It was only last year that television viewers got a great look at the potential of theatrical quality, direct-to-Netflix films, via the superb, Academy Award-winning, black and white drama Roma (reviewed here).  Will the next black and white movie produced by the Netflix studios fare similarly?  Mank stars genre actor Gary Oldman as Herman Mankiewicz (if you don’t know “Mank’s” large body of work, you at least likely know of him through his grandson Ben Mankiewicz, host of Turner Classic Movies).  Herman’s fame came from writing scripts for film classics, including The Pride of the Yankees (and he was a contributing writer to The Wizard of Oz), and the off again on again critic’s pick for the best film of all time, Citizen Kane.

Directed by David Fincher (Zodiac, Gone Girl, The Social Network, Alien3) and written by his father Jack Fincher, Mank is a retro look at Mankiewicz’s purportedly tumultuous preparation of the script for Citizen Kane.  Hopefully this won’t land like Gary Oldman’s clunker Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Expect several familiar names from the Golden Age of Hollywood in Mank, Amanda Seyfried (Veronica Mars, Ted 2) plays actress Marion Davies (Show People, Cane and Mabel), Sam Troughton (Alien vs Predator, Hex) as Citizen Kane and Jane Eyre co-writer (later actor) John Houseman (The Paper Chase, The Fog), Tuppence Middleton (The Current War, Bones) plays Herman’s wife Sara, Tom Burke (The Hour, State of Play) plays Orson Welles (Citizen Kane, The Muppet Movie, Magnum, p.i.), Charles Dance (Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Bleak House, Gosford Park) as newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, Natalie Denise Sperl (Bardo Blues) as actress Greta Garbo, Joseph Cross (Lincoln, Milk) as writer-director Charles Lederer, Toby Leonard Moore (White Collar, John Wick) as David O. Selznick, and Arliss Howard (Moneyball, The Lost World: Jurassic Park) as studio exec Louis B. Mayer.  And lots more.

Here is the official poster for the movie:

Here’s the trailer for Netflix’s Mank:

Mank will arrive on Netflix December 4, 2020.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg