Ben Affleck postponed directing a film in order to work on Gone Girl with David Fincher, even stating, "He's the only director I've met who can do everybody else's job better than they could." On set one day, Affleck changed the lens setting on a camera an almost indiscernible amount, betting a crew member that Fincher wouldn't notice. Affleck lost the bet as Fincher brought up, "Why does the camera look a little dim?"
David Fincher explained that one of the reasons he cast 35-year-old Rosamund Pike as Amy was that she was of ambiguous age in her appearance and could pass for an older or younger woman. Rosamund's revelation that she was an only child also proved to be a very appealing aspect for Amy's character in Fincher's opinion.
Reese Witherspoon obtained the film rights from Gillian Flynn in June 2012 and decided to produce under her new production label "Pacific Standard" as she would to be able to play the role of Amy. However, after her initial meeting with David Fincher on his vision of the film, Witherspoon withdrew from contention, realizing that she wasn't the right person to play the female lead.
Ben Affleck would constantly sing '80s songs in between takes. Impressed, Tyler Perry decided to start a game that ended up lasting the entire duration of filming. Perry would start to sing the most random song he could think of to see if Affleck would start singing along. According to Perry, Affleck knew all of the words to every single song Perry threw at him, including ones by Barbra Streisand.
David Fincher's musical brief to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross was based upon a visit he paid to a spa wherein the music meant to relax him he perceived as creepy and made him feel uncomfortable. This gave him the idea to set the music as though it is passive and relaxing but actually instills a sense of dread.
When it comes to casting roles, David Fincher typically goes on the internet to look through pictures of actors to help him find the right type of actor for a role. When casting the role of Nick Dunne, Fincher spotted photos of Ben Affleck and noticed a particular smile Affleck had on dozens of pictures. According to Fincher, it captured a particular emotion in a scene of Nick Dunne smiling that showed the essence of the character. Soon after, Fincher cast Ben Affleck in the role.
Ben Affleck was concerned about the nine year age difference between him and Carrie Coon, considering that their characters are supposed to be twins, and opted that he should play Nick as being 30 years old.
This was the first time Ben Affleck had done full frontal nudity on screen. Affleck said he agreed to do it because director David Fincher told him that he wanted it to be like a European movie, "warts and all", that there could be no vanity from the actors as he wanted to portray the characters just as in real life.
During an August 2014 interview with New York Magazine, Tyler Perry said that he didn't know anything about the movie's source novel or its director, David Fincher, and that he wouldn't have accepted his role in the movie if he had: "I probably would have walked away from it. If I had known who David Fincher was, and his body of work, or if I'd known the book was so popular, and so many people loved it, I would have said, 'No.' And my agent knew that! He didn't tell me until after I signed on! And the reason I wouldn't have done it is because when things are that magical for people and they become very special for people, there's a lot of pressure for it to be what they want it to be."
Most of the doors and windows in daytime interior scenes were fitted with green screens and had the backgrounds added in later, due to inabilities to expose for interiors without the outdoors blowing out.
David Fincher cast Emily Ratajkowski on recommendation by Ben Affleck. Fincher admitted that he had no idea who she was until Affleck told him to watch for her appearance in the infamous Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines music video. Fincher was impressed by her work ethic during filming because according to her: "I was ready to be a student and he is the best teacher. He wants to do a hundred takes and I want to do them for him."
When Nick and Amy have sex in the library, they talk about Jane Austen's book "Pride & Prejudice". Rosamund Pike, who plays Amy, was one of the leads in Pride & Prejudice (2005), playing the part of Jane Bennet.
Rosamund Pike told film critic Peter Travers that, whenever David Fincher would catch her on set about to use her cell phone, he'd take a 'stern facial' selfie and send it to her causing her to instantly pocket her phone.
Nick Dunne is always complaining that his cell phone has no signal. One of the close-ups of his cell phone show that the wireless carrier is T-Mobile, which coincidentally, at the time, has questionable indoor signal strength, due to the lack of lower operating spectrum.
In the scene where Ben Affleck's character pushes her against the wall, it was so physically intense that Rosamund Pike almost got a concussion. She told Vanity Fair, "I think around take 18 of getting my head bashed against the wall, I literally saw stars."
Although the film is based in North Carthage, Missouri, Gone Girl was filmed in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Casting of extras had taken place in the Rose Theatre of Southeast Missouri State University, also located in Cape Girardeau.
Jon Hamm was heavily considered for Nick Dunne, but his schedule on Mad Men (2007) didn't allow this. Coincidentally, Ben Affleck previously directed Hamm in The Town (2010) and Hamm was considered for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) which went to Affleck.
