How perfect that the news would break about Strangers on a Plane the same morning the DGA chose not to nominate David Fincher’s film of the year, Gone Girl. Strangers on a Plane will be a humorous spin on the Hitchcock flick, but instead of a train, it’s a plane. Affleck will play an actor in the midst of Oscar season headed for the Big Show, not unlike how he was in 2012 when he took Argo to a win because voters liked Argo but they also felt like he’d been slighted by the directors branch who did not nominate him, nor Kathryn Bigelow. The sentiment around the whole thing was bizarre. I suspect much of that experience will be channeled into this film, as well as the icky way the industry has treated Fincher over the years – and the icky way they punish success while rewarding only films that fit inside the Oscar box.
Fincher will once again reteam with Gillian Flynn, and remains, currently, the only major director in Hollywood to invest in women. He clearly trusts Flynn. This will be their third collaboration. I can’t think of a single other director who trusts any female writer to that degree. Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Rob Reiner and Nora Ephron.
I expect the entire circus that is the awards race to be lampooned, as well it should be.