"Isn't that the greatest movie ever made?" they'd ask, and just like that, anyone eavesdropping would know that it's a discussion of Citizen Kane.
Orson Welles' monumental 1941 masterpiece is often cited as cinema's most spectacular achievement, topping lists alongside the likes of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather regularly. It was a game-changer in every sense of the word and told the story of a publishing tycoon played by Welles himself; not that it was autobiographical, as it enraged a certain William Randolph Hearst for evoking his image, causing quite the feud.
It remains a fascinating piece of work and a bonafide classic, but despite Welles' later work offering some career highlights - The Lady From Shanghai, F For Fake, Touch of Evil etc. - he always lived in the shadow of Citizen Kane in the eyes of majority audiences.
The film is so often described as Welles' achievement that in most discussions you rarely hear the name of Herman J. Mankiewicz. However, we have a strong suspicion that this will soon change.
OrsonWelles of Citizen Kane with Orson Welles 1941
What is it about?
As reported by Variety, director David Fincher (Fight Club) is set to re-emerge after a brief directorial-feature absence since 2014's Gone Girl. He'll be directing a biopic exploring the screenwriter of Welles' Citizen Kane, the aforementioned Herman J. Mankiewicz. Interestingly, the film failed to win Best Picture, but it did win for its script!
It's called Mank and the source notes that it was based on a script written by Fincher's father who sadly passed away in 2003. As of yet, further narrative details are known, but it appears the film will centre around Mankiewicz and the development of the award-winning script.
Christian McKay portrayed Welles in Richard Linklater's 2008 film Me and Orson Welles, and it'll be interesting to see who tackles the role for Fincher. However, it's the titular casting which really has our attention...
There are no other casting details right now other than the great Gary Oldman being tipped to take the lead role.
The decorated actor won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his Winston Churchill performance in Joe Wright's acclaimed biopic Darkest Hour. He was also nominated for 2012's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy but lost out to Jean Dujardin for his role in The Artist.
Honestly, though, nobody really needs to discuss Oscar-wins when talking about the legendary screen career of Gary Oldman. Across his work, he's played Commissioner Gordon in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, Sex Pistols icon Sid Vicious in 1986's Sid and Nancy, Sirius Black in the Harry Potter franchise and has also appeared in the likes of Lawless, Léon: The Professional, JFK and so many more.
Let's hope the casting tip is true; at this point, any role is safe in Oldman's hands.
Gary Oldman onstage during the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
David Fincher's hot-streak
It's a story many are excited to see told, and with Oldman, it'll be something special. Yet, it's David Fincher's attachment which really has movie enthusiasts excited.
He's delivered such modern classics as Seven and Fight Club, but when you look at his more recent string of films, it's obvious that Fincher has been on a winning streak for some time.
It's been a big decade, with the filmmaker kicking things off in 2010 with The Social Network - arguably his best work. Then, he followed it up in 2011 with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, one of the rare examples of an expertly handled remake. Three years later though, he delivered audience sensation Gone Girl, which proved to be one of his most crowd-pleasing efforts yet.
Since then, it's been quiet on the feature front. Let's hope Mank is a triumphant return!
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