Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ Score for David Fincher’s ‘Mank’ May Use Only 1940s Instruments

     December 27, 2019

It’s no surprise that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have confirmed in a new interview that they’ll be handling the score for David Fincher’s new film Mank. But it is a bit of a surprise that they’ll be doing so by greatly limiting their available instruments for the process.

The musicians broke out as film composers with Fincher’s The Social Network, for which they won an Oscar for writing one of the most iconic film scores of all time. They subsequently collaborated with Fincher on his next two films, crafting an icy soundscape for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and an ironically sappy score for Gone Girl. They’ve been working on other projects in the meantime, but now that Fincher is finally making another movie, Reznor and Ross are back working with the filmmaker.


Image via Sony Pictures

Mank was written by Fincher’s late father Jack Fincher and chronicles the experience that screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (played in the film by Gary Oldman) had in crafting the screenplay for Orson Welles’ 1941 classic Citizen Kane—including his ensuing battles to receive credit. The period setting may seem like a challenge for Reznor and Ross, but in a new interview with Revolver, Reznor revealed that they’ll be using only period-appropriate instruments to create the score for the new film:

“We’re not gonna be using the modular synthesizer on that one,” Reznor revealed. “We think we’re gonna be period authentic, so it just creates a new set of challenges.”

Those who watched HBO’s Watchmen know that Reznor and Ross don’t only stick to electronic music, and indeed in that show’s jaw-dropping sixth episode, the action moved to the 1930s and Reznor and Ross created an era-appropriate score. And not for nothing, but that entire Watchmen score is incredible.

Mank is being made for Netflix and while a firm release date hasn’t been announced just yet, it’s possible the film could be released around this time next year. Whatever the case, Reznor’s comments here make Fincher’s new film that much more exciting.

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