Hollywood's 25 Most Powerful Authors
The former Entertainment Weekly writer hit it big this summer with Gone Girl, which spent eight weeks in the No. 1 spot on The New York Times best-seller list. Reese Witherspoon, who read the unsettling mystery about a wife’s disappearance before it was published on a recommendation from writer-producer Leslie Dixon (Limitless), says she was impressed with the way Flynn was able to tell the story from both male and female perspectives while employing a nonlinear structure. “You really can’t anticipate where it’s going, but it’s one of those books you can’t stop reading,” says the actress. Adaptation rights went to 20th Century Fox for a reported $1.5 million; Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea and Dixon are producing.
For Flynn, who lives in Chicago with her husband, attorney Brett Nolan, and 2-year-old son, it was important that the deal allow her to adapt her novel. “It has a strong voice, and I felt like that voice needed to be continued to really keep the tone right,” she says. The success of Gone Girl has given a sales bump to Flynn’s two previous novels, and Dark Places (2009) is set to start filming in February with Amy Adams in the lead. She just signed with Crown for a fifth novel and her first YA book, but up next is a fourth novel she describes as “another dark, psychological thriller,” due out in 2015.