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Tyler Perry Will Play A 'Dickhead Defender' Attorney In David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'

by Tambay A. Obenson
September 5, 2013 3:01 PM
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Tyler Perry

And there I was, wondering when David Fincher and Tyler Perry would eventually collaborate on a project...

Deadline is reporting that Fincher's next film, a thriller titled Gone Girl, based on a novel by Gillian Flynn has booked Tyler Perry in a supporting role as an attorney named Tanner Bolt, who represents star Ben Affleck's character, after his wife disappears, and he becomes the primary suspect for various reasons. 

Apparently Fincher saw Perry's performance in Alex Cross and courted him for the role! Whodathunkit? Certainly not me, after having seen Alex Cross.

Curious, I thought I'd investigate this Tanner Bolt character to see what I could learn about him. With a name like that, he was already intriguing to me. But I specifically wanted to see what Fincher may have seen of the character in Perry's Cross performance to want to court him for the part.

I haven't read the novel that the film will be based on, unfortunately; but, thankfully, I found an excerpt in which Tanner Bolt is introduced. How convenient! 

Keep in mind that the novel is written in the first person, from Affleck's character's POV.

It was time. At exactly eight a.m. Central, nine a.m. New York time, I picked up my phone. My wife was definitely pregnant. I was definitely the prime – only – suspect. I was going to get a lawyer, today, and he was going to be the very lawyer I didn't want and absolutely needed. Tanner Bolt. A grim necessity. Flip around any of the legal networks, the true-crime shows, and Tanner Bolt's spray-tanned face would pop up, indignant and concerned on behalf of whatever freak-show client he was representing. He became famous at thirty-four for representing Cody Olsen, a Chicago restaurateur accused of strangling his very pregnant wife and dumping her body in a landfill [...] By the time Tanner Bolt was done, everyone – the police department, two West Side Chicago gang members, a disgruntled club bouncer – was implicated except Cody Olsen, who walked out of the courtroom and bought cocktails all around. In the decade since, Tanner Bolt had become known as the Hubby Hawk – his specialty was swooping down in high-profile cases to represent men accused of murdering their wives. He was successful over half the time, which wasn't bad, considering the cases were usually damning, the accused extremely unlikable – cheaters, narcissists, sociopaths. Tanner Bolt's other nickname was Dickhead Defender [...] This guy was the best, and I needed the best, but I also resented being associated with him in any way – this sleazebag, this showboat, this attorney to the guilty. 

There's a lot more where that came from, so click HERE to read.

But you get an idea of what kind of man Bolt is from that short description. When he's first introduced, he's wearing a black pinstriped suit and lime-green tie, with a "sharky grin," and he isn't averse to cursing, with lines like:

"Now comes the harder part, Nick... I need total honesty from you, it won'd work any other way. So tell me everything about your marriage, tell me the worst. Because if I know the worst, then I can plan for it. But if I'm surprised, were fucked. And if were fucked, you're fucked. Because I get to fly away in my G4."

So, he's a shark! Arrogant, brash, and an asshole, but very good at what he does apparently. As he himself states:

"I win, Mr Dunne. I win unwinnable cases, and the case that I think you may soon face is – I don'd want to patronize you – it's a tough one. Money troubles, bumpy marriage, pregnant wife."

While I'm having difficulty imagining Tyler as this character, this should be interesting, to say the least, with what looks to be a rather plump role for him. Based on my research, Tanner Bolt features more than a bit in the story, so he'll have some scenery to chew on. 

Of course, Fincher could have a completely different interpretation of who this character is, and the book's descriptions of him will stay in the book, while the character that ends up on screen that Perry plays, will be entirely recreated.

I'm just really curious to know what Fincher saw in Perry's Alex Cross performance, because he wasn't at all convincing to me. But that's just me.

We'll see! He has every right to stretch himself; but, damn, there are several other black actors, superior to Perry, who could really use the work, the spotlight and of course the paycheck.

Co-starring in Gone Girl are Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit and Carrie Coon.

Stay tuned...

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  • Monique A Williams | September 6, 2013 10:01 AMReply

    I must be the only one who thinks the novel's writing is hokey. Tyler Perry is a perfect fit for that, if the film takes the tone of these excerpts. Sounds like a 1000% cheesefest. *yawn*

  • Marie | September 6, 2013 9:23 AMReply

    I want to second all of the commenters who are outraged by this casting choice. As I said on another blog, there are about FIFTY other TALENTED black actors who would've done wonders with this role (because a good actor elevates the material.) Like all of Perry's other work, I'll be seeing this one on Netflix. Not to mention that Fincher's Dragon Tattoo remake was dreadful.

