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Gone Girl: How did the film ending differ from the book's?


Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike shine in the must-see thriller Gone Girl.

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike shine in the must-see thriller Gone Girl.

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike shine in the must-see thriller Gone Girl.

David Fincher handled the challenge of adapting a beloved novel with aplomb in Gone Girl, managing to fit Gillian Flynn's intricate mystery within the very different confines of a movie.

Changes, additions and omissions are always going to be necessary during this process and while often seen as a negative they are what makes an adaptation succeed or fail, are integral to pacing and are very difficult to get right.

While Gone Girl was a better example of how to condense a book into a film, you might still have found yourself wondering exactly what Gillian Flynn changed in her screenplay as you walked out of the cinema, here are the key differences:

*Spoilers obviously*


Desi Collings' death

In the book, his murder is described after the fact and is much less gruesome. Amy (Rosamund Pike) drugs Desi (Neil Patrick Harris) and then cuts his throat, whereas in the movie she does it during sex, showering herself, her white underwear and the white bed linen in blood.

Effect: More blood and guts!


The revelation of Amy's pregnancy

In the book, Nick (Ben Affleck) begins writing a memoir after Amy returns home, detailing her deceit and crimes in the hope of "burning [their relationship] down" and removing her nation's sweetheart image. Amy forces him to delete it however after revealing that she became pregnant using his semen sample, trapping him into fatherhood.

In the movie, Nick slams Amy against the wall after she reveals her plot, with the pair later announcing her pregnancy during a TV interview in which Nick feigns delight at the news.

Effect: Better skewer the intrusiveness of the media and its thirst for a happy ending


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Amy's missing poison vomit

As a safeguard, Amy drinks anti-freeze and then throws it up, saving the vomit so she could potentially use it as evidence that Nick tried to kill her.

Effect: You would have thought an incriminating jar of refrigerated vomit would be right up Fincher's street (this is the director of Se7en, remember), but ultimately he, Flynn (who also penned the screenplay) and the other creators must have decided it was expendable and Nick's imprisonment could be conveyed without it.


The final shot echoes the first

The movie closes as it opens, with a close-up of the back of Amy's head as Nick ominously and ambiguously discusses wanting to "crack her head open" to find out what's going on in her brain.

"What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?" he repeats.

Effect: Takes the movie full circle and says something about how paradoxical marriage is when everything is supposed to be shared but thoughts are always private.


Ultimately, not that much

To its credit, Gone Girl stays pretty true to the book.

In the run up to the premiere, Fincher quoted Ben Affleck as saying of Flynn's screenplay, “This is a whole new third act! She literally threw that third act out and started from scratch," but the author has since played this down, saying the reports following it were "greatly exaggerated".

A lesser director may have chickened out of its denouement and gone for a more box office friendly finish in which Amy is exposed and hauled off in bracelets, but in keeping the ending muted and uneventful and leaving Amy and Nick together, the film retains the book's core theme of the toxicity of love and our ability to stick with lovers however egregiously f*cked up they may be.


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