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Ben Affleck, David Fincher, and Gillian Flynn to Reteam For ‘Strangers On a Train’ Remake

Gone Girl Affleck Fincher
20th Century Fox

Google “Gone Girl” and “Hitchcockian” and you get 37,400 results. (37,401, once this piece goes up.) Critics and viewers hailed David Fincher’s adaptation of author (and screenwriter) Gillian Flynn’s domestic drama as a superb modern version of an old-school thriller by the Master of Suspense. Whether that was Fincher and Flynn’s goal all along, or simply an interesting byproduct of their work, it’s interesting in light of today’s news that Fincher and Flynn are looking to reteam—along with their ‘Gone Girl’ star, Ben Affleck—on a remake of one of Hitchcock’s most beloved films, 1951’s ‘Strangers on a Train.’

Deadline has the details on the new version, which will apparently be called ‘Strangers’ but, they say, “might best be titled ‘Strangers on a Plane.’” (What, no snakes?) Here’s the plot synopsis:

Affleck will play a variation of the role played by Farley Granger of a tennis pro who is bored with his marriage and wants to get divorced, but instead gets entwined with a wealthy socialite psycho who proposes the notion of exchanging murders. The twist here is a compelling one. Affleck will play a movie star–in the middle of campaign for an Oscar during awards season–whose private plane breaks down and is given a ride to LA on another plane by a wealthy stranger.

Affleck and Fincher are no strangers to Oscar campaigns; between them they’ve got four nominations and two wins. As Oscar marketing continue to get more and more expensive (and, according to some, dirtier and dirtier), there seems to be all kinds of fertile territory to mine there for a darkly satirical thriller. Given Flynn’s interests, I wonder if she will throw a second twist into the ‘Strangers’ formula and make the other key character (originally played by Robert Walker) a woman. Perhaps that would make ‘Strangers’ too much like ‘Gone Girl.’ Either way, that creative team and that subject matter instantly make this one of our most anticipated projects in Hollywood.

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