Netflix has shared some images from director David Fincher‘s upcoming film Mank, which is a black-and-white biopic that focuses on Citizen Kane scribe Herman J. Mankiewicz. The movie was scripted by the director’s late father, Jack Fincher, and it stars Gary Oldman in the lead role.
Here are some details on Mankiewicz and this story that were previously shared:
Mankiewicz was a reporter and a critic in the 1920s as well as a member of New York City’s famed literary club, the Algonquin Round Table. By the late 1920s, however, he was recruited by Paramount to come to Hollywood and work in the movie business that was transitioning to talkies. He even talked fellow journalists into joining the screenwriting ranks, famously writing to Ben Hecht, “Millions are to be grabbed out here and your only competition is idiots.”
Mankiewicz worked on numerous now-classic films such as Wizard of Oz, Pride of the Yankees and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes but it was Kane that caused controversy that dogged him until his death. Both Mankiewicz and Welles worked on the script but Mankiewicz accused the filmmaker of trying to push him out of the limelight, even saying Welles offered to pay him off in exchange for sole credit.
Mankiewicz’s supporters (which were many, as the prickly Welles alienated as much as he attracted) cheered and chanted “Mank, Mank, Mank” when Kane won the Oscar for best original screenplay, with both receiving the trophy (even as neither of them attended the ceremony).
Fincher shot the film on location at Kemper Campbell Ranch in Victorville, California, where Mankiewicz spent more than two months working on the first draft of the script for Citizen Kane, which was originally titled American. That script is considered by many to be one of the greatest ever written. Mankiewicz, who notorious in Hollywood for his heavy drinking, stayed clean while writing the script due to the ranch’s strict no-alcohol policy.
The cast for the film also includes Tom Burke as Orson Welles, Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies, Lily Collins as Rita Alexander, Mankiewicz’s secretary, and Tom Pelphrey takes the role of Mankiewicz’s brother. There’s also Arliss Howard, Ferdinand Kingsley, Jamie McShane, Joseph Cross, Sam Troughton, Toby Leonard Moore, and Tuppence Middleton.
Fincher also re-teamed with Mindhunter cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are set to score the film.
The film will be released on Netflix in October.