Brow Beat

Ben Affleck May or May Not Have Killed His Wife in David Fincher’s Gone Girl

Ben Affleck stars as Nick Dunne, a jobless journalist suspected of killing his wife.

© 20th Century Fox

At long last we have a glimpse of David Fincher’s latest film—Gone Girl, based on Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel—and it’s a masterclass in the Fincher trailer formula: take a famous song, commission a slightly counterintuitive cover, set it to scenes of gritty drama and mystery, and watch the masses soak it up in rapt attention. This time around the cut is a version of Charles Aznavour’s lilting lullaby “She,” previously covered by Elvis Costello but here done by Psychedelic Furs frontman Richard Butler.

The only downside to that method: we don’t get too much detail. Fans of the book know that the central plot concerns Nick Dunne (Affleck), whose wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary and is presumed dead. Scenes of marital discord and Affleck’s disingenuous denials of guilt indicate that the film will take advantage of the novel’s heady blend of unreliable narrators and hard crime, but Flynn, who wrote the screenplay, has noted that it will also deviate somewhat from the book’s plot. Either way, Fincher is no stranger to these types of stories: Zodiac, Seven, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo proved him a deft and peerless director when it comes to building tension, exposing characters’ inner turmoil, and balancing atmosphere with action. Later clips will probably clarify the narrative; the film itself hits theaters October 3.