Zodiac is a 2007 American mystery thriller film directed by David Fincher from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt, based on the non-fiction books by Robert Graysmith, Zodiac and Zodiac Unmasked, which were published in 1986 and 2002, respectively. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr. with Anthony Edwards, Brian Cox, Elias Koteas, Donal Logue, John Carroll Lynch, Chloë Sevigny, Philip Baker Hall and Dermot Mulroney in supporting roles.The film tells the story of the manhunt for the Zodiac Killer, a serial murderer who terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1960s and early 1970s, taunting police with letters, bloodstained clothing, and ciphers mailed to newspapers. The case remains one of the United States' most infamous unsolved crimes. Fincher, Vanderbilt, and producer Bradley J. Fischer spent 18 months conducting their own investigation and research into the Zodiac murders. Fincher employed the digital Thomson Viper FilmStream Camera to photograph most of the film, with traditional high-speed film cameras used for slow-motion murder sequences.
Zodiac was released by Paramount Pictures in North America and Warner Bros. Pictures in international markets on March 2, 2007, and received mostly positive reviews, with praise for its writing, directing, acting, and historical accuracy. The film was nominated for several awards, including the Saturn Award for Best Action, Adventure or Thriller Film. It grossed over $84.7 million worldwide on a production budget of $65 million. In a 2016 critics' poll conducted by the BBC, Zodiac was voted the 12th greatest film of the 21st century.