Ben Affleck Cast in David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'

affleck-dga-featIt's been so nice lately as I've been able to keep the casting news to a minimum, but when it's a project I'm interested in or a director I love I have no qualms getting the word out. Such is today's news that David Fincher has cast Ben Affleck in the lead role as Nick in his upcoming filmed adaptation Gone Girl.

Based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn (buy it here), the short of it is to say it centers on the story of a woman that goes missing on the day of her fifth wedding anniversary. Nick, her husband becomes a prime suspect.

In addition to the Affleck news, The Wrap adds word Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt are being eyed for the title role.

The news once again puts the possibility of Fincher directing a follow-up to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in the fog, not to mention his 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remake at Disney. It also means Affleck has a full plate with this and his next Dennis Lehane adaptation, Live By Night, set up at Warner Bros. Affleck penned the adaptation of the Prohibition Era story and will also star.

I've included the full Gone Girl book synopsis directly below. Flynn wrote the first draft of the screenplay.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

[via Deadline]

  • GregDinskisk

    I'm glad to see a Fincher project moving forward.

  • AS

    Damn it. Not only is Fincher not finishing his Dragon trilogy, he's making yet ANOTHER movie about a killer... and to add insult to injury, he's cast Ben Affleck.

    • Criterion10

      I have a feeling we're not going to see the rest of the Dragon trilogy, which is depressing, considering how much I liked the first one.

  • theeob

    Damn, I'm all for this but I want Sony to get it together with The Girl Who Played with Fire.

  • Winchester

    Never read the book, but the synopsis sounds fine enough. I haven't really loved a Fincher film since 'Zodiac' but I would still check it out come the time.

  • pomme

    When you read thebook,you see that Affleck is too old and the "possible" actress are too youngand too beautiful:the age of the wife is important in the story

    • sofasobad

      Man too old, woman too young: that's Hollywood for you.

      • lalecture

        Yes, perhaps so, but it worked out ok in Silver Linings Playbook.

  • andyluvsfilms

    im certainly interested in this one, the plot sounds good and i love Fincher's work, hopefully Affleck can bring something to the role after his recent subdued performances in Argo and To The Wonder

  • Adu

    Not that the story sounds amazing, but with a director like Fincher I can just imagine it sucking me in...I just love his work. I like the lead choice, Ben has just been so likeable over the past few years for me. But I am torn between those 3 actresses; I like them all...I'd love to see Emily Blunt shine, since the other two have had their 'career' moments.

    • lalecture

      Emily Blunt did win an Academy Award for Devil Wears Prada

      • Travis

        That's impressive, considering she wasn't even nominated

      • kevinb

        Blunt did not not win an Academy Award for The Devil Wears Prada, the only actress nominated from that film was Meryl Streep (for Best Actress). Blunt totally deserved a supporting actress nomination, but did not get one that year.

        • lalecture

          Wow, you are both right! Im was so sure! Thanks for the correction.

  • Jake17

    Ugh what an awful casting choice. I hate to say it but my anticipation has gone down.

  • Michael

    Ugh, I wish Fincher would finish the Dragon trilogy. Sighs, oh well anyways he's back I action which is always great to hear. Affleck has never been that bad of an actor to me as many have claimed him to be (look at: Good Will Hunting, The Town, Extract and even Argo), he just picks crappy movies & scripts. I'm interested how he does here. As for the actresses (actors), I love all 3. No not only because I have crushes on three of them but I love the as actors. I'll probably go with Blunt since Portman & Theron has their time to shine, it's about time Blunt gets her "moment" but I wouldn't be mad if one of the other two gets it.

    • andyluvsfilms

      i agree with you on Good Will Hunting and The Town, i haven't seen Extract but that performance in Argo is such a mystery, he was so one note throughout the film, even the last shot when his wife greets him at home, i thought perhaps it was building up for him to smile but there was no reaction at all. Maybe i read it all wrong.

      • Michael

        He's hilarious in Extract.

  • Matt

    I really hate Affleck as an actor but I'm willing to give it a shot. I can't think of a bad performance in a Fincher film. And the three actresses in consideration for the female lead are great.

    I received "Gone Girl" as a gift a few months ago and have yet to open it up. Now that Fincher is involved in the film adaptation I want to check it out.

  • themoviewatcher

    Happy to see Fincher moving foward with a project after Girl Who Played with Fire got held up and delayed for who knows how long. Going to read the book before this comes out.

  • Xarnis

    Ben Affleck is a capable actor, and Fincher is a fantastic director, so this could be good.

