The new issue of Entertainment Weekly features a cover shot by director David Fincher (seen above), and a preview of his next movie, Gone Girl, based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn, and starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. The piece includes a surprising revelation about Fincher’s movie: It will feature a very different conclusion than the original book. Speaking with EW, Flynn, who wrote the screenplay for the adaptation, said:
“Ben [Affleck] was so shocked by it. He would say, ‘This is a whole new third act! She literally threw that third act out and started from scratch.’”
This doesn’t mean a whole lot to me because I haven’t read Gone Girl, but according to The Dissolve’s Tasha Robinson (who picked the novel as her favorite book of 2012), it’s a fairly significant development. When I asked her whether this news makes her more or less interested to see the movie, this was her response:
“It balances. Part of what excited me about the film was the challenge of adapting it, and the question of how Fincher would handle the material. Learning that the answer is ‘by throwing a third of it out’ dampens that interest somewhat. At the same time, knowing that Flynn did the new third act herself makes the idea much more intriguing to me than it would have been if anyone else were handling it. It gives us a chance to see her take the same material in an entirely new direction, and that’s a curious idea.”
That’s true. Books get changed on the way to the screen all the time, but not as often when the original writer is so closely involved. Think of something like Sin City, where the movie, co-directed by author Frank Miller, is almost a 1:1 translation of the graphic novel’s panels onto film. When changes happen not just with the blessing of the author but with her active participation, that gets really interesting.
Feel free to speculate on what Flynn and Fincher may or may not have changed. I won’t be reading in order to stay spoiler-free, but I suspect The Dissolve’s Gone Girl fans may swing by to chime in.
[H/T The Film Stage]