Even though Ben Affleck is currently preparing for his next directorial effort, Argo, he’s already looking ahead to the future. As it were, the Oscar-winning actor/writer/director has attached himself to the remake of Guillaume Canet’s acclaimed 2006 French thriller, Tell No One.
Tell No One is actually an adaptation of New York Times best-selling author Harlan Coben’s popular novel; however, the Hollywood project is reportedly being designed as more of a remake of the French film adaptation than a fresh take on Coben’s source material.
Both Coben’s novel and Canet’s film adaptation revolve around the same premise: A pediatrician’s wife and childhood sweetheart is brutally murdered during what was meant to be an idyllic weekend, but her killer is caught shortly thereafter. Jump ahead eight years and the doctor is shocked to receive an email that suggests his wife is alive and well – around the same time he is being investigated for a recent double homicide that appears to be connected to the (supposed) death of his wife.
Last year, Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James) was reportedly tapped to pen a draft of the screenplay for the English-language version of Tell No One. Affleck’s Argo writer, Chris Terrio, is now set to handle scripting duties on the project – though it’s possible he will be working in some capacity from an earlier draft by Dominik.
Coben is one of the most popular mystery novel writers in the biz right now, but Tell No One would be the first of his works to be given a Hollywood makeover. In its report on Affleck, Deadline mentioned that Sony originally hired screenwriting duo Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek) to adapt Tell No One for the big screen back in 2002 – but that project eventually fell by the wayside. Should Affleck’s take on the novel prove to be a success, it could also pave the way for Coben’s most popular creation – the sleuth Myron Bolitar – to make the jump to the big screen as well.
The Tell No One remake appears to be going the route of Matt Reeves’ Let Me In, which was more a direct reworking of its foreign-language counterpart (Let the Right One In) than a new adaptation of the source material the Swedish film was based on. By contrast, David Fincher’s upcoming version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is not being fashioned after the well-regarded Swedish-language adaptation, but will be a new interpretation of the original book. How Tell No One will ultimately compare to both of those projects remains to be seen.
On the optimistic side of things: Affleck has proven himself to be more than a one-trick pony with last year’s The Town, a film that also showed off his not-yet-tested abilities to create suspense and handle intense action. Tell No One is more of a Hitchcockian murder mystery tale that’s big on the unsettling atmosphere and throwing clever twists into the workings of the plot – even so, it doesn’t seem like a stretch to say that Affleck is up for the task.
We’ll keep you posted on the status of Tell No One as more information is released.