The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, became a bestselling novel upon its release. Following the story of Rachel Watson, and the many train journeys she takes into the city, it gradually descends into a chilling thriller with Rachel trying to come to terms with her post-divorce life, which isn’t helped by the fact that the train passes by the back of her old house every day. The same house where her ex-husband now lives with his new wife.
Given the gripping appeal of the story, coupled with the cinematic success of Gone Girl, David Fincher’s adaptation of novelist Gillian Flynn’s work, a big screen adaptation of Girl on the Train was almost inevitable. Starring Emily Blunt as Rachel, with Justin Theroux as her ex-husband, Tom, The Girl on the Train is directed by Tate Taylor (The Help), and adapted for film by Erin Cressida Wilson; who has screenwriting credits such as the dark romance Secretary, and the thriller Chloe, to her name. The second trailer for The Girl on the Train has just dropped online and can be viewed, above.
The Girl on the Train also stars 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). You can check out the new poster for the film, below:
The comparisons to Gone Girl are inevitable here, and hopefully, The Girl on the Train will stand well enough on its own to escape that, eventually. But there are similarities, both in the genre of the novels and subsequent films, and the fact that both revolve around a very unreliable narrator. However, The Girl on the Train takes its own course. One of the highlights of the book is the way the narrative jumps backward and forward in time so well, and it will be interesting to see if Taylor has managed to accomplish this on screen. However, one of the biggest discrepancies already evident between book and film, is that the movie is set in America.
The Girl on the Train is a British novel, with entirely British characters. For Brits, the daily train commute into London is one many will be familiar with, and though Blunt is British, it seems somewhat strange to have changed the setting so entirely. While this might be to appeal to a more global audience, it seems to be needless, and keeping the setting as the U.K. could have helped to avoid some of the comparisons mentioned above.
However, The Girl on the Train is its own movie, in its own right and should do well upon its release. It looks as though Blunt may come in for some particular praise and this could also be a breakout role for Theroux, as his big screen roles have not been all that compelling thus far (and his well-received work on HBO’s The Leftovers is not widely known outside of that show’s niche following).
The Girl on the Train opens in U.S. theaters on October 7th, 2016.
Source: Universal Pictures
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