[WARNING: This trailer contains some NSFW language.]
Gillian Flynn was already both an accomplished journalist and best-selling author when, last year, she added “successful screenwriter” to her resume by adapting her own novel, for the David Fincher thriller Gone Girl. Flynn wasn’t involved with scripting the next cinematic adaptation of her work, Dark Places, but the storyteller’s influence should very much be felt all the same, judging by the footage featured in the film’s new international trailer (which has been embedded above).
Dark Places, based on Flynn’s second published novel, stars Charlize Theron as Libby Day, a woman whose family was murdered when she was just a child (in 1985) – with Libby having testified that it was her own brother who committed the crime. Cut to the present and the members of The Kill Club – a group obsessed with infamous crimes – approach Libby with evidence that suggests that her brother (played by Corey Stoll as an adult) might not be so guilty as she’s long believed. This pushes Libby to look closer at her own troubled history and confront a past that she’s spent the last thirty years attempting to leave behind.
Writer/director Gilles Paquet-Brenner (Sarah’s Key) was responsible for bringing Flynn’s Dark Places source material to the big screen. His adaptation of Flynn’s literature ought to have some of the same neo-Noir elements and themes as Fincher’s Gone Girl movie; that includes, such issues as marital relationships/abuse, which isn’t really alluded to in the Dark Places international promo. Instead, this preview focuses more on the “investigation of the past” narrative (complete with grainy flashbacks) and its rural setting – bringing to mind something like True Detective season one, in those respects.
Fincher’s direction on Gone Girl helped to elevate the film in a smart and chilling thriller, coupled with Flynn’s writing providing an intriguing (and feminist) take on Noir tropes – a take that has continued to provoke debate. Paquet-Brenner comes from an arthouse filmmaking background, but he still faces a formidable challenge with Dark Places – namely, matching (or standing alongside) Fincher and Flynn’s “high-art pulp” accomplishment with Gone Girl.
Comparisons aside, though, Dark Places seems to have potential as an entertainingly twisted mystery/thriller. It should no doubt benefit from being anchored by a strong cast; one that, in addition to Theron and Stoll, includes Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Chloë Grace Moretz (If I Stay), Tye Sheridan (Mud), and Drea de Matteo (Sons of Anarchy).
Dark Places opens in France on April 8th, 2015. It is expected to reach U.S. theaters later this year.