Helmer in talks to direct 'Gone Girl' for Fox

After taking a year to find his next project, David Fincher may be ready to helm another adaptation of a popular book.

Fincher is in talks to helm Fox’s “Gone Girl,” adapted from the Gillian Flynn novel that has sold 2 million copies. No offer is on the table yet.

Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea will produce through their Pacific Standard banner along with Leslie Dixon.

Flynn’s third novel, “Gone Girl” is the dark and suspenseful story of a woman who disappears on the day of her fifth wedding anniversary. It’s not known if Witherspoon would be interested in starring as the mysterious wife.

A bidding war ensued last summer when the book, which spent eight weeks at No. 1 for on the New York Times bestseller list, was offered to studios, and Fox paid seven figures to outbid studios including Universal.

Fincher had been attached to direct a reboot of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” for Disney. Sources say there is still a possibility he could do that project next and hold off on “Gone Girl.” In October, Variety first reported that Disney had placed a three-month hold on the director as it decided whether to move forward. During this time, Fincher began courting his frequent collaborator Brad Pitt for the role of Ned Land, played by Kirk Douglas in the 1954 film version of “Leagues.”

The Pitt casting never came though, and the studio is still deciding what to do with the project, insiders say. Fincher had begun looking for other projects in case “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” fell through.

Fincher is also still attached to helm “Dragon Tattoo” sequel “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” and Sony wants to get the next installment off the ground. Screenwriter Steve Zaillian is currently working on a pilot for HBO and hasn’t had time to pen the script, one reason Fincher was looking for other projects until a script is ready.

After a diverse bunch of adaptations including “Fight Club,” “Zodiac,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “The Social Network,” Fincher’s adaptation of bestseller “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” for Sony grossed more than $230 million worldwide.

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