Each day millions of citizens may be seen embarking on their daily commute to work. Whether commuting across rail, road or another form of terrain, this essential part of the working life may be seen as synonymous with repetition. Stemming from these routine concepts, British author Paula Hawkins aims to put the daily commute on the fast-track by injecting this familiar concept with mystery and intrigue.
Following a 15-year career as a journalist, author Paula Hawkins redirects her talents toward creating works of fiction. What followed was a thriller titled “The Girl on the Train” which saw its first publication in 2015. Told using a first person narrative, the story of The Girl on the Train places readers in the shoes of protagonist Rachael Watson as she continues along her daily commute. Sure enough, each train journey seems to begin to bear an uncanny resemblance to the last and Rachael’s mind begins to drift as she finds herself fantasising about the suburban inhabitants she passes. However, one day Rachael notices something unspeakable which soon derails her life and sends it spiralling into mystery.
As the narrative develops, Paula Hawkens seems to treat readers to a white knuckle ride saturated in dramatic moments. Harnessing tension and suspense, The Girl on the Train aims to demonstrate the hallmarks of a quality thriller; garnering ample praise upon release and soon becoming a New Your Times number 1 best seller, reaching heights beyond the railroad. Additionally, The Girl on The Train has seen publication in over 50 countries and sold over 15 million copies worldwide. As the success of The Girl on the Train continued to pick up steam the novel managed to catch the attention of Hollywood.
The rights to adapt The Girl on the Train were picked up DreamWorks Pictures, the studio audiences may recognise from their animation department, DreamWorks Animation. DreamWorks Animation may be known for their iconic animation franchises which include Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train your Dragon. However, DreamWorks Pictures division aims to fill a more mature void on the film spectrum with The Girl on the Train, something the studio may have indicated with their previous releases: the espionage thriller Bridge of Spies and romantic drama The Light between Oceans.
Chosen to sit in the directorial seat, the studio hired Tate Taylor, who may be known for his reputation to craft a compelling narrative. Tate Taylor’s previous works include the endearing Mississippi period drama The Help and the funky James Brown biography Get on Up. Tate Taylor’s diverse film expertise led him to cast the talented Emily Blunt in the lead role as Rachael Watson. Audiences previously saw Emily Blunt during her role last year in the tense crime thriller Sicario, and this year she aims to bring another impactful performance to The Girl on the Train.
As audiences may know, Hollywood’s aim to adapt from a variety of sources and The Girl on the Train aims to join the ever growing list of novels engineering an on-screen presence. With Emily Blunt portraying the lead protagonist, audiences may be treated to an adaptation which fuels the daily commute and brings it new energy. This adaptation of The Girl on The Train aims to transport audiences into the world of Paula Hawkins and offer a breath taking tale for the big screen.
How may The Girl on the Train adapt a popular novel for cinema?