Sources tell Variety that Abbie Cornish, Olivia Wilde and Julianne Hough have submitted audition tapes and will meet with Fincher in the coming weeks. Rosamund Pike has not tested yet but sources say the studio and Fincher are also interested in her as well.
Though a story in the Hollywood Reporter said Pike was the front-runner, sources say while Fincher likes her, he is currently scouting for the film and will not make any decision until he has begun meeting actresses.
After Affleck became involved with the project last week, reports surfaced that Emily Blunt, Natalie Portman and Charlize Theron were being eyed. Sources close to Theron say she has no interest in pursuing the role and other insiders say Blunt and Portman’s schedules would not allow them to do it.
Budget considerations could be one factor in the choice: With Affleck coming on board, actresses like Theron or Portman may be out of range.
Given the popularity of the book and the talent that it is now attracting, the project has now become a top priority for the studio.
The Gillian Flynn novel, which has sold more than 2 million copies, is the dark and suspenseful story of a woman who disappears on the day of her fifth wedding anniversary. Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea will produce through their Pacific Standard banner along with Leslie Dixon.
A bidding war ensued last summer when the book, which spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list, was offered to studios, and Fox paid seven figures to outbid studios including Universal.