David Fincher is taking advantage of the friends he’s made at Netflix (via “House of Cards” and “Mindhunter”) to make a long-gestating dream project.
Fincher is teaming up with star Gary Oldman for a biopic about Herman Mankiewicz, the journalist-turned-co-screenwriter of “Citizen Kane.”
Netflix has given the greenlight to “Mank” (the writer’s nickname), which will be shot in black and white for a classic Old Hollywood look.
The project has been in the works for 20 years. Fincher initially wanted to tackle it after making his 1997 feature “The Game.” The director’s late father, the journalist Jack Fincher, wrote the script.
Mankiewicz was a reporter and a critic in the 1920s, as well as a member of the fame literary club the Algonquin Round Table. Paramount recruited him to Hollywood to write scripts, and he worked on films including “The Wizard of Oz,” “Pride of the Yankees,” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”
Then, he became embroiled in an infamous feud with Orson Welles over “Citizen Kane.” Mankiewicz accused Welles of trying to claim sole credit for the script.
When “Citizen Kane” won the Oscar for best original screenplay, Mankiewicz’s supporters chanted, “Mank, Mank, Mank.” Both men received a trophy, though neither attended the ceremony.
This will be Fincher’s first feature film since 2014’s “Gone Girl.” He directed four episodes of Netflix’s serial killer thriller “Mindhunter.” There were plans for the director to make a follow-up to “World War Z,” but that project was killed over budget issues.
Oldman won an Oscar for portraying Winston Churchill in 2017’s “The Darkest Hour.” He can next be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Laundromat” opposite Meryl Streep.
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