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]