In Review

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Emily Blunt is first class in 'female fable for our times', but the film adaptation falls short of Gone Girl's savvy satire

The Girl on the Train: will fans accept film shift from UK to NY?

14 July

The Paula Hawkins novel The Girl on the Train, which has broken the UK record for remaining at the top of the best-seller list, is to be made into a film set in New York.

Hawkins' thriller has become the record-holder for time spent at the top of the UK hardback book charts, it has spent 20 consecutive weeks at number one and has sold more than 800,000 copies since January.

It has also been flying off the shelves in the US, where it has been described as "the fastest selling adult novel in history", reports the Daily Express.

Hawkins' book stayed at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list for 18 weeks and has now sold more than two million copies there.

It's popularity in the US may explain why film studio DreamWorks has decided to set the film in New York, even though the novel is set in London.

The psychological thriller was reportedly inspired by the author's commute on an overground part of the Tube between Putney and Earl's Court, reports the Daily Mail.

The book tells the story of an alcoholic woman called Rachel who becomes obsessed with watching a couple every morning as her Tube stops at a signal near their home. When one of them goes missing, she begins to question her own state of mind.

Many of the book's British fans may be startled to learn that Hollywood plans to shift the action from London to upstate New York. But Hawkins, 42, a former financial journalist, tells The Sunday Times she is not bothered by the changes and is happy to let the producers adapt the story their way.

Hawkins said: "I don't want to be involved... let them get on with it."

Her approach appears to be very different to that of EL James, who ruffled feathers in Hollywood by trying to control key elements of the film of her bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey.

Hawkins says she has not been shown the script for the film version of her book - "though I'm sure I will be", she adds. "I'm not really concerned about the repositioning as I think it is the type of story that could take place in any commuter town," she explains.

The Sunday Times notes that there were "mutterings of English discontent" when the setting of Nick Hornby's popular 1995 novel High Fidelity moved from London to Chicago for the benefit of the US box office. But the film proved a critical and financial success, and was seen as keeping to the spirit of the novel.

The Girl on the Train movie will be helmed by The Help's Tate Taylor and adapted for the screen by Erin Cressida Wilson under the supervision of Steven Spielberg, reports Variety. English actress, Emily Blunt, has been tipped for the role of Rachel - though this is still to be confirmed.

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