blessing us with a new motion picture. Deadline brings the most righteous word of Fincher's latest endeavor, a long-developing Herman Mankiewicz biopic titled Mank (which sounds like a Tim and Eric riff on Monk, but Fincher's gotta Finch), starring Gary Oldman as the journalist and critic-turned-screenwriter in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Mankiewicz is credited with writing over 90 screenplays (to say nothing of his uncredited work on films like The Wizard of Oz), but he's perhaps best known for his involvement with Citizen Kane. "Mank" and Orson Welles co-wrote the script and the two shared the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, but the relationship had become contentious by then as Welles tried to claim sole screenwriting credit.
Fincher originally planned for Mank to be his follow-up to The Game, but his commitment to shooting in black and white made it difficult to get the film made. Mank is based on a screenplay by Fincher's late father, Howard Fincher, the former Life magazine bureau chief; as such, it's been something of a passion project for Fincher, who (unsurprisingly) refused to back down on his decision to shoot the film in black and white. Enter Netflix, which has plenty of cash, an existing relationship with Fincher (who also produces Love, Death & Robots), a thirst for Oscar gold, and no qualms about making black and white films (see: Roma). And honestly, Mank checks off several boxes for Oscar voters: It's a period film about the film industry, set in the Golden Age; it's a biopic starring Gary Oldman; and it's black and white.