In the book, when Amy meets Desi at the casino, a stranger interrupts their conversation to ask if she is related to the Enloes. (In the book's acknowledgments, author Gillian Flynn thanks Detective Craig Enloe of the Overland Park Police Department for answering her "42,000 emails.") In the film, the line is kept but the name is changed from Enloe to Nolan--the surname of the author's spouse, Brett, and their children.
Production of the film had to be shut down for four days due to Ben Affleck's refusal to follow director David Fincher's vision and wear a New York Yankees cap for a scene where Affleck's character, Nick, is at an airport. The Bostonian actor said to Fincher, "David, I love you, I would do anything for you. But I will not wear a Yankees hat." Eventually, the two settled for Ben's character to wear a Mets cap. Fincher describes Affleck's actions of this as "entirely unprofessional" in the DVD's audio commentary.
When Nick Dunne drives his father back to the retirement home, "Don't Fear The Reaper" by Blue Öyster Cult plays on the car radio. This ubiquitous song was also featured in Halloween (1978) when Annie is driving with Laurie, and a cover version of the song was used in Scream (1996) when Billy enters Sidney's bedroom through the window. The song is also used in Joe Eszterhas's unproduced screenplay Foreplay.
After Amy has disappeared, Nick and the detective go to his office to follow up on his wife's first "clue." Inside his office, on the bookshelf, there are some books, two of which are Michael Chabon's "Manhood For Amateurs", non-fiction essays about being a husband and the mistakes and surprises of being a father, and Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom", an American novel concerned with the themes of marriage.
According to an episode on Jeopardy! (1984) aired October 9th, 2015 a contestant known as Emily Rollman, who was an extra, apparently insulted Ben Affleck. She claimed after he ran into her during one of the takes Ben asked her, "How was that?" She replied in sarcasm, "Well, that was okay."
Rosamund Pike gained and lost thirteen pounds three times to play the character at different times in her life. She stuffed herself with hamburgers and malts to gain the weight, and exercised with a professional boxer for as long as four hours a day and ran five miles (in 42 minutes) to lose the weight.
Rosamund Pike said in a magazine article about making the movie that she including some levity during a scene where she's making pancakes that wasn't in the script, in order to convey a light-hearted friendliness to Ben Affleck. Pike said that the nature of Nick and Amy's relationship didn't allow or call for much (if any) playfulness, but she wanted to add it because it could play as either genuine and showing some basic affection between Nick and Amy, or it could be another part of Amy's warped psychology relative to everything else she says and does in the film.
When Greta, Amy's neighbor at the campground, first appears she is listening to "Left Ey3" by Kreayshawn. The song is about finding out your boyfriend is cheating, then burning his house down and/or causing harm to him and the person he is cheating with.
When Officer James Gilpin asks Detective Rhonda Boney why she was still reading the burnt diary, Rhonda's response is "it interests me". This is the same line used by Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) (another movie by David Fincher) when Lisbeth was asked by a police officer why she was digging up another murder case involving a woman.
Also contains spoiler for Jaws (1975): With this film being nominated at the 87th Academy Awards (The 87th Annual Academy Awards (2015)), Neil Patrick Harris became the 2nd Oscar host to die in a movie that was nominated during the ceremony in which they hosted. The first being Robert Shaw who hosted the 48th Academy Awards where "Jaws" was nominated for 4 Oscars.
Wife killer suspect Nick (Ben Affleck) is interviewed by Sharon Schieber as played by Sela Ward who, coincidentally, played Helen Kimble, the murdered wife of suspected wife killer Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford), in The Fugitive (1993).
This comment contains a spoiler about Gone Baby Gone (2007). In addition to having the same word in both titles, as well as Ben Affleck's younger brother Casey Affleck, there are a number of plot similarities between this film and "Gone Baby Gone", which was directed by Ben Affleck. The plots of both movies revolve around a girl who goes missing, then is believed to be dead, but is actually alive and at the center of a complex scheme. She is returned home to an uneasy home life. Both films are based on novels.
Also contains spoilers for the novel and movie Presumed Innocent (1990): Plot similarities. The main character is accused of killing an ex-lover. In this film, it is his wife. In both films, it turns out the wife herself committed the crime, and staged the crime scene to implicate her husband. In both cases a hammer is involved in the framing. At the end of both films, the accused decides not to divorce his wife or press charges, realizing his own infidelity led her to do it, and that it would affect their public image. Nick also stays with Amy because she is pregnant. Rusty states he could not prosecute his wife because "how could I deprive my children of their own mother?" The actors played the accused husbands, Ben Affleck and Harrison Ford, have also both played Jack Ryan.
Also contains spoiler for Reindeer Games (2000): This is the second film in which Ben Affleck plays a character referred to as Nick and is then double crossed by his blonde love interest and almost murdered by her.