The Killer’s 'fascinating' Michael Fassbender fight scene unpacked
Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt speaks exclusively to RadioTimes.com about the standout sequence from the new film.
David Fincher's new film The Killer has now landed on Netflix, two weeks after it debuted in cinemas for a limited theatrical run.
The neo-noir thriller stars Michael Fassbender as a cold-blooded assassin who methodically goes about a brutal revenge mission after his girlfriend is attacked when he messes up a job.
It's an entertaining film throughout, but for most viewers, it's likely that one scene in particular will live long in the memory – a brutal and extensive fight between the killer and a fellow assassin known as The Brute (Sala Baker).
Ahead of the release, cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt – who has previously collaborated with Fincher on Mank and the TV show Mindhunter – spoke exclusively to RadioTimes.com about shooting the "fascinating" scene, and how it differed from how fights are usually filmed.
"Oftentimes, in fight scenes, we deliberately disorient the audience because it makes it more exciting," he explained. "Or it can give you the impression that it's more exciting or that the hits are harder than they really are.
"And David said,' I don't want to do that here, because I want to make sure that the audience is along for the ride with us.'"
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He revealed that the intention was for viewers to learn about the geographical layout of the house at the same time as the killer, following him as he's going through his process.
"So, when he discovers that he's back where they started and that's where the gun is, they will have come to the same conclusion, even if it's subconscious," he continued.
"And so we took that idea, and were very focused on the screen direction and the kind of geographical orientation of the camera and the actors in the space as it pertains to the cutting pattern.
"[It] is sort of antithetical to the way that fight scenes are usually shot, but I think ultimately works."
He concluded: "I think when people watch it again and again, they'll start to see what I'm saying – but that fascinated me."
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