Gillian Flynn

EW

Warning: Spoilers for Gone Girl (book and film) Boy kisses girl. Fade out. Throughout the canon of classic Hollywood to today’s rom-coms, the beginning of coupledom – and even marriage itself – has been presented as the end of the narrative’s dramatic journey. The long-held institution of “happily ever after” assumes marriage and committed coupledom to be a reliably constant plane of uneventful happiness compared to the roller coaster of getting the couple together in the first place. Movies about long-term couplehood – or, more accurately, movies about breakups and divorce – have, by contrast, been the forte of independent and art house filmmaking, institutions markedly less invested in happy endings. But for a social convention that so many people experience, for a form of human connection that takes up and develops throughout years of peoples’ lives, marriage and other forms of committed coupledom have provided significantly fewer narratives than stories of people getting together or people breaking up. Yet there is as much (if not more) drama, character development and awkward comedy in long-term commitment as there is in getting together. David Fincher and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl offers a notable shift in this direction: an interrogation on the institution of shared living in the guise of a missing person thriller. But this film follows a couple of other, less blockbuster-y titles that share similarly incisive and unique takes on the subject of committed coupledom.

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Gone Girl Tyler Perry

Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” opens with a quote from Tony Kushner’s “The Illusion” saying, “Love is the world’s infinite mutability.” David Fincher’s film adaptation also begins with this idea of mutability as he shows us dampened images of the Missouri landscape while Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score whispers against it through moderate instrumentation. This subtle and underplayed approach to the music gives the feeling that you are embarking on a slow burn of a journey – which is exactly what happens in the novel and the film. As Gone Girl begins, Reznor and Ross’ music gives a pulse to the toned down, almost bleak surroundings we’re seeing, but never overpowers them. It’s this balance of having the music present while not overly influencing what’s happening on screen that makes Reznor and Ross’ score so successful.

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Ben Affleck in Gone Girl

“She’s not above her material. She’s not making fun of these people, even the nosy neighbor. She’s not making fun of even those archetypes. And she’s interesting in that way. I kind of held my breath and waited to read her first draft and I was so emboldened by it. She was not only capable of slaughtering the darling, she took a peculiar pleasure in offing those extensions of her own imagination.”  Bestselling author Gillian Flynn didn’t pull any punches when it came to the script for David Fincher‘s Gone Girl — a script based on her own blockbuster book and her first produced attempt at working in that medium — slicing and dicing and cutting and crafting without prejudice. In fact, even Fincher was stunned by her ability to “off” bits and pieces (and even whole people) from her script, sharing with FilmComment the above quote about Flynn’s interest in keeping things neat for the sake of a good script. This is not a novelist beholden to her own material, and that might be why Fincher and Flynn are teaming up for yet another project — and why the duo is making a claim to be Hollywood’s next big dream team.

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Ben Affleck in GONE GIRL

We already know that David Fincher‘s Gone Girl will be slightly different than author Gillian Flynn‘s original novel — at least, different when it comes to some third act tweaks — but that doesn’t mean that the filmmaker and writer have abandoned all the stuff that made the bestelling tale of a missing wife (Rosamund Pike) and her maybe-guilty husband (Ben Affleck) so good. That would be, in simple terms, really stupid. Most of our looks at the film so far — and there have been plenty, thanks to two juicy trailers — have focused on the film’s basic premise, which sounds like an obvious thing to do, but one that doesn’t exactly reflect the twisting and twisted nature of Flynn’s book. Yes, Amy Elliott Dunne (Pike) is missing, but no, this isn’t a film about a husband (Affleck) who offs his wife and tries to get away with it (and, no, that’s really not a spoiler). The latest trailer for the film finally starts layering on the creepy, weird mystery that starts to seep through in Flynn’s novel somewhere around the hundred page mark, and it just doesn’t let up. Basically, for people who loved the book, this is catnip (and assurance that the final film won’t be too far off the mark from the original). Let’s break it down.

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Sharp Objects

By the time 2014 closes out, fans of Gillian Flynn‘s uniquely thrilling (and, typically, totally dark) novels will be doubly treated to a pair of new films based on her works. For an author who has so far only penned three books, that’s pretty handy work, but for awhile there, Flynn was going to be three for three in the feature adaptation department. Last summer, all of Flynn’s novels were in various states of cinematic production, with David Fincher‘s Gone Girl enjoying the bulk of the hype (it’s certainly the most star-studded production of the trio), Gilles Paquet-Brenner‘s Dark Places secure in a very respectable second place position and Sharp Objects just sort of hanging out in vague pre-production land. Gone Girl will now hit theaters on October 3 (though the possibility that it will bow at TIFF in September seems like a safe enough bet), just a month after Dark Places releases (with a September 1 release date, it sure would be nice to see a trailer or something soon, cough cough), but what about that Sharp Objects movie? Turns out, there’s not going to be one — because it’s going to be a Sharp Objects television show. This is fantastic news.

