As a director, Ben Affleck is three-for-three, a perfect batting average that includes Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and a Best Picture Oscar for his last film, Argo. But he’s not above picking up pointers from his own directors. To that end, Affleck is in the midst of what might be considered a Ph.D. filmmaking class on the set of Gone Girl, David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel about a woman who goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary. “I truly kind of show up with a notepad,” says Affleck, who plays Nick Dunne, the husband who is suspected of his wife’s murder. “He’s the only director I’ve worked with who I felt like could do everyone else’s job as well, if not better, than they could; who is able to articulate exactly what he was thinking; and who understands the technical side of the work as much as the creative side, which is to say, a lot. I’ve learned more from David in a day or two than I have most movies I’ve spent 80 days on.”
Rosamund Pike (An Education) plays the missing wife, Amy, a displaced New Yorker who struggles more than her husband when they move to his hometown in Missouri. Flynn’s page-turner alternates perspectives, so readers are invited into both characters’ minds, a potential storytelling challenge for the filmmakers. “I don’t want to give away too much, because if you know the book, you know that there are set of reveals that you would want to maintain the integrity of,” says Affleck. “But I will say that Gillian adapted it and I think it’s very, very faithful to her book. If you read the book and liked it, you will definitely like the movie.”
Gone Girl, which is slated for release on Oct. 3, 2014, has been filming in Missouri and California and is aiming to wrap in February.