Gillian Flynn: Gone Girl’s Amy & Nick are a ‘murder-suicide waiting to happen’

Gwyneth Paltrow attends a seminar in New York City

I love author Gillian Flynn. She’s a badass. She wrote Dark Places, Sharp Objects and Gone Girl, all of which have been adapted to screen in various forms. Gone Girl was her biggest success, and the film adaptation was… okay. I loved Rosamund Pike as Amazing Amy but I thought Ben Affleck was completely and utterly miscast as Nick Dunne. That was a role which would have been better served by someone like James Marsden. I bring up the Affleck miscast because, as someone who read the book, I felt like Affleck’s casting changed the central dynamic of the Dunne marriage – it made them equals, when Amy was actually in charge in the book. Anyway, SPOILER, Amy and Nick end up together at the end of the book and movie. They’re still married and she’s pregnant and it’s basically the completely right ending because it’s so unsettling. Gillian Flynn was asked about how Amy and Nick would handle the pandemic, long-term, and she talked about that and her new project with People Mag.

How Nick and Amy Dunne would handle the pandemic: “That feels like a murder-suicide waiting to happen. I feel like Amy would have used it as a sort of time for self-improvement for everyone — but mostly for Nick. And Nick would have tried to sneak away to eat Velveeta and watch porn.”

Her new Amazon show, Utopia: It’s a story of conspiracies and flu outbreaks that she’s been crafting since she was pregnant with her younger child. “I started working on it in 2013 and I immediately got pregnant with my daughter. And said daughter is now upstairs experiencing first grade. She is walking proof of how long it’s taken for Utopia to come to fruition…It was a very odd moment. I am not by nature a science person or medical person, but in this case, obviously I had been well-schooled. So I would be nodding along with the news like, ‘Yeah, that sounds right.’”

[From People]

Hard disagree! I mean, Nick and Amy are her creations and she would know better than me. But I just think that even though Nick was “stuck” at the end of the book, that doesn’t mean he would actually stick around long-term. He would have found a way to get out of there within two years, max. But if he had stuck around, Amy would be horrendous to him. Like, she would not give him any peace.

Also: if you’re curious about Utopia, the NY Times did a lengthy piece about how it came to be, how it’s loosely based on the UK series, and how Gone Girl director David Fincher was the one to ask Flynn to write it and be the show runner.

43rd Toronto International Film Festival - Widows - Press Conference

Photos courtesy of WENN, ‘Gone Girl’.

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27 Responses to “Gillian Flynn: Gone Girl’s Amy & Nick are a ‘murder-suicide waiting to happen’”

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  1. dogmom says:

    I hated Gone Girl with a passion — like there were several times when I legit wanted to throw the book across the room and scream. Utopia seems like it could be interesting, though.

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:

      I cannot stress this enough (although to be fair I’m basing my opinion on the early reviews of this new Gillian Flynn version, which I haven’t yet seen): do yourself a favor and seek out the original UK Channel 4 version if you can instead (or at least before you try the new one). It’s OUTSTANDING

      • dogmom says:

        Thanks for the tip, Lady! I agree with what you said below about the movie being better than the book, although I think that’s because I already knew I hated the book so I didn’t have high hopes for the movie, LOL!

  2. bub244 says:

    I loved Ben Affleck in the film!! I haven’t read the book, so maybe that would change my opinion, but he plays the perfect balance of smarmy/spineless/lazy that I now have trouble separating him from the character (and maybe I’m not that wrong).

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:

      I completely agree! I thought Affleck was excellent casting – remember the SMILE?! Then again – I don’t think Flynn is a great writer (although she’s good at plotting) and thought the film was better than the book

    • lola says:

      I liked him as Nick as well. I think he did a great job.

    • tcbc says:

      David Fincher is unmatched in his ability to cast actors who are almost the same as the characters they embody. I suspect Nick is indistinguishable from Ben Affleck the real man.

  3. Noki says:

    When i saw American Woman with Sienna Miller i was convinced it was from this author. Even the way the movie was made was very similar to Dark Places.

  4. dlc says:

    Loved Gone Girl! Obviously Amy is a horrible person but her Cool Girl speech made me want to stand up and cheer.

  5. Jane's Wasted Talent says:

    Always meant to read the book but have never gotten around to it. However, not having read it, I especially appreciated Ben Affleck’s casting, because he reminded me so much of Scott Peterson that it immediately created the proper tone, and the plot resolved so much more powerfully. I could see this Nick staying, out of depression-induced inertia and because he didn’t seem that bright, even with the great dialogue written in the introductory scenes. I take it that book Nick is smarter then?