  • willie dynamited | September 6, 2013 1:42 AMReply

    If this were any other director I would be worried, but since this is Fincher, a cinematic beast, there is definitely more to this than stunt casting. His track record refutes that. Honestly I think he casted him for his comedic timing and not Alex Cross. This character Tanner has the potential to be funny like Bob Odenkirk on Breaking bad. He could bring a comedic tone to an otheriwse uncomedic story. Tyler may be a horrible director, and a terrible actor but he has always been funny. If you haven't read the book, Gone Girl, I would strongly recommend it!

  • Miles Ellison | September 5, 2013 8:49 PMReply

    Another novel turned into a bad movie by the presence of Tyler Perry. Too bad. This book was actually good.

  • Guest | September 5, 2013 8:21 PMReply

    So, he's just playing the guise of a lawyer

  • Ska-triumph | September 5, 2013 7:51 PMReply

    Though I said my piece in a reply to another commenter, I can add this: I've read the script. A good year after reading the book last summer. Written by the author, and it's tight. For the sake of brevity, TANNER is more open to interpretation. Except the spray tan… And the pinstripe suits and the attitude. TP can look the part but, as he plays off of The Batfleck for a considerable part of the second half, it makes me queasy to envision those scenes.

  • Anthony E. | September 5, 2013 7:05 PMReply

    Huge Fincher fan and have been ever since Alien3. This is the worst casting choice but then again he has to give in for as much as his films cost. Dude blew so much on the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The promotion alone, lets not forget his idea to do one sheets cut from metal. Google it... they produced a short docu on just that by way of youtube.

  • scout | September 5, 2013 5:44 PMReply

    Good for Tyler!!! Can't see anyone else in that role.

  • Ska-triumph | September 5, 2013 7:40 PM

    Really? Have you actually read the book? Or seen other actors - of comparable age, (likely) superior skill and considerable range - play lawyers or professional types on screen? I can give you ten Black men, if we are keeping it real. This feels like stunt casting when you look at the rest of the supporting cast. It's a smaller role nonetheless.

  • Jug | September 5, 2013 5:09 PMReply

    I think he did it on a dare

  • @JayTeeDee | September 5, 2013 4:58 PMReply

    Are you effing kidding me?! Please God No! Don't tell me that my favorite director out of every director has cast Madea in his next movie?! This is trolling right?! What? Why? David No!

  • LeonRaymond | September 5, 2013 6:30 PM

    @JAYTEEDEE - Damnnnnnnnn, I am such a huge DAVID FINCHER fan, I re-watch clips of Seven all the time, I just Loved Panic Room and then Dragon Tattoo was for me the Ultimate (will buy the Blue Ray Disk with all the extras) his casting has always been superb -UNTIL now there is no way TP fits in a David Fincher film No where! there are 25 other actors ten times better and about 15 Non pros on up and coming that will do that role justice and about 11 S&A actors that read this site that would be better. I can see folks being angry and the justification for invading Syria even though we should not but there is NO justification for TP being in a David Fincher movie. I don't watch his films nor comment on his loving fans -let them stay in the large circle who go see his films faithfully and great that they do, that's his niche, that's what he cut out and owns but when he slides over here to serious film-making then for me it's horrible

  • Nadia | September 5, 2013 4:54 PMReply

    What you said about there being better actors is all I can say. I don't get Fincher making this choice.

  • sthn | September 5, 2013 3:51 PMReply

    Tyler and Ben Affleck. Damn it, I'm gonna have to miss this.

  • FactChecker | September 6, 2013 1:40 AM

    I'm surprised Ben didn't drop out the minute Fincher dropped this bomb in his lap, like he dropped out of that other movie when he heard Kristen Stewart was going to be his co-star.

    This movie is DOA. ... Affleck was/is on a roll, but this will kill it.

  • JaySmack | September 5, 2013 3:34 PMReply

    Hollywood is still propping up this guys career. I'm no conspiracy buff but there's a well-supported school of thought that says Hollywood wants to feminize black men's image and rewarding Perry with more work seems to support that.
    Nobody seriously thinks of him as a dramatic actor. And David Fincher of all people ought to know better.
    Or maybe Fincher read the word "dickhead" and immediately said, "Hey, if this ain't Tyler Perry!"

  • LeonRaymond | September 5, 2013 3:19 PMReply

    SORRY! -I don't see it and I'm the biggest Fincher Fan around. I can see 25 other actors who can play that role better. TP would be last on the list !-David Oyelowo came to mind at once so I don't know.

  • slb | September 5, 2013 3:11 PMReply

    I love when directors stunt cast. Dude can not act at all, but he's a "name" so Fincher throws him in a movie. *SMH*

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