The Girl on the Train is the new Gone Girl in more ways than one. Just like Gillian Flynn’s almighty bestseller did two summer’s ago, it’s dominating buses, train carriages and beaches. (Forget rats, in London you’re likely never more than 6ft away from a copy of this book.) Like Gone Girl, it’s a mystery, featuring troubled relationships, flawed protagonists and unreliable narrators. And like Gone Girl, it’s about to be transformed into a star-studded movie for the big screen.
For fans of Paula Hawkins’ first and incredibly popular novel, this is exciting news. The tale of Rachel – the girl on the train – who becomes tangled up in a crime mystery is narrated from three differing perspectives over 320 pages of gripping, cinematic prose. It has the potential to be one corker of a film – but only if the main characters are cast right.
Unlike Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train calls for three brilliant actresses to take on three meaty main characters. Luckily, Golden Globe-winner Emily Blunt is reportedly currently in talks to take on the lead.
The preened, slim and healthy Hollywood star isn’t the first person who pops into your head when you think depressed, overweight alcoholic who may or may not have been involved in something shocking. But, de-glammed, Blunt would make a brilliant Rachel.
We know she’s versatile – she’s played Queen Victoria, a fashion magazine’s bitchy assistant, an action hero and a musical baker’s wife. She can do gritty, tough, vulnerable, weak, sympathetic and dislikable, all characteristics Hawkins’ character flits between, at very short notice. Rachel – appearing at varying degrees of drunk and sober – is six contrasting characters all rolled into one. And Blunt seems like an actress capable of doing that justice.
As with any book that grabs my imagination, I’ve given a lot of thought to who these women are. If Blunt declines, Kate Winslet, Hayley Atwell, Felicity Jones, Rebecca Hall would make good Rachels too. And when it comes to the rest of the cast, naturally I’ve got some ideas (if you’re interested, DreamWorks…)
I listened to the audiobook of Girl on the Train and Sherlock’s Louise Brealey did a brilliant job voicing Megan. I’m sure she’d make an even better on-screen version of her, but I could also see Carey Muligan, Emma Watson, Lily James or Kaya Scodelario taking her on if Brealey’s not keen.
If Rosamund Pike fancies swapping Gone Girl for this new international bestseller, she’d make a great Anna, but I can see Alice Eve, Gemma Arterton or Annabelle Wallis playing her too.
What do you think? Let us know your ideal casting in the comments box below…