'Gone Girl': 8 Big Clues From the First Trailer

1:55 PM PST 04/15/2014 by Philiana Ng

THR analyzes the first footage from the David Fincher-directed adaptation of Gillian Flynn's 2012 best-seller starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

Gone Girl is the latest best-seller to get the big-screen treatment.

Directed by David Fincher, Gone Girl stars Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, whose wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary. At first Nick seems like a forlorn husband, but his strange behavior soon makes him a suspect. The trailer for the New Regency/20th Century Fox feature shows the increased pressure he feels as the police and media begin to turn on him while continuing their search for "Amazing Amy."

VIDEO: First Trailer for David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Debuts

Author Gillian Flynn, who has said that she wanted to explore the mysteries of marriage, adapted her 2012 blockbuster novel. Neil Patrick Harris, Carrie Coon and Tyler Perry co-star.

The Hollywood Reporter breaks down the key elements of the 90-second trailer featuring a Richard Butler cover of "She," from moments taken right out of the book to clues of the darkness that bubbles underneath the surface.

1. 1-855-4-AMY-TIPS

The trailer drops hints to the movie in the form of a phone number, 1-855-4-AMY-TIPS, and a URL, FindAmazingAmy.com. If you call the number, you're treated to an audiobook version of Gone Girl set to an ominous instrumental, with a man reading as Nick, "When I think of my wife, I always think of her head." It's not so much a revelation as it is a mood-setter. There's a sinking feeling that there's more to the Dunnes than meets the eye. (The actual audiobook, for the record, lasts more than 19 hours.)

2. FindAmazingAmy.com

If you type in the URL that's listed on the billboard in the trailer, it leads to the studio's official movie website. Stay on the website long enough and you'll notice that it features a real Fox affiliate, KRBK-TV, in Springfield, Mo.; a breaking news ticker; details such as the time and temperature in Missouri (86 degrees!); and flashes of the trailer's crucial moments, many of them dealing with the media hype surrounding Amy's disappearance.

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3. Treasure hunts

In the books, Nick establishes early on that Amy loves games, specifically mind games, and on their wedding anniversary, she'd set up treasure hunts, which would require him to decipher a series of clues in order to find his present. Nick was never great at figuring out Amy's clues, and in the trailer, there is a very brief glimpse of an envelope with "Clue One" scrawled on it.

4. Dueling perspectives

Gone Girl, the book, tells the story from the points of view of Nick and Amy -- the former in present day as he's bombarded by the media's pronouncement that he's guilty, the latter in the past via her journal entries. It's unclear how the film deals with that aspect of the book, crucial to the early part of the story, but Flynn has said that the movie -- which she wrote -- won't be told in the same way. The trailer goes back and forth between the past and present; could that be how the movie unfolds as well?

5. Nick's moment of discovery

Nick first discovers that his wife is missing at the 0:25 mark, and the scene is a near match to Flynn's description in the book (see page 23) -- minus Nick's moment of desperation and exasperation that quickly follows. (Perhaps that will still play out in the movie?) The camera pans down to the shattered coffee table, the carpet strewn with shards of glass and even the ottoman flipped upside down.

6. Faux Nancy Grace

A big theme of Gone Girl is the media's ability to indict someone of a crime without any tangible facts. At the 1:02 mark, there's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment where a TV broadcasts a Nancy Grace-esque program that asks whether Nick is a "Wife Killer." That Nancy Grace stand-in, obviously biased against Nick, is pivotal in the way Amy's story unfolds in the book.

7. The supporting cast

The trailer mainly establishes Nick's current dilemma as he faces constant media scrutiny, but it sheds some light on the supporting characters that orbit the Dunnes' world. You have the officers (Det. Boney, played by Kim Dickens, and Det. Gilpin, played by Patrick Fugit) assigned to investigate Amy's disappearance; Nick's twin sister, Margo (Carrie Coon); and Nick's attorney, Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry). There are several other characters in the trailer who have yet to be identified -- and with good reason, their Gone Girl alter egos tip the story's hand.

8. Not a killer?

"I did not kill my wife," Nick says at the end of the 90-second trailer as a haunting visual of Amy's body underwater appears. Readers of the novel will find the timing of Nick's declaration of innocence and the image to be more than just coincidence.

Gone Girl hits theaters Oct. 3.

Email: Philiana.Ng@THR.com
Twitter: @insidethetube

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