'The Accountant' Isn't Based On A Book But Its Story Feels Ripped From The Headlines
The newest Ben Affleck movie sees the actor take on one of his most interesting roles yet (no, not Batman). In The Accountant, Affleck portrays Christian Wolff, the titular accountant of the film. But Wolff is no ordinary CPA. He works for a number of criminal organizations, cooking the books for them. He's also extremely dangerous himself; a trained assassin and skilled fighter. And if that didn't make him unique enough, he's also an autistic, obsessive compulsive math savant. He certainly seems like a character you'd see gracing the cover on a drug store paperback, so is The Accountant based on a book?
Although the storyline wouldn't be out of place in a Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, or Lee Child novel, The Accountant is actually an original story. It was penned by screenwriter Bill Dubuque, who also wrote the 2014 Robert DeNiro-led drama, The Judge. Dubuqe's script has been around for a while, appearing on The Black List (an annual selection of the most popular unproduced scripts in Hollywood) in 2011, according to Nikki Finke of Deadline. So with the film's script not being inspired by a book, or by any actual events, where did Dubuqe find his inspiration?
According to Josh Rottenberg of the Los Angeles Times, a producer first pitched the idea of a thriller centering on a fast-talking accountant to the then-aspiring screenwriter in 2008. Dubuque wasn't all that interested in the pitch at first, but then he came up with the idea of having the protagonist be on the autism spectrum. "I’ve always been interested in how the mind works,” Dubuque told the Times. “I thought: What if you could structure a story that was a mystery within a mystery? What goes on in this individual’s mind? How does he process information? How does he communicate with the rest of the world?" After that, and lots of research on autism, Dubuque had his script, and the rest is history.
Even though The Accountant has "thriller novel" written all over it, the movie is a completely original work. Who says Hollywood is all out of fresh ideas?
Images: Warner Bros. Pictures; Giphy