‘The Girl on the Train’ setting changed from England to New York: Here’s why

When page-turner thriller The Girl on the Train became a massive hit last year, readers were transported to England, riding on the commuter train each day with Rachel into London and back into the suburbs.

The film adaptation of the novel by British author Paula Hawkins stars fellow Brit Emily Blunt, but the setting has been changed to New York City and its suburbs. The Ardsley-on-Hudson station is where Rachel gets off the train to wander into her ex-husband”s town. The production shot at that real-life station and in many other areas of Westchester County, and Station Road Tunnel in Irvington, NY stands in for the tunnel Rachel stumbles into on the fateful night that sends her life into even more of a tailspin.

Why the change? Here”s what screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson told us:

“When I read the book, the location that I really saw was the train. I thought that was the most important location. As well as in [Rachel”s] mind and her imagination. That was the number 1 place. When I went in and pitched it to [producers] Holly Bario and Marc [Platt], the book had not come out yet. People hadn”t read it. It was just a manuscript I was reading. So, we loved it. We didn”t know everybody else would love it as much as we did. I was pitching an American film to an American company, and I just put it in America, especially because it wasn't a particularly a Brit-English book anyway. It is, but not really compared to other books you might read.”

For more of our conversation with Wilson, you can read what she had to say about “likable” characters here, and come back to HitFix this weekend for spoilery parts of the interview.

The Girl on the Train is in theaters today.