After drawing out sensational performances from Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone and Chadwick Boseman in his last films, Tate Taylor has zeroed in on Emily Blunt to star in his latest, Paul Hawkins adaptation The Girl on the Train.
DreamWorks is behind the buzzy project, which tells the story of a lonely, alcoholic divorcee named Rachel, who fantasizes about the idyllic lives of a young couple whose home her train passes each day on her way to work. When she witnesses a shocking event in the home one morning, Rachel finds a new sense of purpose in trying to get to the bottom of the ensuing mystery.
Kate Mara is apparently also being courted for one of the other lead female roles (there are three). Though neither Blunt nor Mara have signed a deal, they’re the preferred choices of both DreamWorks and Taylor, who are expected to make generous offers for what’s shaping up into a potential awards contender.
Secretary scribe Erin Cressida Wilson (who also wrote Chloe and Men, Women & Children) is adapting Hawkins’ novel, which has been dubbed the heir apparent to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.
The Girl on the Train is a runaway bestseller that has been perched atop the New York Times bestseller list for the past 17 weeks, since its publication. It ranks as the fastest-selling adult novel in history, so it’s understandable that DreamWorks (which swooped in to snag the rights prior to publication) wants to surround the project with top-tier talent. And given that Blunt will be in the mix for an Oscar this fall thanks to her intense performance in Denis Villeneuve-directed thriller Sicario, she certainly falls into that category.
Here’s the Amazon synopsis for The Girl on the Train:
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.