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Ben Affleck To Star In David Fincher Thriller 'Gone Girl'; Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron & Emily Blunt Eyed For Female Lead

by Kevin Jagernauth
July 11, 2013 1:00 PM
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Following the flop of "The Lone Ranger," we here at The Playlist have been discussing what this means for future projects on Disney's slate, and more specifically, David Fincher's "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea." As you might remember, Fincher's pal Brad Pitt passed on the lead role, and the other actors the director is looking at the for the part (Channing Tatum among them) aren't available until next year. But following the twin disasters of 'Ranger' and "John Carter," is Disney really going to flip the switch on this project, especially with a director who demands as much financial freedom and creative control as Fincher? Or is it another ambitious concept that's a dicey prospect for a four-quadrant hit? We're sure those discussions will be ongoing at Disney (who are yet to greenlight it) but until then, Fincher is moving on his next feature.

First announced back in January, Fincher is directing an adaptation of the critically acclaimed best-selling novel "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn, and has selected Ben Affleck for the lead role. Hot damn. The thriller tells the tale of a woman who disappears on her fifth wedding anniversary, with all the evidence pointing to her husband Nick, the latter role which Affleck will take. In the novel, he's a 34-year-old reasonably successful magazine journalist who moves back home to Carthage, Missouri, to open a bar with his sister after falling into financial hardship following the recession. As we noted, the role requires someone who can play things close to his chest without giving away whether Nick is a stone-cold killer or an innocent caught up in someone else's machinations. But all told, Affleck is a pretty fine choice....

...and an interesting one. It appears he's jumping at the chance to work with Fincher, even if it means crowding his own calendar, as he's also due to direct "Live By Night" for Warner Bros., and he's still aiming to deliver it for a 2014 release. And with "Gone Girl" shooting this fall, he'll be working on a tightrope. Thoughts? Let us know below. And by the way, it appears that Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt are being eyed for female lead. Wowsers. You can see our own early choices for the cast in We Read It: Casting David Fincher's Potential Next Movie 'Gone Girl.' [Deadline/The Wrap

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  • KR | August 4, 2013 8:54 PMReply

    Natalie Portman sucks to watch. Bad actress. So bad. Also her face is so dated. Skeletal noses are OUT.

  • Jen | July 13, 2013 6:12 PMReply

    Emily would be a great fit for Amy!

  • deirdre whitney | July 12, 2013 7:04 PMReply

    Ben Affleck is great choice for the lead. Just finished this book and loved it. The writing is so good, the take on relationships and games that are played is fantastic. Hope the film does the book justice

  • TheoC | July 12, 2013 5:25 AMReply

    A really awful dumb dumb book, might make for a compelling Fincher film but I hated the book.

  • cattt | July 12, 2013 6:45 AM

    The Godfather, Shining and Jaws (books) aren't exactly masterpieces either but the film adaptations are brilliant.

  • Tracy Lee | July 12, 2013 12:31 AMReply

    Jennifer Lawrence for Sharp Objects Please Please Please!!!

  • Cassie | July 11, 2013 9:26 PMReply

    The book was not good, I don't know how it could be critically acclaimed at all. But if anybody can make a good film out of it, it's Fincher.

  • Dianne | July 11, 2013 7:40 PMReply

    Not liking Natalie!

  • rog | August 4, 2013 8:50 PM

    I agree. Say NO to Natalie Portman. Wooden as an actress and sooooo overrated. She does not sell seats. And don't say Black Swan, because the only thing that movie proves is that Aronofsky and special effects team were genius. How else could the stiff actress an Oscar?

  • Glass | July 11, 2013 7:32 PMReply

    How has Ben Affleck gone from, "Ugh, Ben Affleck? Pass." to "Ah, Ben Affleck is an inspired choice for this role"? Is it because he directs now and gets invited to THR director roundtables? This is the first huge WTF casting choice Fincher's made, to me. Jake Gyllenhaal was bearable in Zodiac, Timberlake was fine in TSN. This might be tough to watch...

