The Killer: Release date, cast and plot for David Fincher’s Netflix thriller as reviews land

Fincher adapts the French graphic novel of the same name for Netflix

Michael Fassbender stars in The Killer. (Netflix)
Michael Fassbender stars in The Killer. (Netflix)

Visionary director David Fincher returns to screens later this year with The Killer, a psychological actioner that reunites him with his Seven writer Andrew Kevin Walker.

The movie marks Fincher’s first film since Mank, the Gary Oldman-fronted Hollywood drama that was also released primarily through Netflix back in 2020.

With a body of work that spans some of the darkest and most alluring instalments of modern moviemaking, Fincher has carved out a career as a captivating auteur whose releases are eagerly anticipated.

Read more: Alien 3: Ralph Brown shares chaotic experience on David Fincher’s troubled sequel

With The Killer, the filmmaker behind hits like Fight Club, Zodiac and The Social Network looks set to deliver even more sinister vibes with a story ripped straight from the pages of a popular graphic novel.

Here’s everything we know about it so far, including its cast, plot, trailers and when you can expect to watch it for yourself.

The Killer release date

The poster for David Fincher's new movie The Killer (Netflix)
The poster for David Fincher's new movie The Killer (Netflix)

Following filming that took place in Paris and Illinois throughout 2022, Fincher brought his latest movie to the Venice International Film Festival in early September 2023 where it received its first airing.

After the film's screening at the festival several critics shared their thoughts on the film, with many praising Fincher's skills as a filmmaker that ensures The Killer looks "nearly always sublime".

Variety praised the film's intense opening sequence but remarked that the rest of the film doesn't live up to this nail-biting moment, adding: "In The Killer, David Fincher is hooked on his own obsession with technique, his mystique of filmmaking-as-virtuoso-procedure.

"It’s not that he’s anything less than great at it, but he may think there’s more shading, more revelation in how he has staged The Killer than there actually is."

The Wrap remarked on the surprisingly witty nature of the script, saying: "If The Killer is chilly-to-the-touch and anchored by a quiet and intensely physical performance by Fassbender, the filmmakers nevertheless wring an awful lot of wit from this frigid world."

Meanwhile, Deadline called The Killer "a terrifically lean and violent action movie that might be his most purely satisfying yet" and appraised Fincher's approach to the subject matter.

The Killer will get a limited theatrical release in selected cinemas starting from Friday, 27 October before hitting Netflix a month later on Friday, 10 November.

The Killer plot

David Fincher reteams with his Seven screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker for The Killer. (Netflix)
David Fincher reteams with his Seven screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker for The Killer. (Netflix)

Based on the French graphic novel of the same name (Le Tueur) by French author Alexis ‘Matz’ Nolent and illustrator Luc Jacamon, The Killer takes audiences deep into a world of crime where we’ll meet an assassin on the run.

The film’s official synopsis is short and to the point — but it's enough to whet our appetite for the dark tale that Fincher has in store.

“After a fateful near miss, an assassin battles his employers, and himself, on an international manhunt he insists isn't personal,” explained a Netflix press release.

Matz' original story follows an unnamed assassin who readers stuck with throughout 12 ‘albums'. These were then collected, translated into English and re-published into two graphic novel collections.

In addition to boasting Fincher’s signature style and grit, we can likely expect his new movie to delve deep into the mind of a killer who’s slowly losing his grip on reality.

While solid plot details remain sparse, we do know that Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor will once again reteam with Fincher to produce the movie’s score. The pair have previously collaborated with the director on projects like The Social Network and Mank.

The Killer cast

The Killer will also star Tilda Swinton. (Netflix)
The Killer will also star Tilda Swinton. (Netflix)

Michael Fassbender takes the lead in Fincher’s latest outing, playing the movie’s titular fugitive: an assassin who initially remains unnamed and is known only as The Killer.

The X-Men: First Class star won’t be alone in the movie but as it stands, we’re still not sure how his fellow actors will fit into the film’s overall plot.

Tilda Swinton, Top Gun: Maverick actor Charles Parnell and German-Brazilian up-and-comer Sophie Charlotte will also appear, alongside Full Metal Jacket’s Arliss Howard, New Zealand actor Sala Baker and Snowpiercer’s Kerry O'Malley.

Newcomers Gabriel Polanco and Emiliano Pernía will also star.

The Killer trailer

The frantic first teaser trailer for The Killer dropped in late August and welcomed back into Fincher’s stylised world where Fassbender’s anti-hero is trying his best to “stick to the plan.”

Packed with quick cuts and striking visuals, the teaser sets the scene nicely for some nailbiting action alongside what looks like a darker segue into the mind of a hired murderer.

Watch the trailer below before the movie’s theatrical debut in October 2023.

The Killer will receive a limited theatrical release from Friday, 27 October before arriving on Netflix on Friday, 10 November.