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David Fincher Talks Hollywood Strikes in Venice: “I Can Understand Both Sides”

The Killer director David Fincher has stepped into the breach between Hollywood studios and streamers and striking actors and writers by urging both sides to return to the negotiating table.

“It’s very sad for me. I can understand both sides. All we can do is encourage people to talk,” Fincher said while at the Venice Film Festival to launch his Netflix assassin movie on Sunday. Recalling The Killer was made during the pandemic and that industry disruption, the director expressed regret that SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America members had now set down tools again.

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“I’m very sad obviously. I sit in the middle of both parties,” Fincher added as his hard-boiled noir for Netflix is premiering in competition in Venice. The Killer focuses on the titular assassin played by lead Michael Fassbender, who was not in Venice to help launch the movie. His character gets embroiled in an international manhunt after a previous job went wrong.

“it’s a very simple, very compelling, straight-line drama. It’s high stakes. It’s extremely procedural,” Fincher told the Venice press conference about embracing an assassin to anchor his psychological action pic directed from a script by Andrew Kevin Walker. the scribe behind Fincher’s screen classics Se7en, The Game and Fight Club.

The Killer adapts the graphic novel series of the same name from writer Alexis Nolent (aka Matz) and illustrator Luc Jacamon that was initially published in French by Editions Casterman. The movie takes audiences less into a world of crime as into an assassin’s head as he lives by a strict code, only to see his world unravel and his grip on reality come unstuck.

“I like the idea of that code, or the bricks in the wall being dismantled, by his needs and necessity, by having to, as he says, have a plan, never give up on that plan, and yet we see him improvise throughout the movie,” Fincher explained.

In addition, the director deliberately had Fassbender in the lead role of an assassin remained unnamed and known only as The Killer as we learn nothing about the character besides what runs though his head via an interior monologue revealed as a voice over. Otherwise, the assassin appears ordinary and commonplace.

“As it relates to this character, he didn’t need to be frightening. You know, the mundanity of evil. My hope is someone will see this film, will get very nervous about the person in line behind them at Home Depot,” Fincher said.

The Killer hits select theaters Oct. 27 before making its Netflix debut Nov. 10. The cast includes Charles Parnell, Arliss Howard, Sophie Charlotte and Tilda Swinton.

The Killer continues Fincher’s relationship with Netflix following his 2020 feature Mank — focusing on real-life Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz — which earned 10 Oscar nominations and two wins. Additionally, Fincher was an executive producer for the streamer’s thriller series Mindhunter, which launched the first of its two seasons in 2017.

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