Matthew Weiner wouldn’t let Jon Hamm play Nick Dunne in ‘Gone Girl’


I’ve heard, over the years, that Mad Men creator/writer Matthew Weiner is a difficult man. If he was a woman, there would probably be stories about him involving the words: temperamental, emotional, difficult, shrill, high-strung and bossy. Through it all, Weiner’s cast has stuck by him, probably because Mad Men is a career highlight for many. Jon Hamm in particular always stuck by Weiner, and it’s been said that they have a very close friendship/working partnership. So when Hamm got an approach about playing Nick Dunne in Gone Girl, he hoped his friend would let him pursue it. Not so much. Apparently, Weiner wouldn’t give that to Hamm.

Jon Hamm was up for a starring role in the smash hit movie “Gone Girl,” but wasn’t allowed to do the film because “Mad Men” creator Matt Weiner wouldn’t let him out of his contractual obligations to his series. Hamm is still smarting from the career-hampering move to stop him from taking the role played by Ben Affleck, sources say.

“Matt would not let Jon out of his contract to do ‘Gone Girl.’ Jon was really upset about it at the time — and is still upset, because he’s thinking about the future of his career as ‘Mad Men’ comes to a close.” Another source said Hamm couldn’t do the film due to “the ‘Mad Men’ shooting schedule.”

A source said if Hamm had been allowed to do “Gone Girl,” which made $368 million, “he’d be leaving the show with a hit movie and a gritty film role under his belt.”

Before rehab, Hamm was known in showbiz circles as a fun-loving but heavy drinker. “He was well-known in Hollywood for being a heavy drinker,” said a source, “which is why he needed to go to rehab. But the timing has a lot to do with his concerns for his career.”

Immediately after word of Hamm’s rehab stay, the actor’s admirably faced all his press obligations, looking healthy and addressing the show’s ending as well as his news with grace and charm.

[From Page Six]

God, Hamm would have been great as Nick Dunne. I’m not like CB – I have no warmth (residual or otherwise) for Ben Affleck in any role. I think Affleck is a decent director and a lukewarm actor and I still think he was terribly miscast as Nick Dunne in Gone Girl. Would Hamm have been the “right” choice? Eh. Hamm would have been BETTER than Affleck, but that’s setting the bar pretty low.

There’s some question as to how serious the approach was, though. From what I remember, Affleck had the Nick Dunne role locked up pretty early and David Fincher didn’t spend a lot of time with a big casting call for Nick (like Fincher did with hiring Rosamund Pike for Amy). I believe Hamm probably did get approached, and maybe had a meeting about the role very early in the process. But chances are, even if Hamm had a free schedule, Fincher probably still would have gone with Affleck.

Oh, and Page Six also says that Hamm’s partner Jennifer Westfeldt wasn’t around last week because she had some family issues. Hmmm.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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33 Responses to “Matthew Weiner wouldn’t let Jon Hamm play Nick Dunne in ‘Gone Girl’”

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  1. Jenns says:

    I can’t see him as Nick at all. I’m not a huge Affleck fan, but I thought he was perfect for the part.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      I heard that DF wanted Ben for the role immediately, because he looked a lot like wife/baby murderer Scott Peterson…

    • ReignbowGirl says:

      I read the book long before the movie was made, and I thought Affleck was perfectly cast. He has just the right enough amounts of boyish-charm/trying-hard-to-adult/total-douchecanoe with a dash of easily-fooled-due-to-arrogance. Jon Hamm is too worldly looking to have done the role justice, and it pains me to say that.

  2. Sarah says:

    I think Hamm appears too old for Nick.

    • sienna says:


    • atrain says:

      I agree – too old. Also, he’s the star of Mad Men. Do we really think the director of the show is going to let the star out of his contract while they’re filming the final season?

    • WillowS says:

      Agreed. I love Jon Hamm but he would have been too old for that part. Ben Affleck was borderline too old for it as well although I think he did a good job and was probably one of the better things about the film. I know I’m in the minority, but I really did not like it. I enjoyed the book much more.

  3. minx says:

    Interesting, I’d never heard this.

  4. kennedy says:

    Was Hamm in the running? I’m pretty sure Affleck came on board right after Fincher signed up to direct the film. It was well before Rosamund Pike was selected for the role of Amy. Maybe Hamm WANTED the role but I highly doubt Fincher pursued him. I love Hamm and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mad Men but I don’t really see him playing Nick. I thought Affleck played the part really well. He was the perfect amount of a-hole, douche and aloof. He also had a murderous smile which made for the whole “did he kill his wife” storyline.

    Gone Girl was my favorite movie of 2014. I still can’t believe it was only nominated for one Oscar (though Pike deserved EVERY accolade). Nightcrawler and Gone Girl had some of the best reviews of the year and yet they were severely underrepresented at the Oscars.

