The Real Murder That Inspired 'Gone Girl'

The Real, Gruesome Murder That Inspired ‘Gone Girl’

Gone Girl (2014) is a psychological thriller directed by David Fincher. It’s based on the bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn, who has also written masterpieces like Sharp Objects and Dark Places. If you don’t know the twists in the film, be careful reading ahead. But if you’ve already seen the movie and read the book, here are a few facts that will fascinate you:

Gillian Flynn was partly inspired by reading about the Laci Peterson case.

Laci was 27 years old when she went missing from the house she shared with her husband, Scott. She was nearly eight months pregnant at the time and was about to walk the dog when she went missing—at least, according to her husband who was away on a fishing trip. A neighbor found the dog walking the neighborhood and returned it to their backyard. When Scott returned from his trip and her car was still in the driveway, he reported her missing. Early in the investigation, he wasn’t considered a suspect. But then his mistress stepped forward and the police discovered he took out a $250,000 life insurance policy after she became pregnant. Ultimately, the police ended up finding her body washed up on the shore 90 miles from the couple’s house. The police tracked down Scott, who had moved to San Diego and changed his appearance, and convicted him of first-degree murder of Laci and second-degree murder for the death of their unborn son Conner.

The bloodiest scene took 36 takes.

Over the course of filming, 500 hours of footage was shot. David Fincher, the director behind Fight Club and The Social Network, is known for doing a ton of takes until the shot is perfect. That’s why over 500 hours of footage was shot for Gone Girl. The famous bloody scene with Desi (Neil Patrick Harris) was shot a whopping 36 times. This required 450 gallons of blood because they had to change sheets and underwear and makeup each time to reset the scene.

Fincher chose Affleck because of the scene where Nick smiles next to the poster of his missing wife.

Rosamund Pike did a phenomenal job as Amy. However, since the rights to the film were acquired by Reese Witherspoon, she originally intended to play the role. Olivia Wilde, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Natalie Portman, and Charlize Theron were also considered. As for Nick, Brad Pitt and Ryan Reynolds were considered for the role. Fincher admits he ultimately went with Affleck because of the scene where Nick needs to smile at the press while taking a picture next to a sign of his missing wife. Fincher saw Affleck pose with this smile on Google images and knew it would be perfect for the scene.

Ben Affleck caused some conflict on set.

Since the film was set in New York, Ben was supposed to wear a Yankees cap in one of the scenes. However, as a known Boston Red Socks fan, Ben refused to wear the hat. There were even rumors swirling around that this caused filming to shut down for multiple days (which seems to be a myth born from a joke Fincher made about the disagreement). In reality, they agreed to switch it out for a Mets cap and everything proceeded on as normal.