For the better part of a century now, film critics and scholars have generally hailed Orson Welles’ 1941 directorial debut film Citizen Kane as “the greatest film of all time.” While I personally prefer several of Welles’ later works to Citizen Kane, much less films as a whole, the impact and lasting power of the iconic mystery drama speaks for its merits and influence on cinema as an art form. So there is a sense of inevitability with the news that a critically acclaimed filmmaker is now making a biographical film on the life of Citizen Kane‘s screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz.
It is being reported that The Social Network director David Fincher and Academy Award winning actor Gary Oldman are teaming up for a biopic on Mankiewicz’s life titled Mank. The film, which will be Fincher’s first since Gone Girl in 2014, is based on a script written by the filmmaker’s late father, Jack Fincher, prior to his passing in 2003. Much like Fincher’s recent television series endeavors House of Cards and Mindhunter, Mank is set to be released on the Netflix streaming service.
Most exciting though is the news that Fincher plans to shoot Mank in black and white, with production set to begin later this fall. By shooting in black and white, Fincher will be channeling the visual style of the classic Hollywood films of Mankiewicz’s era.
While there’s a part of me that wishes Fincher was making another thriller or perhaps a horror film, it’s hard not to get excited over this. Between Fincher returning to the world of feature films, Oldman’s casting in the titular role and the decision to shoot in black and white, Mank seems primed to be yet another standout work in the filmography of one of today’s most successful filmmakers.
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SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter