David Fincher to adapt Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train”

936full-strangers-on-a-train-poster__spanBy Craig Martin

On January 13, it was announced that director David Fincher will team up with Ben Affleck on a remake of the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller “Strangers On A Train.” Gillian Flynn, who adapted her novel “Gone Girl” for Fincher and Affleck, is in talks to write the script. The film will be produced by Affleck under Pearl Street, the Warner Bros-based banner he runs with Matt Damon. The working title is simply “Strangers.”

Although the Hitchcock remake,  a Warner Bros library title and an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel, will be the film’s basis, this adaptation will be contemporary and redefined for the times. This one might be best titled Strangers On A Plane, as 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 who proposes the notion of exchanging murders. The twist here is a compelling one. Affleck will play a movie star in the middle of a 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. In Fincher’s hands, who knows how that goes, but it sure does seem like fertile ground.

The idea of a remake has been kicking around for some time, with Arnold Kopelson (The Fugitive, Platoon) at one point attempting it, but never getting the film off the ground. This is an important get for Warner Bros, and the higher ups are reportedly very interested in the project. Fincher is coming off of the very lucrative “Gone Girl” which ended up grossing $350 million worldwide on a $60 million budget.

Word has it, that the already busy Affleck is already clearing space to shoot “Strangers” between directing and starring in the Dennis Lehane novel adaptation “Live By Night” in the spring and starring in “Justice League” in 2016.

Fincher has his own projects with HBO that will keep him busy in the mean time, while Affleck will next be seen in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

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