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Has No One Told Ben Affleck That Harlan Coben Has More Than One Thriller Worth Bringing To the Screen?

Ben Affleck is two for two as a director with both Gone Baby Gone and The Town being damn fine pieces of entertainment. They share a common denominator though beyond simple quality and Affleck’s name on the director’s chair… they’re both adaptations of solid mystery/thriller novels. His third film looks to be based upon a real-life incident involving lies, film-making, and the CIA, but he’s already lining up a fourth that returns to the formula that’s worked so well for him so far.

According to Deadline Punxsutawney, Affleck has signed on to direct an adaptation of one of Harlan Coben’s best-selling mysteries. Awesome news isn’t it? Did I mention the mystery in question is Tell No One? Yup, that’s right… the first Coben book to get the Hollywood treatment is the only Coben book that’s already been adapted. But hey, it was made into a French movie, so that doesn’t count. Except that French movie was one of 2006’s best foreign language films (my review here) and a huge hit both in Europe and the US (relatively speaking for a subtitled movie). Fucking Hollywood.

Coben has published twenty novels, ten if you don’t want to count his Myron Bolitar series that I’ve never bothered to read, and while they waver slightly in quality they’re never less than compulsively readable. So why remake the one that’s already been adapted? Because Hollywood is comprised of pussies who prefer to play it safe apparently.

Tell No One is a great read and a fast-moving thriller, but Guillaume Canet’s film is as good of an adaptation as any director could hope for. The success of the film proved there’s an audience for Coben’s work on the big screen especially when it’s adapted with care into an emotionally satisfying, adrenaline filled thrill ride, so please, please Mr. Affleck, drop the plans for this film and have screenwriter Chris Terrio adapt Gone For Good or The Woods instead. The titles even bear a passing resemblance to your first two films which has to be a good sign right?

Which Harlan Coben book would you like to see adapted for the big screen?

Rob is the Chief Film Critic of Film School Rejects. He doesn't eat cheese on weekdays.

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