With his latest film, The Killer, premiering at the Venice Film Festival, director David Fincher addressed the ongoing Hollywood strikes and their effect on the movie industry.
Taking to the Hollywood reporter, Fincher expressed sadness over the dual strikes by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and Writers Guild of America (WGA). He indicated understanding for both sides of the labor dispute and encouraged negotiation.
The director noted that The Killer was produced during the pandemic disruption and now faces release amid more uncertainty from the strikes. Lead actor Michael Fassbender did not attend the Venice premiere due to the SAG-AFTRA strike.
Fincher described The Killer as a “straight-line drama” and “extremely procedural” in following a troubled assassin whose strict moral code unravels. The Netflix film adapts a French graphic novel series, with Fincher collaborating again with screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker.
According to Fincher, the story explores the assassin’s mental state and moral dilemmas rather than action thrills. He wanted an ordinary, unnamed lead character portrayed by Fassbender to highlight the “mundanity of evil.”
The Killer continues Fincher’s partnership with Netflix after his 2020 biopic Mank. But its release and promotion now face challenges from the ongoing labour unrest. Fincher urged renewed discussion between the studios, streamers and talent unions.