Netflix has released the first trailer for Mank, the long-awaited new movie from director David Fincher – he of The Social Network, Fight Club and Zodiac fame.
Starring Gary Oldman, the film is about screenwriter Herman J Mankiewicz and the intense process of writing the screenplay for classic film Citizen Kane. It's Fincher's first film since Gone Girl in 2014, though he has been working on Netflix's excellent Mindhunter in the meantime.
As well as Oldman, the film features Charles Dance, Amanda Seyfried and Lily Collins, among others. It examines Hollywood during its so-called Golden Age – or re-evaluates it, as Netflix puts it, while its protagonist deals with alcoholism and other stresses.
If you listen to the excellent Old Hollywood-themed podcast You Must Remember This, you may have slightly more context on some of the figures who pop up in the film's 1930s setting – including Citizen Kane director Orson Welles, with whom 'Mank' has a contentious relationship.
Here's the trailer:
Mank releases on December 4.
Bold filmmaking techniques
To achieve the look of a movie from the period in which it's set, Fincher and his crew have reportedly recorded the sound for Mank in mono, while the digital black-and-white image has been degraded in post-production.
The film is based on a screenplay by Fincher's father. While the subject matter of focusing on the making of a classic film is undeniably niche, giving this the air of a Netflix-enabled passion project, Fincher has an outstanding track record.
He doesn't make bad films, and has a reputation for perfectionism – this is well worth getting excited about, even if the subject isn't as immediately accessible as, say, Facebook or serial killers.