David Fincher’s upcoming “who killed Ben Affleck’s wife” drama Gone Girl–based on Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel of the same name–has managed to become one of the year’s most hotly anticipated films even though it’s a family drama being promoted at the same time that apes are taking over the world, Cameron Diaz is about to recover her sex tape, and armies of Transformers are annihilating cities.
Some of that’s on the collaboration between Fincher and Affleck, who’ve both found themselves catapulted into “beloved serious filmmaker” status in recent years. But it’s also on a marketing campaign that makes Gone Girl seem like both an essential film and something that’s completely different from anything else out there. The first trailer and poster, released in April, boldly stood out among as unique pieces of work–and the new posters, which depict pieces of evidence in the case against Affleck’s Nick Dunne, whose wife disappears without a suspect or a body, continue that trend of inventive imagery that suggests a story, more than it relies on star power.
The newest trailer, meanwhile, was released this week, and while it’s a more traditional piece of promotion than the Elvis Costello-backed, nearly wordless teaser released in April, it plays up the mystery of the film without giving any real clues as to how it’ll unfold. The supporting work from unlikely players like Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry is on display here, and the interrogations of Affleck are juxtaposed with excerpts from his wife’s diary. We won’t know for a few months still if Gone Girl is great filmmaking, but the campaign behind it is great film marketing.