Is the 'Gone Girl' Town Real? North Carthage Is Based Off This Very Real Place
While it's actually pretty easy to find most of the New York City sights mentioned in Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl — Brooklyn Heights is heavily included, for instance — the same can't be said for the book's Missouri setting. Unfortunately for Gone Girl superfans searching for the quaint town of North Carthage, Missouri that served as the backdrop for a bona fide media circus following the mysterious disappearance of Amy Dunne, it's actually a fictional place, born from the mind of Flynn who is originally from Kansas City, Missouri. (And no, it has no relation to the real city of Carthage, Missouri, which is land-locked and nowhere near the Mississippi River.)
However, this doesn't mean you can't go off in search of some Gone Girl tours in the midwest at all, though: After all, there is a film adaptation of Gone Girl set to be released this week. Considering director David Fincher is a stickler for details, you can bet the film's shooting location is about as close to North Carthage, