And while Netflix's original series often grab my attention, particularly the animated shows, the movies rarely garner much notice from me. The last Netflix original movie I watched was Triple Frontier and I was … underwhelmed, to put it kindly.
But Netflix got me with its first trailer for The Killer. Starring Michael Fassbender and directed by David Fincher, The Killer looks awesome. Even in just 90 seconds, I’m hooked. The voiceover takes me immediately to Edward Norton’s narration in Fight Club. This is clearly a Fincher film, and it looks like it could be one of his best.
However, while the voiceover makes me think of Fight Club, the dark rooms and city streets feel reminiscent of Se7en. Instead of Brad Pitt becoming more and more manic as the movie progresses, in The Killer, it’s the heartbeat monitor worn around Fassbender's wrist combined with the layer upon layer of voiceover that builds the tension to a crescendo until a shot rings out at the 1:10 mark of the trailer.
Speaking of crescendos, the score sounds incredible. Maybe it’s just me being a musician and a huge Nine Inch Nails fan, but within five seconds I already knew this was another entry in the ever-growing catalog of great Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross scores. I honestly found myself replaying the trailer — I’ve watched it at least 10 times now — for the sound as much as what’s on the screen.
If I could nominate just the trailer’s sound for an Oscar, I would, but I imagine the Academy will nominate the score in full come next year’s awards. It might not be all that The Killer is nominated for if the trailer is any indication.
The Killer: Fincher’s latest adaption
The Killer is based on the French comic book of the same name (Le Tueur) and follows the life of an unnamed assassin. I haven’t read the comic personally, but after watching the trailer, I’ll certainly be picking up a trade paperback once I’ve watched The Killer on November 10, 2023. The first volume won several awards so the source material that David Fincher is working with is good and I certainly trust writer Andrew Kevin Walker to handle an adaptation after his excellent — and annoyingly, uncredited — work on Fight Club (an adaptation of the Chuck Palahniuk book).
But while we have the source material for reference, there’s still a fair amount we don’t know about the plot or cast. All we know is what Netflix told us when it dropped the trailer on YouTube. “After a fateful near-miss, an assassin battles his employers and himself on an international manhunt he insists isn’t personal.”
Honestly, that’s compelling enough to intrigue me if the trailer hadn’t already sold it. And the cast also got me to raise an eyebrow, because it's loaded with some familiar names. While we don’t yet know what characters they’re playing, the cast of Arliss Howard (Full Metal Jacket), Charles Parnell (Top Gun: Maverick) and Tilda Swinton (most recently Asteroid City) alongside Fassbender is definitely going to be one to watch.
The Killer will debut initially in theaters on October 27, 2023, and then move to Netflix for streaming on November 10, 2023.