We Read It: Casting David Fincher's Potential Next Movie 'Gone Girl'

Features
by Oliver Lyttelton
March 15, 2013 2:44 PM
38 Comments
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James McAvoy

Though he hasn't been massively prolific in the last few years, James McAvoy is as much in demand as ever, and is having a pretty great 2013 already thanks to "Welcome To The Punch," "Trance" and his stage version of "Macbeth." He's got the right mix of star power and acting chops for the part, at 33 he's the right age, and again, he has a somewhat innocent facade, but can go darker when required. A very solid choice, even if he's likely to be lower down on the list than someone like Cooper.

Tobey Maguire
Since hanging up his Spidey outfit, Tobey Maguire has been fairly quiet. He turned down "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," was cut from "Life of Pi," and basically no one saw either "Brothers" or "The Details," the films he's made since. But his name retains some marquee value, and with a high-profile part in "The Great Gatsby" on the way, he could be interesting here, particularly as he's always proved surprising in his darker roles ("Brothers," "The Good German"). But he is on the older side of things, and also isn't quite as obvious a fit for the good-looking, coasting-on-charm Nick as some of the other choices. 

Channing Tatum

Having gotten new critical respect and box-office power thanks to his run of success last year, Channing Tatum is as in-demand as anyone else in Hollywood, and is firmly on Fincher's radar now as well. The actor is one of the filmmaker's possible choices for his version of "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea," should it get made. Tatum's going to be tied up on The Wachowskis' "Jupiter Ascending" for a while, and some might balk at the idea of him playing a journalist, but he was convincing as a white-collar type in "Side Effects," and would play the more feckless side of the character nicely. It'd be his biggest challenge yet, but he's proving increasingly impressive, and you know the studio -- and seemingly Fincher -- would be keen to have him.

Justin Timberlake
Perhaps this name would raise the most eyebrows, but we know from his role in "The Social Network" that David Fincher has faith in Justin Timberlake, and that paid off with a strong performance in the Facebook flick. With "Inside Llewyn Davis" and "Runner Runner" on the way, he's only more likely to win over the doubters as time goes on, and he's the right age and type for the part, right down to the Southern background. It's still likely to cause some fan upset, but perhaps more importantly, he's got touring commitments in support of his new record through the summer. But if Fincher wants to wait for him, he could be a solid choice.

Honorable Mentions: A-listers likely to be on the studio wishlist (if not necessarily Fincher's) include Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, Chris Pine, Jeremy Renner, Henry Cavill and Ryan Reynolds. A notch or two below them, but on the up enough that they might be considered, there's people like Armie Hammer, Aaron Paul, Joel Kinnaman, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam and Jason Clarke (though the latter, along with Peter Sarsgaard and Matt Damon, might be a touch too old at this point). Chris Evans, James Marsden and Scoot McNairy would be interesting choices as well.

Amy
Nick's wife alternates the narration. Every other chapter, at least at first, comes from Amy's diary, filling in the story of how the two met, married, and ran into marital difficulties. A little older than her husband at 38, she writes quizzes for magazines, but is actually incredibly wealthy, due to her parents writing Amazing Amy, a hugely successful series of children's books. But a few years into their marriage, Nick has managed to whittle down their trust fund, and their relationship certainly isn't what it was. She appears to be sweet, smart and generally adorable, but (without getting too spoiler-y) there's a darker side too. 

Amy Adams

The four-time Oscar nominee has already showed some interest in another Gillian Flynn-penned project; Adams was attached for a while to the writer's earlier novel "Dark Places," before Charlize Theron stepped in instead. But she'd be just as good a fit here. She's the exact same age as the Amy of the novel, and can pull off both the America's sweetheart side of the character and, as "The Master' proved, the more manipulative side of things too. "Man Of Steel" will only help her profile, so if her schedule allows it, this seems like a very smart pick.

Emily Blunt
At 29, Blunt is almost a decade younger than the Amy of the novel. But aside from that, we can't see much else wrong with the idea of casting the "Looper" and 'Five-Year Engagement" star -- and it would hardly be the first time a part's been aged down for an actress in cinema history. Often impressive, Blunt's profile continues to creep upwards (she's got Tom Cruise vehicle "All You Need Is Kill" coming up next year), and would be a smart fit for the old-money feel of Amy. She's perhaps not as Americana as some of the potential actresses, but maybe that would end up working to her benefit?
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38 Comments

  • Leanna | July 27, 2013 6:24 AMReply

    YES, Amy Adams for Amy please! She is exactly how I pictured Amy as in the book. She can pull it off. I already imagine the Veronica Lake like waves and the sweet demeanor turning dark in the middle of the movie. Adams can do exactly that.

  • Julia | April 26, 2013 10:54 AMReply

    Where is Charlize Theron in this??? She would be perfect!

  • Alex | April 11, 2013 11:58 PMReply

    I still wish Reese Witherspoon was going to star in this, she has that perky/menacing thing down pat (Election). If not Reese, I would love to see Michelle Williams or Rachel McAdams get it. They are both great in everything. For the male lead, Bradley Cooper would be perfect. If not him, someone like James Marsden or looks-wise, Josh Duhamel, would fit.

