David Fincher's new hitman flick The Killer might be coming to Netflix in just a couple of weeks – but the film's cinematographer has urged viewers to go and see it on the big screen.


The film is getting a brief theatrical run in select cinemas from Friday 27th October before its streaming release on 10th November, and Erik Messerschmidt has said that fans who wait to watch it at home will be missing out on the full experience.

Messerschmidt – who previously collaborated with Fincher on both the Oscar-winning Mank and the popular TV series Mindhunter – explained during an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com that he hadn't been quite so clear on this issue until relatively recently.

"This press trip, I've kind of changed my mind, actually, and it has nothing to do with the picture," he explained. "It's because I've spent time with Ren Klyce [sound designer] and learned more about what he does.

"I've seen the film now several times in the theatre, to the point where I'm now picking up on what's going on acoustically, and there's an experience you get with this film in the cinema that I don't believe is possible in the home theatre, in terms of appreciating the sound."

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He added that he would also encourage people to see the film in the cinema because "it's great on the big screen" and that the "wonderful thing about cinema is you get to experience it with other people".

And he continued: "But the geography of the space is told in sound in a way that I think is really unique in this movie, and something you really need to be in the cinema to experience."

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However, Messerschmidt also acknowledged that he had little control over how people actually chose to watch the film – so to reassure himself, he thinks of some of his own experiences watching classic films on the small screen for the first time.

"I think you approach it... you want to make it look great on the silver screen," he said. "But I can't control if people watch it on an iPad or an iPhone, you know.

"So I also remind myself all the time that I didn't see Star Wars projected until I was probably 17 years old. But I'd seen it 50 times on a VHS tape in my parents' basement, and it's one of the reasons I wanted to make movies.

Michael Fassbender standing moodily as The Killer in The Killer
Michael Fassbender in The Killer. Netflix

"So, you know, I try to think that it has... that the quality of the viewing experience should be secondary to the quality of the film as an enjoyment experience."

The Killer is based on a French graphic novel by Alexis 'Matz' Nolent and stars Michael Fassbender as the titular assassin as he embarks on a revenge mission after a job goes drastically wrong.

In our four-star review, we called it "a grisly but highly satisfying tale of survival in the elite world of contract killing".

The Killer will be released in select cinemas on 27th October 2023 and on Netflix on 3rd November 2023. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Check out more of our Film and Drama coverage, or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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