It’s been six long years since David Fincher — the master filmmaker behind Zodiac, Se7en, and The Social Network, a genius who could take even the pulpiest airport novel and transform its contents into the stuff of capital-H capital-A High Art — released a standalone motion picture. He was one of the first directors to see the potential streaming had, as, indeed, he helped to inaugurate Netflix’s streaming platform with House of Cards in 2013, the site’s first big-budget series meant entirely for consumption on the platform itself.
Since then, he’s directed the brilliant Mindhunter and produced the bizarre Love, Death & Robots, but most wondered when or if he would return to feature-length films. Well, on Thursday, Netflix unveiled your first look at Fincher’s next film project, Mank, about Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (played by Gary Oldman, natch) in the form of a brief and retro-styled teaser. This is a work near and dear to Fincher’s heart — his father, who passed away in 2003, penned the screenplay — and we’re excited to see it finally come to the screen.
Here’s a concise synopsis for your reading pleasure:
“1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of Citizen Kane for Orson Welles.”
Mank will hit select theaters in November and will arrive on Netflix on December 4. Is it possible that the entire slate of Best Picture nominees next year will be Netflix productions? Even wilder, could this be a year in which two posthumous Oscars — one for Jack Fincher, and one, of course, for Chadwick Boseman (it still feels so weird to write those words in that context), whose last role is in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which the streamer has pegged to release two or so weeks after Mank hits — are awarded. Honestly, we wouldn’t be too shocked.