  • MM | April 11, 2013 11:40 AMReply

    Yes! Totally sold on Cooper and Adams as Nick and Amy! Perfect!

  • simcarter@chapter1-take1 | March 19, 2013 4:59 PMReply

    I am just 'gobsmacked' that Ryan Gosling hasn't even made your back up list. What the what?! Would love to know Y? I would def go for Gosling as Nick with Jessica Chastain as Amy. He's younger, 32 while she's 36. Certainly no one doubts her ability to go dark?
    Maybe Gosling will get another look after Place Beyond the Pines comes out.

  • Blartug | March 19, 2013 3:50 PMReply

    Thank god Witherspoon isn't starring in this.

  • Blartug | March 19, 2013 3:49 PMReply

    Thank god Witherspoon isn't starring in this.

  • E.K. | March 18, 2013 12:23 PMReply

    Gyllenhaal still acts too young. Mostly it's his voice, which is the same in every work of his I've seen. He needs to change it up, adapt it to suit his characters.

    I also respectfully disagree that Zodiac has been his best performance. I had been excited by him after seeing him in Donnie Darko and Brokeback Mountain, but in Zodiac I unfortunately felt that Robert Downey, Jr.'s and Mark Ruffalo's natural and charismatic performances stood in stark contrast to Gyllenhaal's slightly self-conscious presence. Perhaps he was merely miscast, or perhaps I saw the result of the strained working relationship with Fincher. Either way, a Fincher-Gyllenhaal collaboration is not something I want to see again anytime soon.

    Gosling is an enjoyable actor, but does not have the depth.

    Gordon-Levitt could be very interesting. He has the chops, the looks, the charm, and the ability to play it "close to the chest" (see his emotionally detached character and tightly focused performance in Brick) with an ambiguous darkness (see Manic).

  • JK1193 | March 16, 2013 10:09 PMReply

    Between McAvoy and Renner; and Blunt and Chastain. Blunt can be Americana, as her flawless Kansas accent in Looper has proven.

  • Alex | March 16, 2013 6:48 PMReply

    McAvoy and Mara seem like a good combination.

  • caro | March 18, 2013 1:36 PM

    unless you change the book,it doesn't work :Amy is older than Nick

  • luke | March 16, 2013 1:48 PMReply

    rachel mcadams, would be very good cast for the movie I envision her as amy

  • PTP | March 16, 2013 10:33 AMReply

    Nick: Eric Bana , Cillian Murphy, Michael Fassbender, Armie Hammer, Patrick Wilson, Sebastian Stan, Joseph Morgan, Tom Hardy, Christian Bale, Peter Sarsgaard, and James McAvoy, and Dominic Cooper.

    Amy: Emily Blunt ( she shines whenever she goes the dark route ) , Naomi Watts ( Reese Witherspoon raved about her performance in " The Impossible " ) , Anne Hathaway ( Rachel Getting Married & TDKR proved she can be both dark and edgy ) , Ruth Wilson, and Andrea Riseborough.

    No: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Bradley Cooper, Tobey Maguire, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and the very mediocre Channing Tatum are all too boyish and not manly. Henry Cavill has good looks, but no substance and no acting ability. Benedict Cumberbatch is a gifted actor, but he always comes across as cold and deadly-no sweetness and no likableness. Justin Timberlake is likable on SNL, but in his movies, you can see Timberlake struggle to give decent performances. He was weak and barely had a pulse in The Social Network, In Time, and Friends With Benefits . When it comes to acting, this guy doesn't deserve his media hype.

    The Amy character has to be warm, dark and edgy. Michelle Williams is bland and boring with no dark edge ( and no charisma and no star power ) . Williams' forte is portraying very wounded and vulnerable characters. Rooney Mara is always cold on film ( also in her interviews ) , and their is no warmth to her.

  • NORYAN? | March 16, 2013 7:39 AMReply

    No Ryan Gosling? What the hell?!

  • Lou | March 16, 2013 1:45 PM

    In a replica of All Good Things? What a bore.

  • asiandude | March 16, 2013 7:33 AMReply

    From these choices, my ideal choice would be James McAvoy & Amy Adams =) Second is Brad, Emily.

    But just curious, did any1 think of GOOP??? I kinda like her in "Contagion". Though, she can be too polarizing.

  • Alan B | March 16, 2013 5:26 AMReply

    Also, an IMDb user suggested Seyfied for reasons that are strange, but awesome: "I was picturing Amanda Seyfried the whole time as Amy, just because I saw the movie "Gone" maybe six months ago, and had recently heard about Gone Girl on the radio, but didn't pay enough attention to catch if it was a book or a movie, and so when "Gone" showed up from netflix, I was thinking it might have been what I had heard about on the radio. So since then I've just associated the two even though they really have nothing to do with each other." I am pretty sure this is how Madeleine Stowe got her role in 'Revenge'.

  • Alan B | March 16, 2013 5:27 AM

    Make this happen, Fincher. Now!

