ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

Author Gillian Flynn has taken both the literary and entertainment industries by storm in the last few years with her dark and twisted thrillers. After her first book, Sharp Objects, was released in 2006, it became clear that the works of this former television journalist were destined for the silver screen.

Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl

In 2014, Flynn wrote the screenplay adaptation of her third novel Gone Girl, for the film which eventually starred Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, directed by David Fincher. The movie achieved mass critical and commercial acclaim. Now, fans are left counting down the days until her next project comes along to blow our minds.

The good news is that pretty much every one of Flynn's works is or will soon be adapted to film or TV. Here is everything you need to know about Gillian Flynn's completed and upcoming movies and television series.

'Sharp Objects'

  • Publication Date: September 26, 2006
  • Series Release Date: TBD
  • Show Creator: Marti Noxon
  • Starring: Amy Adams
  • Logline: After a stint in a psych hospital, journalist Camille Preaker returns to her Missouri hometown to report on the deaths of two young girls.

Despite being Flynn's first book, Sharp Objects has only recently landed an adaptation deal. Back in July 2014, The Hollywood Reporter reported Entertainment One and Blumhouse would develop the project, but it wasn't until April of 2016 that the series found its home on HBO.

So far, the only confirmed casting is Amy Adams as the protagonist, but if the upcoming series was enough to bring Academy Award-nominated actress Adams back to the small screen for the first time since her role on The Office, I imagine it will be a stellar cast.

Sharp Objects also brings on talented UnREAL showrunner Marti Noxon as the screenwriter. In an interview with MTV, Noxon said that they won't hold back from any of the darkness in the novel, and compared the upcoming series to another HBO hit, True Detective.

Were not going to back off from anything. There’s been a couple of times when I said something to Gillian, and she’s like, "Dude, that’s dark!" And I'm like, "Who are you to talk?" [Laughs]I think that in this era of "True Detective," and these series that really delve into some pretty gnarly places... That’s where TV really excels. There’s a tolerance for particularly dark female characters.

Unfortunately, a release date for the series has yet to be announced as it still seems to be in relatively early stages of production.

'Dark Places'

  • Publication Date: May 5, 2009
  • Film Release Date: August 7, 2015
  • Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
  • Starring: Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan and Chloë Grace Moretz
  • Logline: In 1985, eight-year-old Libby Day's family was viscously murdered and her brother imprisoned for the crime. At the insistence of crime club member Lyle Wirth, Libby revisits the night and discovers a painful truth.

Flynn's second novel Dark Places, published in 2009, was adapted to a film released last year by A24. Though it boasts an excessively talented cast, and marked the second artistic collaboration from Hoult and Theron since Mad Max: Fury Road, the film earned mixed to negative reviews.

Though she wasn't the film's screenwriter, Flynn sat down with director/screenwriter Gilles Paquet-Brenner before production to make sure that he understood what was crucial when cutting the book down to a two-hour-long movie. One of the bigger issues for fans, however, wasn't the acting or writing, but that physically, Theron couldn't be further from the book's five-foot-tall redheaded protagonist, Libby Day. While talking to Variety, Flynn rejected this notion and maintained that Theron was wonderfully cast.

I wasn’t remotely concerned that Charlize didn’t look like Libby because she felt like Libby from the second that she got into Libby’s soul. I couldn’t care less that she didn’t have red hair.

In all of Flynn's endeavors, the Dark Places feature film seems to be the only dark mark in her otherwise pristine resume.

See Also:

'Gone Girl'

  • Publication Date: June 2012
  • Film Release Date: October 3, 2014
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry
  • Logline: After Nick Dunn's wife Amy goes missing, the media circus that ensues puts him under the harsh light of public scrutiny and turns him from loving husband to number one suspect.

Flynn's first foray into filmmaking was actually her most recently written novel, Gone Girl. After 20th Century Fox picked up the rights for a cool $1.5 million, Flynn signed on as a first-time screenwriter, which ensured that her work was adapted properly. Granted, she had Oscar-nominated director David Fincher to help her along the way.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Flynn discussed her writing process and what it felt like to see Gone Girl for the first time.

I'd send David big swaths, and we'd get on the phone and discuss and I'd go back to work. It was a very fluid sort of writing all through those months. There were some scenes that didn't change much from the earliest drafts, and some scenes I wrote and rewrote a dozen times."[Watching the movie] was really that exciting.... For me, it's perfect. It's a David Fincher version of 'Gone Girl,' which is exactly what I had hoped for.

As almost anyone who has both read the book and seen the movie can attest, they totally nailed it.

Gone Girl stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as the troubled lovers and Pike's performance earned her an Oscar nomination for the role. The movie went on to earn nearly $370 million in the box office and currently has an 88% percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

"The Grownup"

Spa Week Daily /
Spa Week Daily /
  • Publication date: June 17, 2014 in the Rogues anthology under the title "What Do You Do?
  • Log line: When unnamed narrator goes from giving handjobs to strangers to reading people's auras, her life goes from strange to totally bizarre when she's called upon to exorcise a dark force from one woman's creepy house.
  • Film release date: TBD
  • Studio: Universal Pictures
  • Adapted by: Natalie Krinsky

The short story "The Grownup" was published in the Rogues anthology, which was edited by Game of Thrones's George R.R. Martin, under the title “What Do You Do?” before being published as a standalone work in 2015.

According to Deadline, The Grownup will soon be adapted into a feature-length film by Universal Pictures. While Flynn won't be adapting her work, she did sign on to produce alongside Mike De Luca (The Social Network). Gossip Girl's Natalie Krinsky has been tapped to pen the script.

With Sharp Objects and The Grownup both in the pipeline, Gillian Flynn fans have plenty to look forward to. Hopefully she'll keep putting out awesome dramatic thrillers that will, eventually, be turned into movies.


What's your favorite Gillian Flynn book?

[Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, MTV, Variety, Los Angeles Times]


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