(*Note: No spoilers here)
Have you ever been dying to read a book, only to have the ending spoiled by someone who just read it? If it’s a wonderful book, you still might be tempted to read it, especially if everyone has been talking about it around the water cooler at work. I’m pretty sure I would.
The latest book to generate this kind of chatter was Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL. It seemed like everyone who read this loved it, and couldn’t wait to talk to someone else about it. With a much talked about surprise ending, you might wonder why anyone would want to make a movie about it, especially if the filmmakers wanted to attract fans of the book. As it turns out, director David Fincher did something readers might not be expecting: he’s changed the ending in the movie version!
Changing a story is common when books are made into movies. Just look at J.R.R. Tolkien’s THE HOBBIT, which was one skinny book, but which Peter Jackson has spread into three enormously long movies, including adding new characters which weren’t in the original book at all. Why do directors do this? Maybe to make a story flow better, or because they have a certain vision of what the story really means. (In all honesty, sometimes I wonder if they just didn’t “get” the book.) But Fincher deciding to change the ending is about wanting to draw in fans of the book, as well as moviegoers, and bring something new to it. If you think about it, the idea is smart.
Not only will it entice more people to go out and buy the book after seeing the film, but readers who loved the book and may have been reluctant to see the movie will now be lining up to buy a ticket. I read one idea where book clubs could read the book, go see the movie and then discuss the different endings. This could open a lot of possibilities, all of which are sure to be good for the author, Gillian Flynn.
If you’ve read the book, will you go to see the movie knowing the ending is different? Are you happy about this? Disappointed? Join the discussion!