In an interview with the New York Times, Fincher noted that the production of Mank has been “as labor intensive, on a pixel-by-pixel basis, as any Marvel movie“. This comes after the article mentions the director’s usage of a shot stabilization technique used on each shot in the film, allowing him to painstakingly edit out any and all imperfections with more digital information to work with than usual, even “on material as seemingly inconsequential as a character setting a drink on a table.” Fincher has been known to use this on each feature of his since The Social Network in 2010, and is akin to techniques used on big-budget superhero films.
Earlier this month, the director made his dislike for the superhero genre well known when he seemingly dismissed the genre’s season as “spandex summer“, in an interview in which he also said the same of ‘Oscar-bait’ films. While his directorial debut was the third installment in the popular Alien franchise, Fincher has since disowned Alien 3 due to the many problems he faced during the film’s production. Since then, he has gone on to helm 10 feature films including this year’s Mank, and picked up 7 Academy Awards along the way. With a considerably smaller budget than that of the average MCU feature, Mank has been a long time in the making.
Originally written by the director’s father, Jack Fincher, in the 1990’s, the film sadly never made it to the big screen before his death in 2003. This indicates that this film is somewhat of a person project for Fincher, and the fact that he has likened the production to that of a superhero film shows that he may now be eating his words. Though his track record and auteurist style are rather far from that of the superhero genre, with the director recognizing the hard work that goes into the latter style of film, and comparing it to his own, it shows that he may now hold the two at the same level of appreciation. After all, with no Marvel releases in 2020, Mank may just take an MCU film’s place as one of the most anticipated films of the year.
Considering the strange year for cinema 2020 has already proven to be, in a strange way, it makes sense that a new film by David Fincher, a director known for dark, psychological thrillers, is now not too different from the films of the MCU, a studio that is always pushing itself. With a similar work ethic and Mank being a majorly anticipated film, Fincher seems to be slowly realizing that he’s not as far away, nor less relevant, to superhero films after all.
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Source: New York Times