First Trailer for “Mank” Reveals David Fincher’s First Feature in 6 Years

The first trailer for David Fincher’s Mankhis first feature film since 2014’s Gone Girl—looks ravishing. Fincher’s film is based on a script from his father, Jack Fincher, about the screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman), a talented but tortured soul battling alcoholism, a gambling addiction, and the pressure of trying to script what will become one of the most groundbreaking films ever made. That film is Orson Welles’ 1941 masterpiece Citizen Kane. The making of that film is the stuff of legend, and now that legend has a phenomenal director, cast, and crew to dramatize it.

The talent Fincher has assembled to turn that script into a feature film is, unsurprisingly, immense. Behind the camera, Fincher’s Mindhunter DP Erik Messerschmidt, his longtime production designer Donald Graham Burt, and his trusty composing duo of Trent Reznor and Atticus Finch are just a few of his collaborators. On-screen, Oldman is joined by a cast that includes Tom Burke as Orson Welles, Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies, and Charles Dance as William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate who inspired the titular character of Charles Foster Kane. Hearst was one of the most powerful, formidable figures of his day, and the making of Citizen Kane so infuriated him that, upon its release, he forbid any of his newspaper from mentioning the film’s existence. 

The trailer shows off how Fincher and his collaborators have created a look that mimics Welles’s legendary film, a lush black and white heavy with shadow. This is period noir, and it’s hard to imagine another director more perfectly suited to it. With a central character that’s in the throes of alcoholism, battling with not only a tempestuous upstart director but also a ruthless titan of industry in Hearst, Mank looks and feels almost like an adaptation of a Raymond Chandler novel. In real life, Mankiewicz knew Hearst socially—that relationship was over once Citizen Kane was released. One of the things Hearst was most furious about was the character of Susan Alexander Kane, who was based on Marion Davies (Hearst’s mistress).

There’s a lot to savor here. Mank is due to be released in select theaters sometime in November and will be released on Netflix on December 4. Check out the trailer below:

Here’s the official synopsis from Netflix:

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.

Featured image: Featured image: Amanda Seyfried is Marion Davies in Mank. Courtesy Netflix.


Bryan Abrams

Bryan Abrams is the Editor-in-chief of The Credits. He's run the site since its launch in 2012. He lives in New York.