Over the Christmas 2012, I became engrossed with the bestseller Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. It’s not a breezy, easy book, but it’s immensely readable and you will probably be able to get through in a weekend. I’m not even going to try to summarize the twists and turns and spoilers, but the basic plot is that a pretty blonde wife goes “missing” on her fifth anniversary and her husband quickly becomes the main suspect in her disappearance. Last year, Fox bought the rights to the book for a film adaptation, and I don’t have a problem with that at all – it will make a good movie, especially if they make it R-rated. David Fincher has already signed on to direct, which gives me even more hope that the film will be faithful to the book, because Fincher won’t pull his punches with the story at all. And now comes this interesting news… Ben Affleck is in negotiations to play the lead character, the husband suspected of having something to do with his wife’s disappearance:
Ben Affleck is in negotiations to play the lead role in David Fincher‘s Gone Girl, a development that will seal the Fox project pic as Fincher’s next film to direct. In the pic, based on the Gillian Flynn bestseller, Affleck will play a husband whose wife disappears on the day of their fifth anniversary, and all roads point to him as the killer.
Fox made a 7-figure deal for the novel last July for Pacific Standard’s Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea, along with Leslie Dixon, to produce. Flynn wrote the first draft of the screenplay. There is no female lead yet as it looks like Witherspoon is only producing. Fox recently brought on New Regency as a financing partner.
Affleck’s casting is interesting because it means Warner Bros is allowing him to push back his next directing and starring project, the adaptation of the Dennis Lahane novel Live By Night, which he continues to prep. Shooting on Gone Girl is set to shoot this fall, and the thinking is Affleck will be able to finish up and still get Live By Night done for the end of 2014.
I’m hearing that Affleck reached out to Warner Bros’ brass over the Fourth of July holiday, and the studio behind his Oscar-winner Argo made a fast and concerted effort to give him a quick answer and let him do something it didn’t stand to gain from. All this certainly signals that Warner Bros and Affleck plan to be in business together for the long haul, a relationship the studio was keen to preserve especially following the departure of Jeff Robinov, the just-exited former President of Warner Bros Pictures Group with whom Affleck had a “dream relationship”.
The studio had wasted little time setting Affleck’s follow-up to Best Picture Oscar winner Argo, beginning pre-production in May on Live By Night, about a black-sheep son of a police captain who gets involved in escalating levels of organized crime. Affleck is also producing as he did with Argo.
Fincher and Fox had been developing Gone Girl since since January. This is now his next project, ahead of Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea: Captain Nemo.
Will Ben make a good Nick? Nick is described as being very handsome and boyish, with black hair and Irish features. As far as looks go, I always saw Nick as more of a Colin Farrell type, and with Colin’s build too. I didn’t think Nick was supposed to be BIG like Ben. And Nick is supposed to be several years younger than his wife too – Ben is kind of too old to play Nick as written. I’m being nitpicky, I know. In all honesty, the idea of Ben in this kind of role is intriguing, and I’m glad he’s not directing because he would turn the film into “Nick’s story” and it’s really not.
Interestingly enough, there has been a lot of talk about which blonde actress should be cast as “Amazing Amy”. In the book, Amy is described as petite, blonde, well-educated, highly intelligent and beautiful. There also needs to be an air about her of… condescension. Judgment. Snottiness. And there’s been a lot of talk that Gwyneth Paltrow should play Amy. So… will Gwyneth and Ben reunite on-screen once again? Wouldn’t that be epic? Alas, I think that by casting Ben as Nick, they’ve made it sort of impossible for Fincher to cast Goop. Too bad. I would have actually been interested in seeing Goop’s version of Amazing Amy. They’ll probably go with Jessica Chastain or somebody like that. I would actually be interested in seeing Angelina Jolie (in a blonde wig) try it out.
Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.
Ben Affleck in talks for lead role in David Fincher adaptation of ‘Gone Girl’