David Fincher has been one of the most acclaimed directors in Hollywood for the past two decades, directing seven films between 1992 and 2014, including Seven,Fight Club, The Game, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and The Social Network.
However, Fincher hasn’t made a new movie since Gone Girl in 2014, concentrating in the years since on the Netflix shows Mindhunter and Love, Death and Robots, as well as a few different projects that didn’t pan out, like a sequel to World War Z and Utopia (a scrapped HBO series that has since moved over to Amazon without Fincher’s involvement).
But now, Fincher is finally coming back to movies, with the announcement this week that he’s directing Mank, a biopic of Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, for Netflix. Per Variety, the film is based on a screenplay by the director’s late father, Howard “Jack” Fincher. It will be shot in black and white and start production in November.
It’s another project that Fincher is undertaking with Netflix; the director was an executive producer of House of Cards, the streaming service’s first big prestige TV series. It’s unclear what distribution scheme the film will use, or when we may see it.
Gary Oldman will play Mankiewicz in the film, which will deal with the development of the Citizen Kane script, and his relationship with director Orson Welles. There’s no word on who’s playing Welles.
Fincher, according to Deadline, has long wanted to make Mank, and nearly made it his first movie after The Game in 1997, but the project fell apart over the director’s insisting that it be shot in black and white. Kevin Spacey, the since-disgraced actor who was in Seven and House of Cards for Fincher, was at one point set to star.
There was another film about the making of Citizen Kane, RKO 281, which was a touted unproduced script for years until it was made into an HBO movie in 1999. John Malkovich played Mankiewicz, opposite Liev Schreiber as Welles, and James Cromwell as William Randolph Hearst.
Aaron Sorkin, who wrote The Social Network and won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for his work on it, said earlier this year that he’s interested in making a sequel to that film, concentrating on the numerous events involving Facebook since the events of the first film. Scott Rudin, the film’s producer, has also expressed interest, although it’s unclear if Fincher would like to be involved.