  5. Hillshmill says:

    When I read Gone Girl, I pictured Affleck as Nick even before they optioned the book for a film. So I personally think he was perfectly cast. However, I think Hamm would have been fantastic in that part also.

    • Okie says:

      Agreed! Amy is so over-the-top vengeful that Nick falls into the protagonist category, but he’s not a likeable person, which is essential to the story (there’s a reason it’s so easy to frame him/manipulate the media). Nick describes himself as off-putting, says he smiles at the wrong times (which makes him appear distrustful) and lacks charm. Generally, people think he’s a jerk.

      I thought Affleck was the perfect choice, because there’s something about him that tries so hard to be likeable and yet just isn’t. For all the time he’s spent as Don Draper, I prefer Jon Hamm when he’s being, well, hammy. Hamm strikes me as affable and charming, so I think it would’ve been a bigger hurdle (for me) to see him as Nick.

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      Lol me too….except for the thing about Amy being a little older than Nick, I thought Ben A. was perfectly cast, because every time I see his face I think “Douche-canoe frat boy”…….

  6. burnsie says:

    I still think James Marsden would have been perfect for Nick.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yeah, I could see that. Kind of charming but at the same time a little sleazy underneath.

    • Cankles says:

      I pictured James Marsden the whole time I was reading the book. That would have been perfect casting.

  7. Talie says:

    I totally thought a bit of meta, amazing casting would’ve been Jon Hamm and January Jones. Fincher would be the only director to do something like that, but I agree…Affleck seemed locked in from the jump.

    • Jane says:

      Cool idea. The thing is the media would probably go overboard covering that angle in the run up to the release and then it could come off like a cheap trick that people wouldn’t see beyond.

  8. Green Is Good says:

    Please. One look at “The Hammaconda” and everybody would have forgotten what the hell movie they were watching.

  9. lila fowler says:

    Oh please. Both he and Ben were too old for the character but Ben looks and reads younger.

  10. valerie says:

    …But he let him do MILLION DOLLAR ARM???

  11. Happy21 says:

    I love Jon Hamm but no, he’s too old for the role. I thought that Affleck was too old for the role too but he pulled it off and made the movie pretty good.

  12. Mrs. Darcy says:

    Nick is supposed to be slightly younger than Amy so Hamm never would have worked imo though he is a much better actor than Affleck. Affleck was the main problem for me with this film (it was far too easy for the audience to switch into “Yeah let’s root for the all American frat boy!”) mode – plus the whole Amy being way more ott psychotic/murderous than she was in the book really took away most of its feminist strong points. Nick needed to be played by someone a bit more sly, with more mystery than Affleck is capable of.

    • Nina says:

      Agree. Ben was pretty one dimensional as nick.

    • Jane says:

      I’ve never read the book (*shame*, sorry), but is Nick’s age an important plot point? Everyone upthread is disqualifying Hamm based on age, but, in the movie, it hardly figured in.

  13. OSTONE says:

    I thought Ben and Rosamund were perfectly cast.

  14. sage says:

    Dang!! That would have been our only chance to see the Hammerconda.

  15. SmellyCat says:

    I think the Hammaconda should be up for every male role in every movie. I’d actually go out to the movies to see the Hammaconda!!

  16. lucy2 says:

    I can’t picture Jon in the role, though he may have been very good, who knows. If the shooting schedule conflicted with the show’s, I don’t think this is some big deal, Matthew Weiner is a tyrant story. I’ve heard he’s difficult, but I don’t think this is really an example of it.

  17. MizFabulous says:

    I love, love, LOVE me some Jon Hamm but I just don’t see him as Nick. He looks way older, more suave and debonair and way less douchier than the “douchey fraternity boy” that Nick was supposed to look like. I always thought Ryan Reynolds had a look that was better suited to the look of Nick.

    Here’s a thought…Jon Hamm as James Bond. Discuss.

  18. Jane says:

    wow. with all the press surrounding Gone Girl, I never gave much thought to alternative actors. HOWEVER, I have to say Jon Hamm is an insanely inspired choice for Nick Dunne. I’m excited now just seeing that version of the movie in my mind. Much more so than I ever was for Affleck. Crazy. And, it’s true, with the ending of Mad Men, his career is now is an important transition period. Gone Girl could have established him STRONGLY as a leading man in a culturally resonant hit and given him the opportunity to work with Fincher.

    Ouch. IF this story is true, Weiner made a bad, bad move. Way to stand in the way of people who’ve served you well year after year, sir.

    Obviously this is all conjecture. I hope Jon’s doing well. The man’s a great actor and no doubt has many great roles still ahead of him.

    * I’ve never read the book, so that might influence my sense of what makes a strong Nick Dunne.