With the first wave of festival announcements out of the way, it appears to me the sexiest get of them all is New York's opening night selection of David Fincher's "Gone Girl." Fincher has danced with the awards season with his last few films and this one is probably his most hotly anticipated effort in a while, given that it's an adaptation of an immensely popular novel.
Indeed, author Gillian Flynn even came on board to pen the adaptation herself, which isn't typical but may have been shrewd in this case; fans will be clamoring to see how the twisting and turning novel has been transitioned to the screen, and having a familiar name talking it up along the way will be beneficial. The book was really destined for theaters, because as Flynn reveals in a recent interview with the Film Society of Lincoln Center (who puts on the New York Film Festival), she went from seeing the book published to selling the film rights to officially starting work on the screenplay within a span of five months. She was already meeting with Fincher a few months after that.
The daughter of a film professor, Flynn always had interest in movies and says in the interview that an adaptation of "Gone Girl" was always something she was interested in pursuing. And as readers of the novel know, it's a tricky one to translate, a mystery told through dual perspectives. It's already been reporting that the film will feature an entirely new ending (one that "shocked" star Ben Affleck when he first read it, according to a January Entertainment Weekly cover story) and it will surely bring a few other surprises along the way as well.
Here's what Flynn told Film Society about these challenges:
The structure of the book poses particular challenges for adaptation. It's a very interior novel and plays a lot with time and chronology. It isn't a book you necessarily read and then think you can just slap it onto a movie screen. I had to take a step back and disassemble the book and put it back together again. To me that was part of the fun. It took on a second life.
It's refreshing to know that she got into that kind of creative sparring with her own work, rather than just cutting and pasting the narrative into Final Draft. There was also this nugget, which I found fascinating:
My fondest dream is that it will be the date movie that breaks up couples nationwide. Maybe people will walk out of there and think, "Maybe not. I don't know if I know you well enough…" The movie is about how well you can possibly know one another. We're so steeped in pop culture and so steeped in different roles. How can you possibly combine with another person and have that truth exist in a relationship. The [story] definitely plays off of that idea.
I'm very excited for "Gone Girl" because it seems to bring the kind of cerebral and deeply thematic opportunities that just didn't feel all that present in the poppy, consumer-y "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." For all the aesthetic brilliance of that film, it just never resonated on a level beyond the "merely" entertaining for me, which was a shock given the presence of a master screenwriter like Steven Zaillian.
We'll see how it all turned out on Sept. 25 when the film opens the 52nd annual New York fest.
"Gone Girl" hits theaters nationwide on Oct. 17.
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
Let Streaming Genie help you.