William Doyle, filmmaker David Fincher’s longtime location manager, has confirmed that Fincher is roughly halfway through filming his new feature “Mank”.
Fincher’s first new feature directorial effort since “Gone Girl” five years ago, the Netflix film is based on a script by the director’s late father Jack Fincher and tells the true story of Herman J. Mankiewicz as he sets out to write the script for Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” in the 1940s.
The production spent most of December filming at Kemper Campbell Ranch in Victorville, California, a location has direct ties to the film’s storyline. Doyle tells The Daily Press (via Indiewire): “The place hasn’t changed. You get over that hill into that ranch, and you’re in this tiny time capsule. Here you are where Herman Mankiewicz really sat, and stood and wrote this story.”
Gary Oldman stars as Mankiewicz in the film and Doyle says the film isn’t a straightforward biopic about the legendary Oscar-winning writer who was also a notorious alcoholic and in pain from a leg injury due to a car crash. Mankiewicz spent two months at the ranch and wrote hundreds of draft pages for Welles to edit (Tom Burke will play Welles in the film).
Fincher regulars Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross will return to compose the score and recently indicated they plan to ditch any synthesizers and will use only period-authentic instruments. Netflix has not announced a release date for “Mank” but the hope is it will be ready in time for a Fall 2020 debut.