    And doubtless I’ve followed true crime too closely, but did anyone else see a facial resemblance between the actress who played his sister and Casey Anthony?

  6. Kyla says:

    I read the book and saw the film. I think Gillian’s description of where the characters would be now is totally in line with both the book and film. There is no way Nick would have ever been able to successfully leave Amy by his choice. She would never allow it. She outsmarted him at ever step and would continue to do so. The only way Nick would be able to move on would be if Amy found another man to replace him with – someone that she saw as returning her to the status she believed she was deserving of. It would have to be someone far richer, hotter, prominent and completely enthralled with her. A new Nick. Even then, Nick probably winds up dead, so Amy can play the role of grieving widow before finding love again. Amy was a manipulator of the press, she knew what stories sold and would craft the story that best preserved her version of the happily ever after.

    • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

      What a great reading of the Amy character- she would absolutely believe she had to kill him, because he knows she’s a murderess.

    • Meg says:

      Wasnt the point of the book Amy punishing nick for not being a better husband to her and cheating? She set him up for a potential death sentence just to punish him for not being the husband she thought she deserved so i dont think Nick would have a chance to leave – amys ego couldn’t take it

  7. ItReallyIsYou,NotMe k8 says:

    I always thought that Nick and Amy would stay together forever, but he would be miserable, staying only for the child, and she would grow to hate him again because he wouldn’t be able to hide his misery. And his sister would show up occasionally to goad Amy even more.

  8. Doodle says:

    I read the book first – years before the movie announcement was made – and also couldn’t picture Ben Affleck in the role. He did fine but I agree that someone like Hames Marsden probably would have been a better choice. I felt there should have been more nuance to the character. A lot of the apathy, the undercurrent of frustration and “feeling stuck” in his life before she went missing was gone in affleck‘s performance. It felt very one note to me.

  9. SJR says:

    Read the book, enjoyed it.
    Can not stand Affleck so I don’t watch any movie he is involved in.
    I admit he is talented. But his personal dumpster fire of constant Man-Child lifestyle pisses me off since back in the original Bennifer days.
    And the stupid phoenix back tattoo, which is very badly done, proves me point. Tool.

  10. SJR says:

    Btw, more James Marsden in everything sounds good to me.

  11. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Nah. I agree with Gillian. Nick would stick around. And he would see himself as some kind of martyr for doing so. And I actually think Ben was perfect for that role.

  12. Scal says:

    Read the book and liked it until the last 3bor 4 chapters. Then I felt like I wasted my time with reading it but I had to slog on to the finish because I’d already spent the week reading it.

  13. superbass says:

    I always pictured Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, even before they announced the casting because 1) the description is basically of a boring but good looking normie dude and 2) it was clearly a lift from Scott Peterson. To me, it was Rosamund Pike and NPH who were the miscasts. But I wasn’t a fan of anyone’s acting in the movie-I think you can blame the direction on that though.

  14. Lala11_7 says:

    I read the book and saw the movie…I thought both leads were PERFECTLY cast…and I ALWAYS thought that eventually Nick would strangle Amy in her sleep…then off himself…she’s a monster who fashioned herself…PERFECTLY to torture him…and Nick wasn’t dumb…he recognized how much SMARTER Amy was to him…

    And to ULTIMATELY save their child…I believed he would take her out…him out…and let his sister raise the BABY…

    I LOVE characters that allow me to think beyond the last page in the book

    • tcbc says:

      …and then never see that child again. Men like Ben and Nick are great at the grand gesture/big action, but cannot handle the day to day. That’s why they seek out controlling women, so that someone else could be in charge while they just coast. And then they resent the control they sought out and cheat. Rinse, repeat.

    • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

      You guys have so many great insights- I have to read this now. Thank you for posting about this Kaiser.

    • Meg says:

      ‘he recognized how much SMARTER Amy was to him…’

      Smarter or crazier? Ive been around people who are awful and stoop to levels i wouldn’t go to even as a flawed average person myself and i think, fine-i dont want to ‘win’ a competition of who’s worse with you

  15. Not Another Deborah says:

    I never understood how she got this popular. I read three of her books (got an omnibus version) and I found them awful. Just so poorly written. The only highlight is the Cool Girl speech in Gone Girl. Her characters are flat and dull, her writing is so-so, and she’s definitely not the feminist author some people called her.

    Haven’t seen the film, tho. Maybe I’ll enjoy it.

  16. JillyBean says:

    God I thought affleck was perfect for it.. smug and egotistical but still trying to be the good guy/boy next door…