One of the most anticipated films of this year is The killer by Colorado-born Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee David Fincher (Mank, Se7en, Zodiac). It follows the journey of a cold-blooded assassin caught in a psychological crisis in a world without a moral compass. Michael Fassbender stars as a haunted, troubled assassin desperate to extricate himself from the political fallout his errands have led to.
Updated September 3, 2023: In honor of The killerFollowing David Fincher’s premiere at the 80th Venice Film Festival, this article has been updated by Yosra Ben Lagha with more information on David Fincher’s upcoming film.
The film is based on a French graphic novel of the same name written by Alexis “Matz” Nolnet and illustrated by Luc Jacamon and has been in the works for twenty years. It has become one of the most anticipated films of 2023 and just recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival. What do we know about the film? Here’s a breakdown of Fincher’s latest film ahead of its premiere.
The plot: what else to expect
The film’s plot revolves around Michael Fassbender as the eponymous hitman, an assassin fighting both his employers and himself in an international manhunt.
Scott Stuber from Netflix (Battleship, The kingdom) recently described The killer To diversity by saying:
“It’s a really fun, big movie. I’m so excited about this. [Fassbender is] charming and great looking and funny and all those things that he’s supposed to show in the film. He’s a huge star ready to explode in the world and he’s just looking for the parts that can take advantage of him as a person. It’s opportunistic to see what David has done with talent throughout his career and how he constantly pushes people to do their best work. We’re really excited about the combination of these two. It’s David working with Andrew Kevin Walker for the first time in a long time [since ‘Seven’]. It’s a really provocative and interesting film. He’s in the middle of filming right now.”
The renowned producer added:
“The killer is based on a graphic novel and is about someone who is an assassin and the methodology of this world and what he does, which David details better than anyone. He’s so good at the details of the method and watching things unfold. To see something go wrong in the early stages of what he does, which then has an impact on him personally. It’s a really entertaining, big film in the hands of one of the finest filmmakers and someone we’re really lucky to have a relationship with.”
The premise of the film is based about the birth of a conscience in a previously cold, calculating killer and the psychological strains and fractures this new birth will inflict on the killer’s mind. A similar idea has already been explored by the Russian writer Dostoyevsky in his famous novel Crime and Punishment. Rodion Raskolnikov, the protagonist, commits a “logic-based” murder but spends the rest of his life escalating his mental anguish as his view of the world and his morals change. However, the details of how this birth of consciousness will take place, what triggers it will have, and what the consequences will be are not yet known.
The Cast & Crew
The Killer is David Fincher’s first film in three years following the release of Mank in 2020, which was also released on Netflix. Fincher has been associated with the project since 2007 when it was launched at Paramount. The first volume of the graphic novel was released in 1998 and it is currently unclear which part will serve as the source material for the film.
However, we do know that Andrew Kevin Walker (Se7en, Fight Club, Sleepy Hollow). This collaboration marks the first time Walker and Fincher have gotten back together since their chilling classic. Se7en. However, Walker has been tweaking the scripts for Fincher, including rewrites, uncredited The girl who played with fire And 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Unfortunately, these films did not come about. Ceán Chaffin, Fincher’s wife and longtime producing partner, is also contributing to the project. Production companies like Panic Pictures, BOOM! Studios and Archaia Entertainment are also involved.
Oscar-winning cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt (Legion, Fargo, Mank), a frequent collaborator of Fincher, is also on board. Messerschmidt and Fincher are expected to bring a suspenseful neo-noir to our screens, based on the murky political atmosphere of the ’70s.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fincher initially chose megastar Brad Pitt for the lead role; However, due to previous commitments, Pitt had to resign. The role now belongs to Michael Fassbender (Shame X-Men) along with his co-star Tilda Swinton (We need to talk about Kevin, The French Dispatch). Actors expected to also appear in the film include Sophie Charlotte (Confused Hearts) as Magda, stunt performer Monique Ganderton, Kerry O’Malley (Grey’s Anatomy, Shameless) as Dolores, Arliss Howard (The wife of the time traveler) and Charles Parnell (Top Gun: Maverick).
Is there a trailer for The Killer?
After much anticipation, a minute-and-a-half teaser trailer was released on August 29th, designed not so much to reveal the mystery behind the film’s premise as to raise more questions and add to the excitement. It centers on Michael Fassbender as he reflects on his mission and describes the steps he must take to flawlessly kill his next target. His cold narration is like a list of affirmations he makes every time he finds himself on a difficult mission. As the brooding killer tells himself to “ban empathy,” audiences can already get a glimpse of the dark, hair-raising events that will follow.
A very short behind-the-scenes video was also released, in which Fassbender called it a privilege and “a dream come true” to work with “one of the best filmmakers out there.” It seems the lead actor isn’t bothered at all by Fincher’s meticulous, precise, and perfectionist shooting methods, he’s fascinated. He seems fully accepting of the long hours, numerous notes and inevitable exhaustion that come with attending a film of this caliber.
The killer will be released in select theaters on October 27 and will then premiere on Netflix on November 10, 2023. Fincher has been in an exclusive contract with the streamer since November 2020. He has been involved in previous Netflix projects such as house of cards, love, death and robots, And Mindhunter. Fincher’s passion project is rumored to be budgeted at a whopping $175,000,000, increasing expectations for the film.
Fans are already wondering if Fincer will receive an Oscar nomination for Best Director as the field has become very competitive and Greta Gerwig and Christopher Nolan have already emerged as front runners with their films Barbie And Oppenheimerrespectively.