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Gary Oldman won an Oscar last year for playing Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. Now he’s signed up to star in another prestigious-sounding biopic, about the life of legendary Hollywood screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz.

David Fincher is directing the movie about Mankiewicz, who co-wrote the screenplay to all-time Hollywood classic Citizen Kane with Orson Welles. Titled Mank in a nod to the screenwriter’s nickname, the biopic will be shot in black-and-white to give it the look of a film from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Production is due to begin in the fall.

It’s easy to see why Oldman was attracted to playing Mankiewicz, a formidable and famously witty figure who worked as a New York Times theater critic before becoming known for “fixing” film screenplays. Among the many movies he worked on, sometimes uncredited, were It’s a Wonderful World, Duck Soup, and The Wizard of Oz.

Mankiewicz was also an alcoholic who squabbled publicly with Welles over who wrote what in Citizen Kane, for which both men won an Oscar. His younger brother, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, wrote and directed another all-time classic movie, All About Eve.

Mank will be Fincher’s first movie since 2014’s Gone Girl. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it’s a passion project for the director which he first wanted to make in the late ’90s.

Oldman’s schedule has been predictably packed since last year’s Oscar win. Earlier this year he signed up to star in a thriller about the international opioid crisis, and he already has two other movies on the release slate. The Woman in the Window, a thriller from his Darkest Hour director Joe Wright co-starring Julianne Moore and Amy Adams, is due for release on October 4.

He’ll also be seen alongside Meryl Streep in The Laundromat, a Steven Soderbergh film about the journalists who unearthed the ‘Panama Papers’ tax evasion scheme, which is expected to premiere on Netflix later this year.

Do you think Oldman could be in the Oscar running again for playing Herman J. Mankiewicz?

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Filed Under: David Fincher, Gary Oldman
By Nick Levine