Fincher, 61, celebrated the world premiere of his latest film The Killer at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday (3 September).
Fassbender and his co-stars were unable to attend the premiere event due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes, meaning Fincher walked the carpet alone except for a small group of Netflix executives.
The director could be seen interacting with fans who had brought along posters of some of his most famous movies, including Fight Club (1999) starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, and Se7en (1995), also starring Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Spacey.
After the screening of The Killer concluded, it was met with a respectable five-minute standing ovation.
Given the confused look on his face, however, Fincher appeared not to have been familiar with the festival’s tradition of standing ovations.
As the audience surrounding the director clapped, Fincher – as reported by Variety – “uncomfortably shifted on his feet and flailed his hands in the air”.
He also mouthed the words: “What is this?”
When a producer led him down the stairs from his balcony seat to meet fans, the director apparently thought that he was being escorted out of the theatre.
When Fincher was brought back up the stairs, he appeared uncomfortable as he stood in front of the applauding crowds until he was finally able to exit.
The Killer is a neo-noir psychological action thriller based on the French graphic novel series of the same name by Alexis “Matz” Nolent and illustrated by Luc Jacamon.
Fassbender plays an assassin who becomes involved in an international manhunt when one of his jobs goes wrong.
In a three-star review of the film, The Independent’s Geoffrey Macnab writes “Fincher’s slick thriller doesn’t offer anything new”.
Elsewhere at the Venice Film Festival, critics hailed Yorgos Lanthimos’s Poor Things as “one of the best films of the year”.
The actor, 34, leads the Greek director’s new sci-fi fantasy – based on Alasdair Gray’s novel of the same name – as Bella Baxter, a young woman brought back to life by the brilliant and unorthodox scientist Dr Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe).
He resurrects her by implanting Bella’s unborn child’s brain into her head. This means that when Stone’s character first comes back to life, she is an infant in the body of an adult. Through the film, audiences watch her growing up and discovering new things, with sex being one of them. Find The Independent’s review of the film here.
The Killer will receive a limited theatrical release on 27 October, followed by a Netflix release on 10 November.
Poor Things is expected to release in US cinemas on 8 December, followed by a 12 January 2024 release in the UK.