The Summer Movie Season may have been effectively cancelled this year, but if all goes according to plan, we will have a new David Fincher movie to devour this fall. After spending a few years basically showrunning the Netflix series Mindhunter and developing a World War Z sequel only to see Paramount balk at the budget at the last minute, David Fincher turned his attention to a passion project called Mank. Based on a screenplay by his own father Jack Fincher, the film tells the true story behind the making of Citizen Kane, chronicling the relationship between groundbreaking filmmaker/star Orson Welles and the film’s screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. Debates have swirled for years over whether Kane was Welles’ vision or Mankiewicz’s.
Oscar-winning Forrest Gump scribe Eric Roth, who wrote Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, said on the Pardon My Take podcast recently (via The Film Stage), that Mank is supposed to be released by Netflix in October.
This Mank release date has not been verified by the streamer, and indeed they usually like to keep their release dates under wraps until much closer to when the film will be unveiled. It’s also possible that Mank was supposed to be released in October but may have to be delayed. The film was able to complete principal photography, but post-production was underway when the COVID shutdown happened and it’s unclear if that’s been able to progress well enough to hit an October debut date.
But that month sounds right. Mank is undoubtedly an Oscar contender for Netflix, and since the streamer recently announced it will be skipping the fall film festival season where many awards contenders launch, releasing the movie in October gives it a bit of a longer lead on Oscar season as opposed to dropping it in November or December.
Roth also offered some tantalizing teases about the film’s aesthetics. We know it will be in black and white, with Fincher working with his Mindhunter cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, but Roth says the entire style of the film is that of a 1930s movie:
“It’s an incredible piece. He did a black-and-white 30s movie. It looks like a 30s movie and feels like one.”
The ensemble cast is led by Gary Oldman as the title character alongside Tom Burke as Orson Welles, Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies, Lily Collins as Rita Alexander, and Ozark breakout Tom Pelphrey as Mank’s brother.
So here’s hoping that October release date turns out to be true. The way 2020 is going, we’re really going to need a new Fincher movie to look forward to later this year.
For a full list of confirmed release dates for Netflix movies, click here.