Since Gillian Flynn's deliciously dark novel Gone Girl debuted in June 2012, it's sold more than 7.7 million copies and rattled as many readers. A quick refresher: On Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. The prime suspect is the curiously affable Nick, who gives us more than a few reasons to believe he's guilty (blood in the kitchen, an obsessive mistress, a disconcertingly shaky alibi)—until an awesomely shocking plot twist. Here, some of the intrigue behind the making of the movie version, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

Take That
Some scenes reportedly took director—and apparent perfectionist—David Fincher more than 30 takes.

Together Again
The duo behind Gone Girl's haunting score—Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who says the music "sounds like a glass of milk you should have thrown out yesterday," and composer Atticus Ross—also scored Fincher's gritty The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Casting Call
Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt were also said to be up for the meaty female lead.

The number to call with info on Amy's disappearance shows up on a billboard in the film. Dial the digits for an audio recording of the first few pages of the book.

Film Studies
Before writing the screenplay, author Flynn rewatched all of Fincher's movies (which include The Social Network and Seven) and the book-to-film adaptations of psychological thrillers she admires: The Talented Mr. Ripley and A Simple Plan.

Crime Scene
The crew filmed exterior shots in the Mississippi River town of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Seeing Fincher's shooting locations thrilled Flynn: "It was like David wandered around a 3-D version of my brain, took the places I had in mind, and made them real."

New Old Haunt
The Bar, the watering hole Nick owns with his sister, was an empty coffee shop in Cape Girardeau—but it won't be an imaginary hangout for long: Locals are turning it into a restaurant of the same name this fall.

Photo: Merrick Morton/2014 Twentieth Century Fox; Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images; Twentieth Century Fox


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