  • Alan B | March 16, 2013 4:52 AMReply

    "Chastain's a once-in-a-generation talent" Oh. My. God. I like Chastain fine. She's clearly a technically proficient actress with both emotional and physical range. However, your statement has to be one of the most ridiculously hyperbolic statements I can remember about an actor. Brando was a once-in-a-generation talent, as were Day-Lewis, Olivier and Streep. The likes of Brando and Olivier changed the way actors looked at their craft, whilst Day-Lewis and Streep have delivered extraordinary work for decades. In all honesty, does anyone really believe that Chastain deserves to be compared to those actors? Not to say that she couldn't be that good. But wait 10-20 years before making such an outlandish declaration. When someone declares - without irony - that Chastain is "once-in-a-generation talent" they do nothing but damage their own credibility as a writer.

  • Alan B | March 17, 2013 7:54 PM

    Well, Gerard, if we include Blanchett and Chastain in the same "generation" (as well as Winslet), it's even more difficult to accept The Playlist's claim. Chastain is the shiny new toy that all critics are fighting over because she's new and therefore "exciting". Remember when Vera Farmiga was THE actress? "Vera Farmiga may have her next Oscar nominated role in the bag," The Playlist once breathlessly declared of one - unmade - film project.

  • gerard | March 17, 2013 12:56 PM

    Agreed. Their is nothing about Chastain that reminds of Streep. Cate Blanchett reminds me of Streep.

  • Anne | March 16, 2013 1:22 AMReply

    Agreed with the comments stating that the actresses mentioned here are too young for the role of Amy. When I read the book I initially pictured Amy Adams, but then Amy (in the book) morphed into Naomi Watts, particularly when her true character was slowly revealed. She was very reminiscent of Betty in Mulholland Drive.

    As for Nick, I like the idea of Patrick Wilson in the role. He has those corn-fed/Midwestern/aw shucks good looks, and has the acting chops to toe the lines between worried spouse, emasculated husband, AND prime suspect.

  • Lynne | March 16, 2013 3:16 PM

    Definitely Wilson and Adams would be perfect for these roles.

  • caro | March 16, 2013 9:14 AM

    +1 on all

  • Amy | March 15, 2013 11:24 PMReply

    Of the choices listed above, my ideal pairing would definitely be Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams. For Nick, I would also suggest Zachary Knighton (from "Happy Endings"), who I think has the exact right look for the part.

  • Susan | March 15, 2013 7:02 PMReply

    Theron and Fassbender.

  • caro80120@hotmail.fr | March 16, 2013 9:16 AM

    Theron and Fassbender are too good-looking and gloomy

  • asiandude | March 16, 2013 7:27 AM

    IDK, man. Fassbender doesn't strike me as having this type of sweet, likable, prince charming handsome style. He fits more dangerous looking guy. I kinda dig Bradley Cooper & James McAvoy suggestion. Tbf, I don't see Rooney Mara for this - she's too innocent looking, she looks like 25 or even younger. Emily Blunt, Rebecca Hall can look older , with the right makeup, can convincingly look mid-thirties. Andrea Riseborough also has that quality where she can disappear (looks-wise) in different characters, she can go from W.E. to Made in Magenham (did I spell correctly?) to Happy-go-Lucky (and to a certain extent since I havent seen the movie, Oblivion) quite easily too.

    We also have to consider chemistry too.

  • Chad | March 15, 2013 11:31 PM

    ^This

  • Liz | March 15, 2013 4:43 PMReply

    I'm really surprised Charlize Theron isn't even mentioned (outside of the Amy Adams blurb). She's the right age, and she seems like the perfect fit for it. She, McAdams, and Chastain were my first thoughts when I was reading the book.

  • Really?!? | March 15, 2013 4:37 PMReply

    The fact that Ryan Gosling isn't even an honorable mention is flabbergasting. Nick is blonde by the way.

  • BEF | March 15, 2013 4:04 PMReply

    Is there a reason that Witherspoon isn't on this list? Couldn't she be producing for, y'know, herself?

  • simcarter@chapter1-take1.blogspot.com | March 19, 2013 4:54 PM

    Originally she was also attached to star but just dropped out a few days ago.

  • BEF | March 15, 2013 4:06 PM

    Is it a given that she's not starring? Brad Pitt was only going to produce The Tree of Life y'know and DiCaprio had a few that he stepped in on when he wasn't going to.

  • Melissa | March 15, 2013 3:47 PMReply

    Blunt was rumored for the role a few months ago.

  • Damian | March 15, 2013 3:19 PMReply

    Maggie Gyllenhaal?

  • petra | March 15, 2013 3:01 PMReply

    Most of these choices are too young, imo. Amy's 38 and the fact that she's insecure about her age is important. As is the fact that there actually IS a character in her 20's who will lose some of her effectiveness if there's not a contrast between her and Amy.

  • Roark | March 15, 2013 2:57 PMReply

    Hopefully they don't age Amy down - I'd argue her insecurity about aging, and how she thinks Nick sees her as she ages, is actually a pretty big part of her character.

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