If you were wondering what Ben Affleck, David Fincher and Gillian Flynn had planned for a “Gone Girl” follow-up, we've got your answer. How does this sound: a remake/re-adaptation of “Strangers on a Train” with Ben Affleck as an actor in the middle of an Oscar campaign solicited for a murder swap by a wealthy stranger who lends him a ride on his private jet. No, this isn't a drill. This is a real movie. “Strangers on a Plane?” Actually just “Strangers,” it turns out.
No one, but no one played the game of the awards circuit like Ben Affleck did two years ago. He charmed his way all the way through the season and landed an Oscar for Best Picture (“Argo”) despite the incredible odds stacked against him by not receiving a Best Director nomination. It was a full-on charm offensive.
Stack that against David Fincher's tendency when it comes to these things. A couple of Scott Rudin productions and a big Paramount campaign for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” may have been enough to douse any campaign spirit he may have had (and surely it was minimal to begin with) when it came to “Gone Girl.” He's been mostly MIA, with Affleck doing a lot of the heavy lifting. (Rosamund Pike has been available as much as possible during her pregnancy, though.)
Anyway, it's just an interesting note. I'm definitely intrigued by this project and think it could be a fascinating reworking. An Oscar campaign as a backdrop sounds better than any real attempt to skewer the season (which is how the project has been described to me prior to today's news break). I don't think there would be anything richer than Affleck, of all people, taking the piss out of the Oscar circuit, but we'll see what it ends up becoming.
(P.S.: Nice touch getting this news to Fleming on the day “Gone Girl” hits DVD/Blu-ray.)
Your thoughts on Fincher doing Hitchcock? Sound off in the comments section.