  • d | July 11, 2013 9:28 PM

    It's possible he just happens to be right for the part. And most people were "Ugh, Justin Timberlake? Pass." before they actually saw TSN.

  • Kimberley | July 11, 2013 7:20 PMReply

    Oh, I think Ben is perfect for the role of Nick. I'm still not sold at all on the role of Amy, regardless of the fact Gillian says she loved her 'darkness' in Election.

  • Rachel | July 11, 2013 6:37 PMReply

    Disappointing choice for Nick.

  • Ann | July 11, 2013 6:32 PMReply

    of the 3 Emily Blunt

  • Salvo | July 11, 2013 5:10 PMReply

    Kirsten Dunst!

  • rog | August 4, 2013 8:52 PM

    Thumbs up to Kirsten Dunst. Superb!

  • kris | July 11, 2013 4:25 PMReply

    jessica chastain!!!

  • Insider | July 11, 2013 3:19 PMReply

    Not sure how this'll time out because Live By Night starts shooting in September...

  • Fabio | July 11, 2013 3:11 PMReply

    Ben is a fine choice. But, I didn't see it coming. Charlize is already starring in a Gillian Flynn remake: Dark Places. Portman is pretty and can be cunning-- which fits. I feel Amy and Nick are impossibly beautiful beings though.

    My choice:
    Nick: Jake Gyllenhaal
    Amy: Rachel McAdams

  • Star Woman | July 12, 2013 10:48 AM

    Fabio, I like your choices for the leads, but wouldn't it be more interesting to have Reese Witherspoon play opposite Gyllenhaal?

  • Star Woman | July 12, 2013 10:48 AM

    Fabio, I like your choices for the leads, but wouldn't it be more interesting to have Reese Witherspoon play opposite Gyllenhaal?

  • Star Woman | July 12, 2013 10:48 AM

    Fabio, I like your choices for the leads, but wouldn't it be more intereting to have Reese Witherspoon play opposite Gylenhaal?

  • oogle monster | July 11, 2013 2:14 PMReply

    Actually if not Adams, definitely Charlize. But definitely NOT Portman.

  • caro | July 11, 2013 2:09 PMReply

    Affleck is too old and the possible actress are too young: in the book,the fact that she is older than him is very very important

  • joe | July 11, 2013 2:07 PMReply

    i would like charlize for the role but she is pretty busy with some future films...also i love natalie but it seems like she is being eyed for too many emily has the skills fincher can reach out so my vote goes for emily

  • Joao | July 11, 2013 2:01 PMReply

    Oh God, please let Emily work with David!

  • Mike | July 11, 2013 1:25 PMReply

    Oh dear.

  • Oogle monster | July 11, 2013 1:14 PMReply


  • oogle monster | July 11, 2013 10:46 PM

    Amy Adams brought the edge and then some in THE FIGHTER and THE MASTER.

  • Franklin | July 11, 2013 2:30 PM

    No to Amy Adams. She doesn't have much edge to her , but she tried with " The Fighter " and " The Master " . Besides, Ben Affleck is a lousy actor , that tries too hard. Why would David Fincher & Reese Witherspoon hire this wooden actor ? Why didn't they hire Joel Edgerton, Michael Fassbender , or Tom Hiddleston ?

  • tomoto | July 11, 2013 1:10 PMReply

  • laura | July 11, 2013 1:07 PMReply

    A lot of people predicted he'd get cast, considering his simultaneous smarminess and "aw shcucks" look.

    I don't think he could pull off the role though.

  • kelly | July 11, 2013 4:39 PM

    A lot of people predicted he'd get cast, considering his simultaneous smarminess and "aw shcucks" look.

    I don't think he could pull off the role though.
    that's what they said when he started directing.He proved the critics wrong and he'll prove them again

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