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Zodiac (2007)

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In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree.

Director:

David Fincher

Writers:

James Vanderbilt (screenplay), Robert Graysmith (book)
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856 ( 48)
2 wins & 67 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jake Gyllenhaal ... Robert Graysmith
Mark Ruffalo ... Inspector David Toschi
Anthony Edwards ... Inspector William Armstrong
Robert Downey Jr. ... Paul Avery
Brian Cox ... Melvin Belli
John Carroll Lynch ... Arthur Leigh Allen
Richmond Arquette ... Zodiac 1 / Zodiac 2
Bob Stephenson ... Zodiac 3
John Lacy ... Zodiac 4
Chloë Sevigny ... Melanie
Ed Setrakian ... Al Hyman
John Getz ... Templeton Peck
John Terry ... Charles Thieriot
Candy Clark ... Carol Fisher
Elias Koteas ... Sgt. Jack Mulanax
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Storyline

A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area taunts police with his letters and cryptic messages. We follow the investigators and reporters in this lightly fictionalized account of the true 1970's case as they search for the murderer, becoming obsessed with the case. Based on Robert Graysmith's book, the movie's focus is the lives and careers of the detectives and newspaper people. Written by tom day

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the true story of America's most notorious serial killer. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong killings, language, drug material and brief sexual images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 March 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chronicles See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,395,610, 4 March 2007

Gross USA:

$33,080,084, 3 May 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$84,785,914, 3 May 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In multiple scenes throughout the film's soundtrack, a lone trumpet is frequently heard playing a four-note motif, and is an homage to a piece by American composer Charles Ives, aptly entitled "The Unanswered Question". See more »

Goofs

(at around 24 mins) Graysmith and Arthur Leigh Allen both refer to "The Most Dangerous Game" as a book or a novel. It isn't; it's a short story. However, it is entirely possible that the characters only refer to it as such because are subconsciously simplifying their language in conversation with others. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mike Mageau: Where have you been? I've been waiting since 7:00.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end text reads as follows: Following Mike Mageau's identification of Arthur Leigh Allen, authorities scheduled a meeting to discuss charging him with the murders. Allen suffered a fatal heart attack before this meeting could take place. In 2002, a partial DNA profile, that did not match Allen, was developed from a 33 year-old Zodiac envelope. Investigators in San Francisco and Vallejo refused to rule out Allen as a suspect on the basis of this test. In 2004, the San Francisco Police Department deactivated their Zodiac investigation. Today, the case remains open in Napa County, Solano County, and in the city of Vallejo, where Arthur Leigh Allen is still the prime and only suspect. Inspector David Toschi retired from the San Francisco Police Department in 1989. He was cleared of all charges that he wrote the 1978 Zodiac letter. Paul Avery passed away on December 10, 2000 of pulmonary emphysema. He was 66. His Ashes were scattered by his family in the San Francisco Bay. Robert Graysmith lives in San Francisco and enjoys a healthy relationship with his children. He claims he has not received a single anonymous call since Allen's death. See more »

Alternate Versions

The end credits of the Director's Cut has a more detailed final cast listing. It properly credits many of the actors who were inexplicably left uncredited in the theatrical cut. However, Ione Skye's cameo as Kathleen Johns remains uncredited even in the Director's Cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Blood Feast (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Jean
Written by Rod McKuen
Performed by Oliver
Courtesy of EMI Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
David Fincher's best is challenging and not for everybody
23 November 2009 | by nixskitsSee all my reviews

"Zodiac" is a perfect match of visionary director and hard to condense material. James Vanderbilt did an admirable job of taking a larger than one life story and somehow adapted all these people and events (chronicled in Robert Graysmith's two thorough books on the subject) into a script that works. He should have received an Oscar nomination, along with Fincher, supporting actor Mark Ruffalo (portraying Inspector Dave Toschi) and of course, "Zodiac" itself for best picture. But the silly academy doesn't reward films like this often and I'll bet less than 20% of them even saw it!

As author James Ellroy says on a commentary track, this film is respectful of the victims. The intensity of a murder investigation has rarely been recreated more impressively than here. To compare modern (21st century) technology with what these folks had to work with in the late 60's/70's is to realize "Zodiac", whoever he was, had to be one of the dumb luckiest criminals of all time. His ideas were not original to put it politely and the fact he probably was a child molester really makes him a predator that treated society in general like a little innocent he abused for his own perverse reasons. Men who feel powerless and then get a big gun are the most dangerous fools of all because they're ticked off and want somebody, anybody to pay!


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