Not much has happened on this project since it was first announced, and writer Gillian Flynn has revealed why. Chatting to Vulture, the Gone Girlscribe revealed that she’s moved to Los Angeles for the time being to work with director David Fincher on HBO’s remake of Channel 4’s Utopia. As such, Strangers On A Train has taken a back seat. “We’re all so overcommitted right now that we’ll see on that one,” she said.
Our original story from January 13th, 2015 follows…
After being seduced in a whirlwind thriller by Gone Girl, I never thought I’d see the day where the same creative team of David Fincher, Ben Affleck, and likely Gillian Flynn could do me wrong. But like a night out with the Amazing Amy, I am now shellshocked:
The Gone Girl creative team is planning to remake an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
As broken Tuesday afternoon by Deadline, director Fincher and star Affleck are remaking Strangers on a Train at Warner Bros. Gillian Flynn, who adapted her own novel Gone Girl, is in negotiations to script the film. Apparently, the new film is going to be a massive reworking of Hitch’s classic (which was based on a Patricia Highsmith novel) by moving the concept into the navel-gazing world of Hollywood and first-rate aviation.
Whereas the original film featured Farley Granger as a tennis pro, who’s desperate for a divorce, sharing the wrong train cabin and a poor choice of words with Robert Walker, the remake will apparently take place on a plane. Affleck will be playing a movie star desperate to win his Oscar campaign when he is forced to share a private plane with a wealthy stranger, and ideas are wrongfully shared.
In which case, I would suggest that they just drop the remake notion, and go somewhere else entirely different with the concept. The idea of Fincher doing a film satirizing the inside-baseball of Hollywood, particularly during Oscar season, is an appealing one, especially since Fincher always looks so glum when making the award circuit rounds (Affleck tends to be a little more chipper). But while the premise sounds like a potentially intriguing reworking, I am forced to recall how Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was supposedly a very different vision of Stieg Larsson’s first novel…and then how at the end of the day, the Swedish film starring Noomi Rapace was a more entertaining picture.
In the meantime, this keeps Affleck settled at WB where he is of course headlining their tent poles by playing Batman in at least four upcoming films. He also is directing and starring in the Dennis Lehane adaptation Live By Night with Sienna Miller and Elle Fanning.
At least he isn’t trying to play Joseph Cotten’s Uncle Charlie. Oh no, I may have said too much…