Gone Girl Script Teardown - Featured - StudioBinder

The Gone Girl script was adapted from the novel of the same name, and features some great quotes, a killer plot, and became an academy award-nominated movie. See our analysis of the Gone Girl screenplay below, and find a free PDF download for you to study.

The Gone Girl Script

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Gone Girl Script Teardown - Gillian Flynn - StudioBinder

WHO WROTE THE Gone Girl SCRIPT?

Written by Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn grew up in Kansas City. Her parents were community college professors. She graduated from the University of Kansas and then earned her master’s degree at Northwestern. She then went to write for Entertainment Weekly for ten years before writing her debut novel in 2006 called Sharp Objects, now an HBO limited series starring Amy Adams. Flynn also wrote Dark Places which was adapted into a movie starring Charlize Theron as well as the original Gone Girl novel.  

Gone Girl PLOT

Story beats in the Gone Girl script

Here is the plot summary for the Gone Girl screenplay:

Gone Girl follows the classic film story structure really well. Like many of David Fincher’s other movies, Gone Girl takes full advantage of what makes Hollywood stories work on a structural level.  

Script Teardown

Script Structure of Gone Girl

1. EXPOSITION (BEGINNING)

The Gone Girl script begins with Nick talking about the theme of the film, which is how marriage builds uncertainty, paranoia, and doubt. Nick arrives at his bar to speak with his sister Margo about his five year anniversary with Amy. 

2. INCITING INCIDENT

The Gone Girl script could arguably have two inciting incidents, but this is one of the most interesting and strong parts of the script. Amy’s disappearance is a definite contender, but Nick’s proposal is also the inciting incident. 

3. CLIMAX OF ACT ONE

The Gone Girl script uses the beginning of the investigation into Amy’s disappearance as the climax to act one. The detectives find blood splatter in the apartment, which makes Nick a prime suspect for the crime, but they also find a scavenger clue in the closet.

4. OBSTACLES (RISING ACTION)
The Gone Girl script has a long stretch of rising action which includes the majority of the revelations about Nick and his character flaws. We realize that he is having an affair, that he basically can’t stand his marriage. The detectives find more clues that Amy was scared of Nick.
5. MIDPOINT (BIG TWIST)
The midpoint of the Gone Girl script is perfect in that it’s the moment Nick and Margo realize that Amy has set the whole thing up so Nick would go to jail for her murder. 
6. DISASTER & CRISIS

The police find Amy’s diary in a fireplace. All of the evidence seems to indicate that Nick murdered his wife, which is exactly how Amy had hoped it would go.

7. CLIMAX OF ACT TWO

Amy is beaten and robbed by her neighbor. Amy meets with Desi Collings. Andie goes on television to open up about the affair with Nick. The police detain Margo for hiding evidence in the woodshed. 

8. OBSTACLES (RISING ACTION)

Amy meets with Desi Collings. Andie goes on television to open up about the affair with Nick. The police detain Margo for hiding evidence and arrest Nick for murder.

9. CLIMAX OF ACT THREE

Amy kills Desi Collings and stages his home to make it look as though he kidnapped her this whole time. She returns to Nick completely drenched in blood with photographers all around.

10. RESOLUTION

Nick and Amy are back together but through Amy's manipulation. They're about to go on TV together, but then Amy shows Nick a positive pregnancy test. Nick decides to stay with Amy to help raise the child. 

Gone Girl Script Takeaway #1

Gone Girl Quotes

Gone Girl has a few great quotes about marriage and life in general. Some of these quotes came straight from the book, but many of them were written during the screenplay adaptation.

Read the Cool Girl Scene

The best quotes in Gone Girl are often between Nick and his sister Margo, often while they argue over Nick claiming his innocence. Some of the other great Gone Girl quotes are dark in nature or generally the types of quotes that wouldn’t make it into most movie scripts.

Gone Girl Cool Girl Monologue

Above is a section that has some of the best Gone Girl quotes. The scene above is where Amy finally gets to explain to the viewer why she decided to punish Nick, and a possible female perspective.

Gone Girl Script Takeaway #2

Gone Girl Sex Scene

There are about three to four sex scenes in Gone Girl. There are two that are rather memorable are the scene in the public library where Nick and Amy have sex between the bookshelves, but there is another sex scene that is much more memorable for a number of reasons.

Read the Sex Scene

This is the sex scene where Amy seduces her college boyfriend Desi Collings into bed and then slits his throat. She stages it to make it seem as though Desi kidnapped and raped her before she escaped.

Gone Girl Sex Scene

There are so many great things about this Gone Girl sex scene. The framing decisions, the camera movement the sound design, and the music all combine to create a haunting and surprising moment.

Gone Girl Script Takeaway #3

Gone Girl Ending

The Gone Girl ending is really great because you’re never sure how things are going to turn out. You can’t be sure that Nick won’t snap, or that Amy won’t try to go after him again.

Read the Ending Scene 

The final touch of revealing that she’s pregnant right before they go on national television shows how you can have a big twist that surprises and scares people without the need for big set pieces.

Gone Girl Ending Scene

Of course, the best part of the Gone Girl ending is the bookending of shots from the very first frame and the very last frame. It’s almost as if nothing has really changed, and that was the point all along.

Up Next

Good Will Hunting script analysis

Now that you have a better understanding of Gone Girl script, why not continue learning about more screenplays. See our script analysis for Good Will Hunting so you can write your ownOscar-winning script. 

Up Next: Good Will Hunting Script Analysis →
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