After 20 years of trying, David Fincher is finally making his biopic about the guy who co-wrote Citizen Kane  07/11/2019 01:42:00   William Hughes
Herman J. Mankiewicz
Herman J. Mankiewicz
Photo: John Springer Collection/CORBIS (Getty Images)

David Finchers career over the last few years has been one of largely unrealized potential, something that comes as something of a shock considering hes still one of the most respected names in Hollywood. But Fincher hasnt made a movie since 2014's well-regarded Gillian Flynn adaptation Gone Girl, and his filmography since then has broken down between TV (notably, the serial killer series Mindhunterfor Netflix) and aborted film projects. (Hey, remember that minute when it looked like he was going to direct a World War Z sequel, of all things?)

But while Finchers star appears to have fallen a bit in recent years, he hasfound enough oomph to get one of his dream projects off the ground at last: Mank, a biopic of Citizen Kane co-screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, that Finchers been trying to get made since shortly after he completed The Game way back in 1997. (Plans apparently broke down when he insisted the film be done in black and white, just like Kane itself.) The film is apparently something of a passion project for the director, not least of which because the screenplay was written by his father, former Life magazine editor Jack Fincher, who died in 2003.

Not that hes going it alone, here: Gary Oldman has already been attached to star in the film, playing Mankiewicz, a hard-drinking former newsman whose other (often un-credited) film credits include The Wizard Of Oz, Pride Of The Yankees, and The Pride Of St. Louis. Mankiewicz was well known for his love of the written word and the snappy comeback, both on and off the screen, and while he feuded briefly with Orson Welles over the writing credit for Kanepushing back at least in part against auteur marketing efforts that pitched the movie as the work of a singular talenthe was ultimately given the lead co-writing credit on the film.

Per Deadline, Finchers old pals at Netflix are footing the bill to see his monochromatic dream project come true at last.

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