If you’re anything like me and read entertainment magazines and blogs etc., you’ve been hearing about the adaptation of Gone Girl for a while. Entertainment Weekly is one that I subscribe to and they have featured Gone Girl on the cover twice! Now that we are nearing opening night (four more sleeps!), I thought I should put my two cents in!
When the adaptation of Gone Girl was first announced, fans of the book went nuts. When it was announced that Gillian Flynn herself would be writing the screenplay, fans went even more nuts. Then there was that infamous quote from the director and fans went nuts again… but in a negative way: “Ben [Affleck] was so shocked by [the screenplay]. He would say, ‘This is a whole new third act! She literally threw that third act out and started from scratch.’”
During a Reddit AMA (ask me anything), Flynn responded to a fan’s disappointment:
“Tell your girlfriend not to worry — those reports have been greatly exaggerated! Of course, the script has to be different from the book in some ways — you have to find a way to externalize all those internal thoughts and you have to do more with less room and you just don’t have room for everything. But the mood, tone and spirit of the book are very much intact. I’ve been very involved in the film and loved it. Working with David Fincher is pretty much the best place to start for a screenwriter. Screenwriting definitely works different parts of your brain than writing a novel. I do love that with novels, you can really sprawl out — it feels quite decadent. With screenwriting, you have to justify every choice. It’s a nice discipline, but definitely not decadent.”
This pacified some fans, but others have remained skeptical. I am somewhere in the middle; while I understand that some things must change when a book is being adapted into a film, I think there is a line that needs to be drawn. Yes, the “mood, tone, and spirit” are important things, but they, to me, are not all that’s important. When it comes to a story where plot is so key, any changes that alter the plot’s trajectory never sit well with me (ex. the film adaptation of My Sister’s Keeper. That was terrible! The book ended so much better!). If the ending of the movie is different (that is, with more than just minor differences), I am going to be disappointed—I won’t care if the “mood, tone, and spirit” are the same. Therefore, on one hand I am out-of-my-mind excited, and on the other I am quite nervous. How about you? Are you a fan of the book? Do you have any reservations about the movie?
You can find my review of Gone Girl
from last year here
Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.