Author Paula Hawkins’ best-selling 2015 novel The Girl on the Train has prompted many a comparison to Gillian Flynn’s fellow best-selling book, Gone Girl, so it’s perhaps only fitting that the Girl on the Train film adaptation will be hitting theaters this year in October: the same month that director David Fincher’s Gone Girl movie adaptation opened to a strong critical reception and box office success, back in 2014. Girl on the Train, like Gone Girl, combines elements of a psychological thriller with a mystery that revolves around an untrustworthy protagonist, marital disillusionment… and possibly murder.
Girl on the Train is the kind of story that Alfred Hitchcock might have wanted to adapt for the big screen (were he still alive and directing today), which is why it’s all the more interesting that the film version of Hawkins’ book was directed by Tate Taylor: the director of the Oscar-winning period drama The Help (which was also based on a best-selling book) and the James Brown biopic, Get on Up. All the same, it appears that Taylor has done a solid job delivering a Fincher-esque – or, if you would prefer, Hitchcock-ian – drama/thriller of his own, judging by Universal Pictures’ newly-released “teaser” trailer for The Girl on the Train. Give it a watch, above.
The Girl on the Train, for those unfamiliar with Hawkins’ source material, revolves around Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt): a woman struggling with her post-divorce life from Tom (The Leftovers’ Justin Theroux), which isn’t helped by the fact that the train she takes to work every day requires her to pass by her old home – where Tom and his new family now live. To escape her pain, Rachel passes time on her daily commutes by fantasizing about the Hipwells, a seemingly perfect couple who now live but a few houses away from Tom. However, when Mrs. Hipwell goes missing, Rachel becomes entangled in the mystery around the disappearance and soon realizes that she cannot trust anyone… including, herself.
Hawkins’ Girl on the Train novel was adapted for the big screen by Erin Cressida Wilson, the screenwriter behind such films as the acclaimed dark romance/comedy Secretary and the thriller/drama Chloe. Those unfamiliar with Hawkins’ story have no doubt picked up by now that the Girl on the Train narrative takes more than a few twists and turns along the way to its ending – something that is also heavily implied by the teaser trailer, as it shows several intriguing clips of footage that (like the footage that was featured in the trailers for Gone Girl) shouldn’t necessarily be accepted at face value. It will be interesting to see if Wilson and Taylor are as successful in their use of the “unreliable narrator” trope in Girl on the Train as Fincher and Flynn were with the Gone Girl film adaptation, for related reasons.
Its potential filmmaking merits aside, The Girl on the Train should no doubt be elevated by the efforts of its talented ensemble cast. In addition to Blunt and Theroux, Girl on the Train also stars such names as Luke Evans (The Hobbit trilogy), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation), Haley Bennett (Hardcore Henry), Laura Prepon (Orange is the New Black), Allison Janney (Mom), Lisa Kudrow (Web Therapy), and Edgar Ramírez (Joy). If all goes well, Girl on the Train‘s cast and crew alike should earn praise for their work on the film – a movie that could follow in the footsteps of recent pop literature adaptations Gone Girl and The Martian (both of which were October releases) and become both a critical and commercial success.
The Girl on the Train opens in U.S. theaters on October 7th, 2016.
Source: Universal Pictures