It was announced several months ago that Gary Oldman would star in David Fincher‘s next film Mank, and now the gifted director has assembled the rest of the cast, as Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, The Souvenir sensation Tom Burke and Game of Thrones star Charles Dance have joined the ensemble along with Arliss Howard, Joseph Cross, Ferdinand Kingsley, Jamie McShane, Sam Troughton, Toby Leonard Moore, Tom Pelphrey and Tuppence Middleton.
Netflix is backing the black-and-white film, which finds Oscar winner Gary Oldman playing Citizen Kane co-writer Herman J. Mankiewicz. The story will follow Mankiewicz’s tumultuous development of the script for Citizen Kane alongside temperamental director Orson Welles, who will be played by Burke. Meanwhile, Seyfried will play actress Marion Davies, while Collins and Pelphrey will play Mank’s secretary and brother, respectively.
Today, Citizen Kane is considered one of the greatest films ever made, but back then, it only won a single Oscar — for the film’s original screenplay. Speaking of screenplays, this one was written by Fincher’s late father, Jack Fincher, who penned the script prior to his death in 2003. The project is clearly a labor of love for Fincher, who will produce Mank alongside Cean Chaffin, Douglas Urbanski and Eric Roth. With Fincher at the helm and Oldman as the lead, Mank will likely turn out to be one of Netflix’s awards contenders next year, though I know the director will probably resent me for invoking awards at this early stage.
Burke’s casting is particularly interesting, given the buzz he earned from The Souvenir, and I’m a personal fan of Mindhunter actor Cross as well as Howard, who I’m shocked hasn’t worked with Fincher before, but Seyfried is the one whose casting most intrigues me. I know she got her start in soap operas before breaking out in Mean Girls and later, Veronica Mars, but it was her work in HBO’s Big Love that made me a fan. I happen to think she’s a much better actress than she gets credit for, likely because she’s often stuck in some rough movies. I’m talking Pan, The Clapper, Ted 2, Gone, Anon, Love the Coopers, Fathers & Daughters, Gringo, The Last Word, The Big Wedding, A Million Ways to Die in the West, In Time, Letters to Juliet, Dear John, etc. These aren’t even my opinions — all of those movies are scored “rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes. And yet… and yet, every now and then, Seyfried gets a chance to play a three-dimensional character, and when she gets that opportunity, as with Paul Schrader‘s First Reformed or Noah Baumbach‘s While We’re Young, she usually acquits herself pretty well. Now, I don’t know what this mystery role offers Seyfried on the page, but sources say it’s the female lead, and she usually delivers when she’s working with a top-tier director. With Fincher, she is in two of the very best hands that Hollywood has to offer, and I have no doubt that working alongside Oldman will raise her game. She’s represented by Innovative Artists, who are surely celebrating this gig with her.
Seyfried will soon be heard as the voice of Daphne in WB’s animated Scoob, and she next stars opposite Kevin Bacon in David Koepp‘s supernatural thriller You Should Have Left. For more on that Blumhouse project, click here.