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Ben Affleck in Gone Girl

Is it that weird to not know your wife’s blood type? Never mind, I just found out. I wouldn’t want to wind up an easy suspect the way Ben Affleck does in the new trailer for Gone Girl. David Fincher‘s upcoming adaptation of Gillian Flynn‘s best seller seems at first to be just any whodunit thriller, but I have to say that the spot does a good job of making Affleck’s character sound pretty guilty of murdering his wife. There’s the matter of him not knowing her blood type, for one, but we also hear passages from her diary (read by the actress who plays her, Rosamund Pike). One particular phrase she’s written — “this man of mine may kill me” — sounds pretty incriminating, albeit circumstantially. I haven’t read the book, nor do I know how it turns out, but regardless of whether Affleck’s character did it or not, the point seems to be that he’s immediately an easy target. And in cases like this, people tend to pass judgment on a suspect as being guilty before proven so. Or proven innocent, of course. The trailer is like a news report, the kind that makes us presume an arrest equals a conviction and reasonable suspicion equals culpability. Now we have to watch the actual movie, as if it were a trial, and see if our presumption is true. Or, maybe, it’s that mysterious Neil Patrick Harris who shows up in the trailer just enough to make us wonder. Watch the second trailer below.

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Ben Affleck in GONE GIRL

You can have your Paul Thomas Andersons and Terrence Malicks, your Richard Linklaters and Friedberg/Seltzers. For my money the most consistently fantastic and exciting director working today is David Fincher. Even perceived “bottom tier” Fincher thrillers (Panic Room, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) are better than a large percentage of other suspense films out there, and it’s his work that I most look forward to every couple years. His latest is once again an adaptation of an immensely popular novel, but unlike Stieg Larsson’s Nordic thriller Gillian Flynn‘s book lacks a distinct visual style that plays so well into Fincher’s wheelhouse. The film, scripted by Flynn herself, is a mystery set in suburban America that follows a man’s (Ben Affleck) attempt to find his missing wife (Rosamund Pike) and convince the world that he’s not somehow responsible. Check out the first trailer for Gone Girl below.

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Ben Affleck in Gone Girl

If you’ve so far resisted reading even just one of author Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novels, now is probably the time to give in and give over to the twisted charms of any of Flynn’s three books and get sucked into her cleverly engineered worlds, especially since you’re about to be inundated with all sorts of material from the David Fincher-directed take on her most recent novel, “Gone Girl.” Fincher’s version of Gone Girl features an interesting and varied cast of talents (which is a nice way of saying that I’m not entirely sold on a few of his picks), including Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Missi Pyle, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Casey Wilson, Patrick Fugit, Scoot McNairy, and Carrie Coon, and it attempts to translate Flynn’s complicated story of a young wife (Pike) who goes missing and what that means for her embattled husband (Affleck). As is the case with all of Flynn’s works, it’s difficult to truly explain what the film is about without giving a whole mess of stuff away. It’s best to spout off a common-sounding storyline, and pair it up with the assurance that it’s only a tiny bit of a big, dark, winding, insane iceberg. Basically, Gone Girl sounds like a TV movie – and it’s not. This is pure Fincher territory. The new film also boasts a script from Flynn herself – one that the author has apparently already sliced and diced up into something new, making her old third act disappear right along […]

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This week’s starting off with a particularly weird piece of news. Gone Girl, the latest film from David Fincher, has just cast a major role – the mistress of Ben Affleck‘s lead character- and filled that particular role with Emily Ratajkowski. The name might not be too familiar, but chances are you’ve seen her before. Ratajkowski was one of several women prancing around half-naked in Robin Thicke’s insanely popular (174 million hits on YouTube popular) “Blurred Lines” music video. It’s an unconventional choice (“unconventional” being one of many possible descriptors), but Gone Girl already has several names attached who aren’t known for serious dramatic performances. Both Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry have come aboard the film, and presumably neither of them will be doing the comedic shtick that made them famous in the first place. So perhaps Gone Girl will be a showcase for actors of all stripes to prove their dramatic chops. Or maybe Ratajkowski has some serious acting ability that doesn’t come across in a music video where she dances around without a shirt on.

