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The Killer: Cast, reviews and plot for David Fincher’s Netflix thriller

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 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: David Fincher on why The Killer is nothing like James Bond

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

As it becomes available to stream, here’s everything you need know about The Killer, including its cast, plot and trailers.

How to watch The Killer

The Killer is available to stream exclusively on Netflix, following a limited cinematic release.

The thriller was filmed in Paris and Illinois throughout 2022, and received its debut at Venice International Film Festival in early September 2023.

The Killer reviews

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)

The Killer has received largely positive reviews from film critics, with many praising Fincher's skills as a filmmaker that ensures the film looks "nearly always sublime".

Variety praised its 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 plot

The Killer also stars Tilda Swinton
The Killer also stars Tilda Swinton. (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.

Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor once again reteamed 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

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.

Tilda Swinton, Top Gun: Maverick actor Charles Parnell and German-Brazilian up-and-comer Sophie Charlotte 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 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.

The Killer is streaming on Netflix now