Since 2020, David Fincher has been exclusively working with Netflix, delivering his movies straight to the streaming service. His latest offering is The Killer, which stars Michael Fassbender as an assassin who spends much of his spare time listening to The Smiths.
The Manchester indie band defined the 1980s with their guitar-led tunes, featuring distinctive lead vocals by Morrissey, who often explored dramatic, melancholic themes within his lyrics. The band broke up in 1987, just five years after they began, leaving behind four studio albums and multiple compilations and singles.
For Fassbender’s killer, The Smiths become his soundtrack of choice as he waits for his target to appear. Thus, many of the band’s songs have made it into the film, which has also been scored by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, frequent collaborators of Fincher’s. At a Venice Film Festival panel, Fincher revealed his reasoning for featuring The Smiths so heavily.
“Trent and Atticus are our first call, and if they choose to return the call, I deem myself lucky. The Smiths were a post-production addition because I knew I wanted to use ‘How Soon is Now?’ and I love the idea of that song specifically as a tool for assuaging his anxiety. I liked it as a meditation tape, I thought it was amusing and funny.”
He added, “I don’t think that there’s a library of music by recording artists that have as much sardonic nature and wit simultaneously [as The Smiths], and we don’t get an awful lot of access to who this guy is. I thought through his mixtape it would be amusing, that that would be our window into him.”
The soundtrack contains 11 songs by The Smiths, including some of the band’s most depressing cuts, ‘I Know It’s Over’ from The Queen Is Dead and Meat Is Murder’s ‘Well I Wonder’. Other classic songs by the band featured on the soundtrack include ‘This Charming Man’, ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’, ‘Hand in Glove’ and ‘ There Is a Light That Never Goes Out’.
Additionally, the soundtrack for The Killer features an eclectic mix of other artists, such as Portishead, whose trip-hop classic, ‘Glory Box’, taken from their debut album, Dummy, can be heard. Fincher has also included tracks such as ‘Pop Pop’ by American rapper Avalanche the Architect and ‘Chopstick’ by a relatively unknown artist named Orlando Angelo.
Discover the complete soundtrack below.
The Killer soundtrack:
- ‘Well I Wonder’ by The Smiths
- ‘I Know It’s Over’ by The Smiths
- ‘How Soon Is Now?’ by The Smiths
- ‘Hand In Glove’ by The Smiths
- ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’ by The Smiths
- ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’ by The Smiths
- ‘Girlfriend In A Coma’ by The Smiths
- ‘Shoplifters of the World Unite’ by The Smiths
- ‘Unhappy Birthday’ by The Smiths
- ‘This Charming Man’ by The Smiths
- ‘There Is a Light That Never Goes Out’ by The Smiths
- ‘Glory Box’ by Portishead
- ‘Chopstick’ by Orlando Angelo
- ‘Pop Pop’ by Avalanche the Architect
- ‘Another Level’ by Crewsnot
- ‘Pray’ by Ryden
- ‘Stray Beast’ by James Saaib