Chris Evans Is Out and Justin Theroux Is In for 'The Girl on the Train'

Chris Evans Is Out and Justin Theroux Is In for 'The Girl on the Train'

Oct 28, 2015

Justin Theroux (HBO's The Leftovers) is in negotiations to replace Chris Evans in The Girl on the Train, the highly-anticipated big-screen adaptation of Paula Hawkins' bestselling novel. According to THR, Theroux would take on the role of Tom, who is tied to all three of the leading ladies in the story.

The novel is told in first person from the point of view of three different women (via Wikipedia). They are:

Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt, from Sicario): An alcoholic experiencing tough times. Her ex-husband Tom (the role touted for Justin Theroux) left her a couple of years before the story begins for a woman named Anna.

Anna (Rebecca Ferguson, from Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation): She carried on an affair with Tom until he left Rachel. Now she and Tom are married with a young daughter.

Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett, from The Equalizer): She is married, but is currently having an affair with Tom. At the outset of the novel, she is pregnant and believes Tom is the father.


The Plot: Rachel rides the train every day, passing by the home of a good-looking couple who look very happy. Some time later, she learns that the woman -- Megan -- has disappeared, and begins to worry that she might have done something to the stranger on the day of her disappearance, since she was black-out drunk on that day. So she begins her own private investigation, only to learn about Megan's affair with Tom.


Film rights were sold in May 2014, well ahead of the book's publication in January 2015. The Girl on the Train became an instant bestseller, not only in the United States but also in the United Kingdom. As of August, the book had sold more than three million copies in the U.S. It's often been compared to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, in part because of its unreliable narrators, and in part because it revolves around strong female characters and the suspicion of a serious crime.

Tate Taylor will direct the film version. He helmed the little-seen comedy Pretty Ugly People in 2008, though his breakthrough came with The Help (2011), which showcased an Academy Award-winning performance by Octavia Spencer, as well as nominations for Viola Davis and Jessica Chastain.

With anticipation building, The Girl on the Train's theatrical release has been set for October 7, 2016. That echoes the release strategy for Gone Girl, which also opened on the first Friday in October, and went on to make more than $368 million at the box office worldwide. Rosamund Pike earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance, too, and surely that sort of recognition would be welcomed by Emily Blunt, who has turned in a series of superb performances, including this year's Sicario.

In the meantime, we'll look forward to what all this talent might bring to a screen version of a highly-popular psychological thriller.

Categories: News, In Development
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