Much has been said already about Netflix‘s theatrical releases. Some feel like events you know about (“The Irishman,” “Marriage Story“), others under-the-radar things will little-publicized dates (the recent “The Trial Of The Chicago 7“). Obviously, the ongoing pandemic affecting theatrical release plans is an issue, but this year, the streaming giant is seemingly going in a little harder with the release of their next awards player. To wit, David Fincher‘s 11th film, “Mank,” is scheduled to hit Netflix on December 4, but it will hit theaters nearly a month earlier, on November 13 as revealed in a new Vulture profile of Fincher (though arguably not publicized in a major way anywhere yet).
Of course, Netflix is no stranger to releasing their biggest films in theaters, “The Irishman” received a limited theatrical release four weeks before the film dropped on Netflix, so perhaps this is a sign that “Mank” will be Netflix’s biggest awards push of the season (and maybe it’ll work again, “The Irishman” earned 10 Oscar nominations). This is good news for those wanting to experience Fincher’s latest film on the big screen, as “Mank” is gearing up to be a big passion project for Fincher.
In the aforementioned Vulture interview, Fincher reveals that he’s been trying to make this movie made for over two decades. “We tried to get the movie made in 1997, or ’98, we gave up on it right around ‘Panic Room,'” Fincher said. “There are people in this movie who weren’t born when the script was written. Two years is enough pre-visualization. Twenty years is too much. I have nine drafts on my shelf. I’m cleaning off that shelf. It’s time to take a deep breath.”
The film’s script is written by Fincher’s late father, Jack Fincher, who passed away in 2003. “By 2001, we had kind of agreed to disagree. It went on the shelf and then he got sick,” Fincher added. The last year and a half of his life was going to chemotherapy and talking about it, but it was understood at that moment that he wasn’t going to live to see it. We made our peace with it.” According to Fincher, it was only after “Mindhunter” had finished, which is simply a disgrace, that he went back to his passion project. “I went back and read it and I thought, ‘Wow, this has been sitting here this whole time, and it’s so much more urgent.'”