Mank First Look Photos

Director David Fincher is back with his first feature film since Gone Girl in 2016. The film is called Mank, and Netflix will be releasing it this fall, hoping to get some awards season glory with a story about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he worked on the screenplay for the influential Hollywood classic Citizen Kane, directed by Orson Welles.

In honor of the 79th anniversary of the wide release of Citizen Kane, Netflix released a batch of Mank first look photos, revealing Gary Oldman as Mankiewicz, as well as Amanda Seyfried, Charles Dance, and Lily Collins, all in glorious black and white photography.

Mank First Look Photos

Mank First Look Photos

Netflix’s official logline for Mank reads, “1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of ‘Citizen Kane’ for Orson Welles.” Above you can see Gary Oldman as the writer himself, appearing on a film set with Amanda Seyfried in the background as actress Marion Davies.

Mank First Look Photos

Here’s a much better look at Amanda Seyfried as the woman who was not only an actress during Hollywood’s golden age, but also the mistress of William Randolph Hearst, the media mogul on which Citizen Kane is based. Davies’ reputation was famously ruined by the movie after the film implied, through a character named Susan Alexander, that her career was bolstered by positive critical reviews bought and paid for by Hearst in his own newspapers.

Mank First Look Photos

Speaking of William Randolph Hearst, here’s Charles Dance playing the businessman himself, seemingly on the same movie set where Gary Oldman is seen above. However, it should be noted that this isn’t the set of Citizen Kane, because Hearst was not consulted or involved in the making of the movie. In fact, due to the movie’s rather harsh portrayal of his life and relationships, Hearst ensured that his newspapers never mentioned the movie anywhere and even went out of their way to discredit Orson Welles whenever possible.

Mank First Look Photos

Mankiewicz was known for being a heavy drinker, but while working on the Citizen Kane script at Kemper Campbell Ranch in Victorville, California, he was forced to stay sober for two months due to the ranch’s policy that banned alcohol on the premises. The movie was originally called American, and the first draft came in at 300 pages, but it obviously got a new title and was cut down to 156 pages after some collaboration with Orson Welles.

Mank First Look Photos

Famously, there was a nasty battle over who truly wrote what is considered to be one of the greatest screenplays ever written. Mankiewicz had to fight for screenplay credit, which was given to him by RKO, but Welles maintained that he only used pieces of what the writer gave to him and chose to use more of his own script that he wrote in addition to the one provided. Surely this controversy will be one of the linchpins at the center of this drama.

Mank First Look Photos

Mank also stars Lily Collins as Mank’s secretary Rita Alexander, Tom Burke as Orson Welles, Tom Pelphrey as Mankiewicz’s brother Joseph, Tuppence Middelton as Mankiewicz’s wife Sara, Arliss Howard as MGM studio co-founder Louis B. Mayer, Sam Troughton as John Houseman, Ferdinand Kinsley as Ivring Thalberg, Joseph Cross as Charles Lederer, Jamie McShane as Shelly Metcalf, Toby Leonard Moore as David O. Selznick, and Monika Grossman as Fraulein Freda.

Mank doesn’t have an official release date yet, but it’s expected to arrive sometime in October on Netflix, which will likely release the movie in a limited number of theaters as well.

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