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‘Gone Girl’ to Open New York Film Festival (EXCLUSIVE)

The David Fincher thriller, starring Ben Affleck, will open fest on Sept. 26

Gone Girl,” the murder-mystery thriller starring Ben Affleck, will open this year’s 52nd annual New York Film Festival, Variety has learned.

The Twentieth Century Fox release, which was directed by David Fincher and co-financed by New Regency, is based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn. Rosamund Pike plays the title character, a wife who mysteriously vanishes from her home one day, causing her husband (Affleck) to be suspected of killing her.

The opening night gala, held on Sept. 26, is now an important stop in the awards season race. Fincher previously opened the NYFF with 2010’s “The Social Network,” which went on to win three Oscars (it was nominated for eight). Last year’s selection, “Captain Phillips,” landed a best picture Oscar nod. Other awards-friendly titles, such as “Her” and “Inside Llewyn Davis,” also premiered at the festival in 2013, which has gotten more competitive with Toronto, perhaps as a result of its later date and smaller slate (about 25) of films.

Gone Girl” opens nationwide on Oct. 3.

The NYFF is expected to make the announcement on Thursday morning.

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