  • maja

    I'm quite happy with this news. I've never been a fan of the Millennium trilogy and this looks like an interesting project for Fincher to take on. Not quite as ecstatic about Affleck being cast but I'm definitely willing to give it a chance with Fincher at the helm.

  • Hamza Zain

    I think ever since Affleck started directing, he's figured out the acting side of it as well. He's definitely improved lately and given some solid performances. That being said, he's too old to play Nick.

  • lalecture

    Brad, you know I have been begging for comments and news on this rumored project. I am shouting for joy at this news! I actually think the casting seems to make sense. At least in the Gone Girl version of the sory in my head.
    Im not sure if Blunt or Portman is cast to play the young floozie. Theron and Affleck could turn good performances especially with the direction of Fincher.

    I, too, hope for a return of Fincher on the Millineum trilogy. But I can see the hold up in production as the actor playing the lead character, Mikael, is uncertain.

  • Newbourne

    I think Affleck's best performance to date was in State of Play. I think Good Will Hunting, Extract, Hollywoodland and Argo come close though. He has yet to really sink in a great role. Hopefully, this will be that defining performance he's waiting for.

    • lalecture

      Yes, State of Play was one of his better roles.
      Did you happen to catch the British mini-series?

      • Newbourne

        I remember feeling the film was rushed and wanted to catch up on the series, but never got around to it. The story isn't fresh in my mind anymore so I think it might be the time to see it. Thanks for reminding me.

    • Michael

      Yes forgot about State of Play, he was also good in that one.

  • Hudsucker

    Guys I think Affleck is a capable actor, his Gigli days are over..

  • Hello Kitty

    War of the Roses without the dark humor. Fincher, Affleck. I'm so there. Hope the female lead goes to Charlize.

  • Brigite22

    This book is purchased and currently sitting in my pile to read this summer. But with Fincher and Affleck involved, I may have to put it on the back-burner for awhile. It's very rare that I enjoy a movie once I've read the book, but I can often enjoy the book after I see the movie.

    • Hello Kitty

      Yeah, best not to read it before seeing it. The perspective constantly changes as the story unfolds.

  • Jaffas85

    'Gone Girl' has been my favourite book I've read this year and while I initially wasn't thrilled that Affleck was cast to play Nick (in the book the character of Nick is in his early 30s so while I read it I imagined that Jake Gyllenhaal should have played the role).

    Also while reading the book I was even more convinced that Charlize Theron should play the other lead character of Amy. Theron, just like the character Amy, is also blonde and in her late 30s and her performance in 'Young Adult' convinced me that she would perfectly pull off the role (similar sort of performance, ie: bitter and resentful beautiful late 30s character).

    • kevinb

      I agree with you about Theron as Amy. I cannot see the other two with Affleck, Portman is too tiny and Blunt is too proper. Physically, Affleck and Theron are a perfect match in my mind as Nick and Amy. Get Affleck in shape and he could easily lose 10 years. Both actors are totally capable of pulling this off. I cannot wait for this one !

      • lalecture

        Yes, Theron is very capable of playing the very complex character of Amy. Nick was kind of a weak character in the book. I think actor who has a bit more frailty would be better suited. Affleck can bring in big bucks though with his notoriety.
        If Blunt is cast as Nick's twin sister, Margo, then Nick should to "look" around 30, 35 at the most.
        What about Casey Affleck or Ben Foster?

  • kathrynlynn

    having read the book, I'm very excited to see fincher conducting this particular kind of orchestra... he's absolutely perfect for the material.

  • Gautam Anand

    I don't see Portman or Theron taking up wife's part considering there doesn't seem to be much of a role there. Affleck choice in what seems like a really expressive role is a little underwhelming, considering he has never been an actor suited for such kind of roles. Give him something where he doesn't have to be very expressive, he does a decent job [Argo, The Town]. I think Fassbender would have been a terrific choice but I guess nowadays he's very busy.
    Actress wise, though I like her, but Emily Blunt doesn't seem like the right fit. Theron if she accepts would be great, otherwise how about Affleck's real wife, Jennifer Garner.

    • Jaffas85

      I get the impression from your comment that you haven't read the book.

      The 'wife' role (character of 'Amy') is as integral to the story as the Nick character and, as someone who has read the book, I think that Charlize Theron would be perfect for the role.

      Also, while I initially wasn't very happy with Affleck being cast (primarily because the 'Nick' character is meant to be in his early 30s) I think Affleck should be alright in the role because he has the right physical look for what I'd imagined 'Nick' would look like and he's capable enough as an actor to manage the role.

      • Hello Kitty

        "there doesn't seem to be much of a role there," gives it away.

  • ancalime

    Emily Blunt team all the way!