The Venice Film Festival kicks off today, and it will be a weird one, with plenty of films launching the fall festival season and awards season, but with considerably less star power than normal on the Lido’s red carpet (not none, but less). One film debuting at Venice is David Fincher’s latest, The Killer, an adaptation of the French comic book of the same name by Matz (aka Alexis Nolent) and Luc Jacamon.
The film stars Michael Fassbender as the titular, nameless “killer”, an assassin in crisis, on the run and conflicted by his, er, work. The trailer looks, as one expects from David Fincher and Michael Fassbender – great, very tense and nervy and kind of like a more real-world John Wick. The film will premiere at Venice this weekend before a limited theatrical release on October 27, followed by a Netflix release on November 10.
That’s right, David Fincher’s latest is a Netflix movie, just like his last movie, Mank, and just like Scorsese’s latest is an Apple movie. There’s something inherently depressing about this, but it is what it is. The business of show hasn’t been healthy for a long time, and billion-dollar hits like Barbie or the Marvel movies just distract everyone from the bigger problems plaguing the industry. Or they did until the double strike made it impossible to ignore how streaming isn’t working for anyone—except the top-tier directors who get blank checks to do whatever they want in the name of lending prestige and clout to the streaming platforms, and the studio execs who pay themselves nine-figure salaries to sever their streaming platform’s reputation from one of the most valuable legacy names in television (Max remains stupid).
Anyway, The Killer looks good, and I’m sure we’ll all enjoy watching it from our couches—Netflix’s limited theatrical releases are half-hearted at best, so not many people will have an option of seeing The Killer in theaters. I genuinely love it when Fincher does his version of B-movie schlock, though, like Gone Girl and The Game and Panic Room. Plus, The Killer will have a score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and Fincher is reteaming with Mindhunter cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt for the film, too. Lots of good people involved here.
Also, this is part of Michael Fassbender’s comeback this fall, and I am genuinely interested to see how audiences react to having him back after his four-year absence.