Ben Affleck Looking To Tell No One

Another take on Harlen Coben's novel

US mystery writer Harlan Coben has a big literary following, but until recently, the most famous adaptation of his books was the wildly successful (and excellent) French version of Tell No One, which arrived over here in 2007. Now Hollywood is looking to redress the balance, as Warner Bros. and Universal have teamed up to option the rights to the book, with an eye to having Ben Affleck direct the eventual film.

Chris Terrio, who wrote Argo, the US-diplomats-rescued-from-Iran-via-a-fake-sci-fi-film thriller that Affleck is busy getting ready to make next, is on board to adapt the novel.

Tell No One follows a doctor whose wife vanishes when they’re out at a lake getting romantic. He tries to find her, but is badly beaten. But then she turns up murdered and the hubby becomes the prime suspect. Soon, though, suspicion points instead to a serial killer’s work. After a few years pass, the man suddenly receives information that his wife may not be dead at all…

Coben’s story was actually destined originally for an American studio, since Sony originally got him to set it up back in 2002. But while Star Trek writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci were hired to crack the adaptation, they couldn’t quite make it work. French actor/writer/director Guillaume Canet stepped in a year later, got the plot to work cinematically, and released the film to great acclaim.

Now Warners and the rest faces the challenge of making something that already lives in the shadow of the French version…