Gillian Flynn Clarifies the Ending of the 'Gone Girl' Movie Won't be That Different from the Book
Fans of Gillian Flynn's book Gone Girl were shocked to learn this January that Flynn had written an entirely different ending for the upcoming film adaptation starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. And there was good reason to be! When she first revealed there would be a new ending, in the pages of Entertainment Weekly, Flynn made it sound like it was a revolutionary change. "Ben was so shocked by it," Flynn told EW. "He would say, 'This is a whole new third act! She literally threw that third act out and started from scratch.'"
But now she's walking back from that statement, saying in a Reddit AMA that while the events of the ending will be different, it will be tonally similar to the book.
Tell your girlfriend not to worry—those reports have been greatly exaggerated! Of course, the script has to be different from the book in some ways—you have to find a way to externalize all those internal thoughts and you have to do more with less room and you just don't have room for everything. But the mood, tone and spirit of the book are very much intact. I've been very involved in the film and loved it. Working with David Fincher is pretty much the best place to start for a screenwriter. Screenwriting definitely works different parts of your brain than writing a novel. I do love that with novels, you can really sprawl out–it feels quite decadent. With screenwriting, you have to justify every choice. It's a nice discipline, but definitely not decadent.
That statement is a response to a question from a Redditor who said his girlfriend was concerned about Flynn changing the ending she loved so much.
In order to be adapted for the screen, some changes needed to be made to Gone Girl. However, it's difficult to say why that is without spoiling the entire central mystery of the plot, and so I won't. But as a fan of the book and a fan of its ending, I'll say that I believe its mood and meaning are much more impactful than the actual events of the book's ending, and so, if Flynn says that "the mood, tone and spirit" of the book are intact in the film, I trust her. What I had feared most was that Flynn had "Hollywood-ed up" the book's ending to make it more palatable for audiences. From this, it sounds like that's not at all what she did.