Arriving on Blu-ray this week is a fiercely entertaining feature we named one of our favorites of 2014: David Fincher‘s Gone Girl. While the release is light on extras aside from an Amazing Amy book, it does include an engaging feature-length commentary from the director. While we’d recommend listening to it in full, today we’re highlighting some of the best portions from the track.
During the 2.5-hour masterclass of sorts, Fincher touches on the casting of almost every major character, how Jaws, Lolita, Vertigo, Sid & Nancy, Gone with the Wind and Manhattan influenced the film, his trials and tribulations when it came to marketing, when the film gets “really weird,” his “f*ck you” to those criticizing his long takes, how they figured out the ending on set, and much more. Check out what we learned below and, of course, spoilers abound.
1. Almost every shot of Rosamund Pike has been retouched.
When it comes to the opening shot seen above, Fincher says it “was problematic because we had these long wigs for Amy as she’s meant to be adored. Almost every single shot of her in this movie has been retouched along the wig line in order to fix it. Wig technology has not really changed since Shakespeare and no new procedures or techniques were designed or founded on this film to make them any better than they’ve been. Thank God for digital retouching.”
2. The sugar scene was inspired by Sid & Nancy.
When Nick and Amy first begin dating and walk past the bakery, it’s the only time Fincher has shot on the Universal backlot in his career. He goes on to say, “I love the idea of romance amongst garbage. This reminds me of the Sid & Nancy poster. They’re kissing and garbage cans and paper towels and stuff’s being strewn and flying through the air behind them.”
3. Casey Wilson is one of the funniest people ever, says Fincher.
“A lot of what the character of Noelle has to do exists in these silent flashbacks where we see this relationship that has cultivated between Amy and Noel,” Fincher says. “A lot of times we’d just bring Casey into a room and would say, ‘OK, you guys are having Chardonnay-fueled girl time in the afternoon and you are discussing Amy’s sex life.” We’d roll and they would just go on these four and five minute tears where they would just talk and talk and talk and it was incredibly Oprah-like. It was extremely heartfelt and Casey Wilson is one of the funniest people that you could ever watch. We’d be in stitches and we’d have the sound completely turned down. I didn’t even know what was being said in the next room because I’d just be looking at her face.”
4. Jaws influenced the formation of the search party.
Discussing the search party, Fincher says, “I love the notion of somebody going missing and needing a search party and having an appeal for public help. I love that it became something to do on this summer day in a small town. The kids are running to get to the common room to hear where they are supposed to go and walk single file and tramp through the underbrush and look for remains. It couldn’t help but remind me a little bit of Jaws.” He adds, “Beyond something taking place on July 4th, beyond the idea of a search party looking for remains, whenever you have 80-feet of dolly track and a walk and talk on the sand, it has to harken to Jaws.”
5. Fincher couldn’t initially figure out where to place one of his favorite shots.
“One of the first shots that we did when we were shooting pre-scheduled material, we shot the children riding their bikes,” Fincher says. “It was such a great shot and we were going to use it in the trailer and we didn’t really have a place for it in the narrative. Then finally we said, there’s this nice moment before we go to Margot and Nick where we could use this and so we shoehorned it in there and it’s one of my favorite. Again, it feels like small-town, Middle America.”
6. Emily Ratajkowski was cast specifically to divide audiences.
“I liked the idea of introducing Andie as this kind of werewolf that comes in the back door and just mauls him,” Fincher says with a laugh. “It’s obviously not something he resists very much. When we were looking for somebody to play Andie it was imperative from my standpoint that we find somebody that could divide the audience immediately. That you could literally take a broad sword and cut right down the center of the theater. Women are going to lean back in their chairs, be disgusted, cross their arms, and go, ‘He is a fucking prick,’ and that men would put their chins on their hands, lean forward, and say, ‘Yeah, but I mean, it’s kind of understandable.’ Emily Ratajkowski does that. She just has that ability. There’s a part of you that says I completely understand why he would make this mistake, but it’s a horrible, horrible transgression and it should be punished.”
7. The Outback line came from Fincher and their experience on set.
Showing the decline of the Dunnes’ marriage, Fincher captures a loveless sex scene, followed by the perfect line, which came from the director. “As he was walking away, I wanted him to say, ‘Let’s go to Outback tonight’ and Rosamund, I want you to — no bullshit — appreciate that as an evening out. We had been spending so much time at the Outback behind the Drury Suites where the crew was staying in Cape Girardeau, that as soon as he tried that take, everybody on the set just started laughing.”
8. The moment where Rosamund Pike recalls a Hitchcock blonde.
The comparisons to the work of Alfred Hitchcock were certainly made around release (including by us) and now Fincher has specified an precise moment of similarity. Right after the Nick knocks Amy over before going out, Fincher says, “The last shot of Rosamund in this sequence really looks like a Hitchcock blonde to me. That really feels like Grace Kelly, the angle, the smudge of tears and snot.”
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