Gary Oldman is a smooth-talking screenwriter who really needs to get to writing in the trailer for David Fincher’s upcoming Netflix film, “Mank.”
Set in 1930s Hollywood, Fincher’s film explores the legendary controversy over who deserves the credit for the Oscar-winning screenplay for “Citizen Kane”: was it director and star Orson Welles, or his satirist writing partner, Herman J. Mankiewicz?
In the black-and-white “Mank,” Oldman plays Mank himself and you can get a tasted of how tortured the charming, critical, alcoholic screenwriter is while he tries to complete the first draft of the “Kane” script.
Along the way, Mankiewicz and Welles (played by Tom Burke) butt heads over nearly every element of the film’s story. That feud that would continue beyond the film’s release as Mankiewicz believed Welles was trying to take credit for his work and spent the rest of his life resenting him for it.
“Mank” also follows the writer’s interaction with other key figures in “Kane” history, including the primary inspiration behind the film’s main character, William Randolph Hearst, played by “Game of Thrones” alum Charles Dance. Other cast members include Arliss Howard as studio head Louis B. Mayer, Amanda Seyfried as Hearst’s mistress Marion Davies, and Lily Collins as Mankiewicz’s secretary, Rita Alexander.
The biopic is more than 20 years in the making, as David Fincher’s father, Howard “Jack” Fincher, wrote the screenplay back in the late 1990s. He passed away in 2003. The film marks Fincher’s return to feature filmmaking for the first time since his 2014 Oscar-nominated film “Gone Girl,” having spent the last six years working on Netflix series like “House of Cards” and “Mindhunter.”
“Mank” will be released in select theaters in November and launch Dec. 4 on Netflix.