The director of Gone Girl and The Social Network, David Fincher, has turned his attention to the movie classic Citizen Kane in his new film for Netflix, Mank, which is packed with British stars, including Gary Oldman, Tom Burke, Charles Dance, Tuppence Middleton and Lily Collins.
Mank is the story of the hell-raising alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, who wrote Citizen Kane, a scathing satirical depiction of 1930s America whose central character, Charles Foster Kane, was partly based on the newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst (played by Dance), the Rupert Murdoch of his day.
Citizen Kane was directed by then 26-year-old Welles (played by Strike star Burke), who created a new template for Hollywood directors by retaining complete control over the edit of the movie.
In the trailer, Mank is warned: “You pick a fight with Willie you are finished.”
When Welles asks if Mank is “ready and willing to hunt the great white whale,” he responds, “Just call me Ahab.”
The trailer suggests Mank is a scathing insight into the Golden Years of Hollywood as much as anything else.
In one scene legendary studio boss Louis B Mayer (Arliss Howard) declares: “This is a business where the buyer gets nothing for his money but a memory. What he bought still belongs to the man who sold it. That’s the magic of the movies.”
Mank co-stars Emily in Paris lead Lily Collins as Rita Alexander, Mamma Mia! star Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davies, Dickensian actress Tuppence Middleton as Sara Mankiewicz and Chernobyl‘s Sam Troughton as John Houseman..
According to Deadline, Mank is a passion project for Fincher: the script was written by his late father Jack Fincher.
Mank will have a limited cinema release in late November before it is streamed on Netflix on 4th December.