It’s been a banner year for Ben Affleck. His third directorial effort, the Iran hostage thriller ‘Argo,’ was a mainstream hit and won the Academy Award for Best Picture, earning the multi-faceted filmmaker his second Oscar (he still has that one for collaborating with Matt Damon on the ‘Good Will Hunting’ screenplay), he’s been suggested for several high profile follow-ups (including any number of superhero reboots and a possible stab at Stephen King’s epic ‘The Stand’), and everyone seems to have forgotten/forgiven his notorious romp with one Jenny from the Block Lopez a few years back. Remember that?
Anyway, the latest news from Collider.com and Deadline.com finds the in-demand artist delaying his planned ‘Argo’ follow-up (another adaptation from ‘Gone Baby Gone’ author Dennis Lehane entitled ‘Live by Night‘) in order to star in a film for fellow auteur, David Fincher. No, Affleck is not taking over for Daniel Craig in the MIA sequel to ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.’ Instead, he is in negotiations to co-star alongside a yet as unnamed actress is the film version of Gillian Flynn’s popular page-turner, ‘Gone Girl.’
Both the story and subject matter seem right up Fincher’s alley. In the book, a couple from New York move to small town America. Their marriage is troubled and money becomes an issue. Shortly thereafter, the wife disappears and her husband becomes the prime suspect. In the end, the truth is even darker and more disturbing than the set-up. Fincher’s amazing vision will clearly be fueled by such material (as long as the script doesn’t stray too far from Flynn’s fascinating, flawed literary personalities) and we can easily see Affleck as the wrongfully accused spouse with, perhaps, something to hide.
With Fincher having to wait until sometime in 2014 before his preferred cast will be ready for his update of Jules Vernes’ immortal ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ and Affleck free to call his own shots, it looks like this will actually happen. Though she’s listed as one of the producers, Reese Witherspoon will no co-star as the title entity.