As I discussed a few weeks ago, David Fincher’s post-“Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” big-screen follow-up was in doubt for some time. Sure, he was involved with the Netflix series “House of Cards,” but his next feature was thought to be “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”
But now, “Leagues” is officially sunk, “Dragon Tattoo” follow-up “The Girl Who Played With Fire” is getting a rewrite (and perhaps a new director), and Fincher has moved on to an adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s massive bestseller, “Gone Girl.”
Ironically, I was in the middle of reading the book when the news came out, and after finishing it, I can say with confidence that this is a smart move for the “Seven” and “Social Network” filmmaker.
“Gone Girl” is an involving, twisty treat that just so happens to be an enormous commercial success. Yet it’s also a dark drama, a thriller that is takes its characters to the brink of oblivion. Quite honestly, I was surprised at just how dark things became.
Sounds like a Fincher movie, right? Let’s take a look at the cast.
Amy Dunne — Rosamund Pike: Brilliant choice. I just saw Pike in “The World’s End” and not too long ago in “Jack Reacher,” and she seems ideal — tough, pretty, smart. Amy is an incredibly complex character (and how), and I applaud Fincher for going with Pike, a slightly less well-known actress who will run with the part.
Nick Dunne — Ben Affleck: The Oscar-winning star and director of “Argo” is a bit older than the character in the book — Nick was said to be younger than Amy — but is a fine choice. I found it hard to picture anyone but Bradley Cooper, but Affleck has the charm required.
Supporting: Nick’s sister Go is probably the biggest role after Amy and Nick, and she is a colorful, funny character. While there is not much of a resemblance to Affleck, I imagined Sarah Silverman (yep), who was quite good in “Take This Waltz.” The role is a bit small for Kristen Wiig, but she is the kind of actress who would fit nicely. Siena Miller could do it, as could Rebecca Hall.
Interestingly, Neil Patrick Harris was mentioned as a possible member of the supporting cast, and he seems an ideal choice for Amy’s creepy ex-boyfriend Desi. Tyler Perry (!) was brought up as well, perhaps as the main male detective.
The other largest role is probably Nick’s flashy attorney, Tanner Bolt, and this is the role Buffalo’s William Fichtner was born to play.
Other major roles include Amy’s writer parents, the main female detective, Desi’s mother, and Amy’s friend Noelle.
Fincher always excels at casting, so I have no doubt things will fill out nicely. I don’t think I would call “Gone Girl” Oscar bait, but I would expect this to be a major film, and a star-making role for Rosamund Pike.
If you do read it, and the first couple hundred pages do not grab you … Just wait. It will, and soon.
Photo from Hollywood Reporter story; Getty Images