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Gillian Flynn

Bestselling author Gillian Flynn is a unique position – while she’s only penned three novels in her relatively short career (and, man, are all three of those novels damn good), all three of her books are currently in active movie development. Flynn could knock off her novel-writing career now and still be way ahead the curb, but let’s hope she doesn’t. If there’s anything both books and movies need right now, it’s truly thrilling works that rest on the shoulders of extremely complicated leading ladies. The three upcoming Flynn adaptations – Dark Places, Sharp Objects, and Gone Girl – are all coming to us from very different talent teams and studios, but there are plenty of common threads between each novel to make them just a wee bit confusing to readers and watchers (I’ve often gone searching for the Flynn book “Dark Objects” on the Internet, obviously to no avail). So what’s the difference between Gone Girl and Dark Places and Sharp Objects? We’ll tell you.

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affleck-fincher

The image you see above you was recently taken when A-list directors Ben Affleck and David Fincher were spotted sitting down to have a high-powered lunch together. What were the two movers and shakers discussing? The finer points of putting together a film? How good the tiramisu was at the cafe that day? No, most likely they were discussing a Gillian Flynn novel called “Gone Girl,” and what it would take it turn it into a movie. If you’ll recall, back in January it was reported that Fincher was quite possibly looking to direct an adaptation of the book, though it wasn’t quite clear where it would fit into his confusing schedule. Well, a report out of Deadline now claims that, due to his shadowy lunch with Affleck, Gone Girl is officially a go, and it’s officially going to be Fincher’s next film.

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David Fincher

Have you been wondering where David Fincher has disappeared to since he directed the English-language version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? Well, you can thank Disney for that. The A-list director was supposed to be putting together a new version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for them, but the process has proved to be more challenging than anyone would have liked. According to Variety, Disney has had a hold on Fincher for the last three months as they try and decide if they still want to go forward with the film. A large part of the problem seems to be securing a big name star to anchor the project, with Fincher wanting Brad Pitt and not yet being able to land him. The good news is, our wait for the next Fincher movie may soon be over. While it’s possible that 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea could still be his next job, he’s now started looking around for something else to do. More specifically, he’s negotiating with Fox to direct their upcoming adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel “Gone Girl.” The rights for this one were so hot that Fox had to pay seven figures to keep it out of the clutches of Universal when it went on the market last summer, so it would make sense that they would look to one of the industry’s top directors, like Fincher, to bring the whole thing together.

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That did not take long. Author Gillian Flynn‘s third novel, “Gone Girl,” only hit shelves on June 5, but it’s already the talk of the publishing world and a bonafide must-read that’s poised to be the breakout novel of the summer (it’s also at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list). Flynn’s no stranger to signing deals to adapt her clever and dark novels (her “Sharp Objects” was optioned by Alliance and Amy Adams is set to star in a film version of “Dark Places”), but even she must be reeling at the news out of Comic-Con that “Gone Girl” has been snapped up by 20th Century Fox for a cool seven figures. Deadline Del Mar reports that Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea, and Leslie Dixon will produce the film, with a script coming from Flynn herself. The book was reportedly a hot auction, with other studios like Universal hoping to snap up the rights. The outlet also speculates that the recent “Fifty Shades Of Grey action has elevated interest in bestsellers geared to female readers.” While the book certainly involves women (it centers on a woman who goes missing), it’s by no means some sort of “Fifty Shades” knock-off, as Flynn specializes in wicked suspense thrillers that appeal to a wide variety of readers.

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Three-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams has taken on some varied roles over the course of her career and, despite some forays into darker material (Doubt, The Fighter, and most likely the upcoming The Master), Adams has always provided a ray of sunlight into her works (even really gritty sunlight, like in The Fighter). However, her next project will plunge Adams into a blackness we’ve yet to see from her – and I can’t wait for it. Variety reports that Adams is currently in negotiations to star in Gilles Paquet-Brenner‘s Dark Places, an adaptation of Gillian Flynn‘s novel of the same name. Adams would play Libby Day, a hardened character who witnessed the murder of most of her family when she was just seven. It was Libby’s testimony that put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars for the crimes, but that’s given her little solace twenty-five years later. Nearly broke and an outcast from the rest of the world, Libby is approached by “the Kill Club,” a secret society who are bent on freeing Ben. And, well, that’s not a good thing for Libby.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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