And there I was, wondering when David Fincher and Tyler Perry would eventually collaborate on a project…
Deadline is reporting that Fincher’s next film, a thriller titled Gone Girl, based on a novel by Gillian Flynn has booked Tyler Perry in a supporting role as an attorney named Tanner Bolt, who represents star Ben Affleck’s character, after his wife disappears, and he becomes the primary suspect for various reasons.
Apparently Fincher saw Perry’s performance in Alex Cross and courted him for the role! Whodathunkit? Certainly not me, after having seen Alex Cross.
Curious, I thought I’d investigate this Tanner Bolt character to see what I could learn about him. With a name like that, he was already intriguing to me. But I specifically wanted to see what Fincher may have seen of the character in Perry’s Cross performance to want to court him for the part.
I haven’t read the novel that the film will be based on, unfortunately; but, thankfully, I found an excerpt in which Tanner Bolt is introduced. How convenient!
Keep in mind that the novel is written in the first person, from Affleck’s character’s POV.
It was time. At exactly eight a.m. Central, nine a.m. New York time, I picked up my phone. My wife was definitely pregnant. I was definitely the prime – only – suspect. I was going to get a lawyer, today, and he was going to be the very lawyer I didn’t want and absolutely needed. Tanner Bolt. A grim necessity. Flip around any of the legal networks, the true-crime shows, and Tanner Bolt’s spray-tanned face would pop up, indignant and concerned on behalf of whatever freak-show client he was representing. He became famous at thirty-four for representing Cody Olsen, a Chicago restaurateur accused of strangling his very pregnant wife and dumping her body in a landfill […] By the time Tanner Bolt was done, everyone – the police department, two West Side Chicago gang members, a disgruntled club bouncer – was implicated except Cody Olsen, who walked out of the courtroom and bought cocktails all around. In the decade since, Tanner Bolt had become known as the Hubby Hawk – his specialty was swooping down in high-profile cases to represent men accused of murdering their wives. He was successful over half the time, which wasn’t bad, considering the cases were usually damning, the accused extremely unlikable – cheaters, narcissists, sociopaths. Tanner Bolt’s other nickname was Dickhead Defender […] This guy was the best, and I needed the best, but I also resented being associated with him in any way – this sleazebag, this showboat, this attorney to the guilty.
There’s a lot more where that came from, so click HERE to read.
But you get an idea of what kind of man Bolt is from that short description. When he’s first introduced, he’s wearing a black pinstriped suit and lime-green tie, with a “sharky grin,” and he isn’t averse to cursing, with lines like:
“Now comes the harder part, Nick… I need total honesty from you, it won’d work any other way. So tell me everything about your marriage, tell me the worst. Because if I know the worst, then I can plan for it. But if I’m surprised, were fucked. And if were fucked, you’re fucked. Because I get to fly away in my G4.”
So, he’s a shark! Arrogant, brash, and an asshole, but very good at what he does apparently. As he himself states:
“I win, Mr Dunne. I win unwinnable cases, and the case that I think you may soon face is – I don’d want to patronize you – it’s a tough one. Money troubles, bumpy marriage, pregnant wife.”
While I’m having difficulty imagining Tyler as this character, this should be interesting, to say the least, with what looks to be a rather plump role for him. Based on my research, Tanner Bolt features more than a bit in the story, so he’ll have some scenery to chew on.
Of course, Fincher could have a completely different interpretation of who this character is, and the book’s descriptions of him will stay in the book, while the character that ends up on screen that Perry plays, will be entirely recreated.
I’m just really curious to know what Fincher saw in Perry’s Alex Cross performance, because he wasn’t at all convincing to me. But that’s just me.
We’ll see! He has every right to stretch himself; but, damn, there are several other black actors, superior to Perry, who could really use the work, the spotlight and of course the paycheck.
Co-starring in Gone Girl are Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit and Carrie Coon.