Mank, Netflix’s latest biopic, is based on the life of Herman J. Mankiewicz: the co-writer of one of the most highly regarded films in Hollywood history, Citizen Kane. Filming came to an end in early 2020 and is expected to release on Netflix in October 2020. We’ve put together everything we know about Mank, including the plot, cast, and release date.
Mank is an upcoming Netflix Original biopic-drama based on the screenplay written by Jack Fincher, the late father of critically acclaimed director David Fincher. The film will be directed by David Fincher, with the writing credits going to his father Jack. Mindhunter was originally put on hold for Mank, but the series has since been put on hold indefinitely while Fincher is busy with Mank, Love, Death & Robots and other projects.
Here are a few TL;DR details you need to know about Mank before watching:
- Filmed entirely in black and white
- David Fincher is directing and it’s based on the screenplay written by his father before he passed.
- The story follows Herman J. Mankiewicz as he writes Citizen Kane
- Expected to hit Netflix in October 2020
- Erik Messerschmidt is listed as the director of photography who worked on Ant-Man and Gone Girl.
When is Mank coming to Netflix?
A release date is yet to be fully confirmed but in a couple of source locations, we’ve seen that Netflix is lining up the biopic for October 2020.
The first time we heard of an October release was back in June 2020 when IndieWire interviewed Eric Roth and mentioned that they’re “eyeing an October release”.
The second piece of evidence for an October 2020 release is a release schedule we’ve seen:
What is the plot of Mank?
The synopsis for Mank has been provided by Netflix:
Follows screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz’s tumultuous development of Orson Welles’ iconic masterpiece Citizen Kane.
Who is Herman J. Mankiewicz?
American screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz co-wrote the original screenplay of the highly regarded Citizen Kane. A highly influential figure in the industry, Herman Mankiewicz worked on the screenplays of dozens of films and was often asked to help fix the screenplays of other writers, going uncredited for his work.
Working on some of the biggest films at the time alongside Citizen Kane, Mankiewicz worked on The Pride of St. Louis, The Wizard of Oz, Pride of the Yankees and Dinner at Eight. He was credited to have worked on over 25 films between 1929 and 1935.
Despite not receiving a screenwriting credit for his work on The Wizard of Oz, he was wildly influential for the tone and story. Writing the ‘Kansas sequence’ it was Mankiewicz who had instructed the beginning of the film to be in black and white as to depict the stark contrast between bland lifeless Kansas to the rich, vibrant and energetic world of Oz.
The most controversial part of Mankiewicz’s career was centered around Citizen Kane. There was a huge dispute between himself and Orson Welles, his fellow co-author, regarding the screen credits. Mankiewicz claimed that Welles had offered him a bonus of ten thousand dollars if he would allow Welles to take full credit for the screenplay, eventually, the Screen Writers Guild decreed joint credit, placing Mankiewicz’s name first.
Who are the cast members of Mank?
Mank has an impressive cast lineup with the majority of the main cast having featured in previous Netflix projects. Gary Oldman for example featured in one of Netflix’s big movies for 2019, The Laundromat.
The main cast members have been confirmed to star in Mank:
- Amanda Seyfried (Les Misérables) will play the role of Marion Davies.
- Lily Collins (The Mortal Instruments) as Rita Alexander
- Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as Herman Mankiewicz
- Tom Pelphrey (Ozark, Iron Fist) as Joseph Mankiewicz
- Tuppence Middleton (Sense8) as Sara Mankiewicz
- Leven Rambin (The Hunger Games) as Eve
Other cast members that will feature include:
- Charles Dance (Gosford Park)
- Tom Burke as Orson Welles (Only God Forgives)
- Arliss Howard (The Lost World: Jurassic Park)
- Jamie McShane (Bloodline)
- Toby Leonard Moore (John Wick)
- Elvy (Mildred Pierce)
Production history for Netflix’s Mank
The movie was first announced back in July 2019 with only Gary Oldman initially connected to the project.
Filming then officially started in November 2019 before wrapping up in February 2020.
Filming locations used for Mank that have been listed by IMDb are:
- Los Angeles, Californa
- Victorville, California
DailyMail in January 2020 managed to pap Gary Oldman on the set of the drama.
We’ve also seen several other pictures from behind the scenes of Mank including the clapperboard.
We also learned from an interview with Amanda Seyfried that during one week of filming, they shot over 200 takes and that she considers it one of the hardest projects she has ever worked on.
What is the parental rating of Mank?
While the official parental rating is yet to be confirmed, we’d expect to see Mank listed as R. The reason for the R rating would be because of Mankiewicz’s history of alcoholism. David Fincher has a microscopic eye for detail so we’d expect to see what Mankiewicz’s addiction to alcohol as a heavy part of the story.
Will the film be available to stream in 4K?
Netflix requires that all of its new and latest Originals be available to stream in 4K, Mank included. The biopic-feature length film has gone above and beyond 4K, as it has been filmed with an 8K camera, RED Monstrochrome with Leica Summilu-C Lenses. At the time of writing, 8K isn’t available to stream on any platform, but perhaps in the future we’ll see Mank available to stream in 8K.
Are you looking forward to Mank? Let us know in the comments below!