Fassbender Makes Movie Comeback in Fincher’s ”The Killer”

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Michael Fassbender Returns to Venice Film Festival with “The Killer”

After years away from the big screen due to his racing career, Michael Fassbender made a dramatic return at the Venice Film Festival, portraying a ruthless assassin in David Fincher’s Netflix film, “The Killer.” Fassbender, a German-Irish actor, ventured into professional motor racing in 2017, initially joining the Ferrari Challenge and later participating in the European Le Mans Series. This detour from acting, where he had showcased his talent in both blockbusters like the “X-Men” series and intense roles in films like “12 Years a Slave” and “Hunger,” led to his absence from the film industry.

The Role and Filming of “The Killer”

In discussing Fassbender’s return, David Fincher emphasized the challenge of fitting the project into Fassbender’s busy racing schedule. The filmmaker sought an actor who could exude menace without being overly intimidating. Fincher humorously noted his desire for viewers to feel uneasy about the person standing behind them in a Home Depot after watching the film. “The Killer” is a darkly comic yet high-octane revenge story, where Fassbender’s hitman strives to maintain professionalism but is constantly pushed to improvise as events spiral out of control. The film garnered a more favorable reception than Fincher’s earlier work, “Fight Club,” which faced boos at the Venice Film Festival in 1999 before becoming a cult classic. The Guardian awarded “The Killer” five stars, praising Fincher’s direction and Fassbender’s enigmatic performance.

Hollywood Strike Impacts Venice Festival

The ongoing Hollywood strike, primarily focused on issues of pay in the streaming era and concerns about AI’s potential impact on the industry, had implications at the Venice Film Festival. Due to the strike, Fassbender and co-star Tilda Swinton were unable to attend the premiere of “The Killer.” Fassbender had previously won the acting award at the festival in 2011 for his role in “Shame.” The strike also led to the absence of other prominent stars, such as Emma Stone and Bradley Cooper, who received acclaim for their respective films, “Poor Things” and “Maestro.” Actress Lea Seydoux was not present for the premiere of “The Beast,” a well-received film exploring AI and love transcending eras, akin to David Lynch’s style. In light of these circumstances, the film producers conveyed a message acknowledging the challenges faced by actors and writers in sustaining their livelihoods.

Fincher’s Ties to Netflix and Thoughts on the Strike

David Fincher, closely associated with Netflix as the producer of hits like “House of Cards” and “Mindhunter,” expressed his perspective on the strike, particularly given its impact on the production of “The Killer” during the pandemic. The director shared his understanding of both sides of the dispute and emphasized the need for dialogue to resolve the ongoing issues within the industry. “The Killer” also marks a reunion for Fincher with Andrew Kevin Walker, the writer of his breakout thriller “Seven.”

In summary, Michael Fassbender’s return to acting in “The Killer” at the Venice Film Festival garnered attention, while the ongoing Hollywood strike disrupted the festival’s usual star-studded red carpet. Despite the challenges posed by the strike, Fincher’s film received praise, and the director offered his perspective on the industry’s current state.

SOURCE: Ref Image from Collider

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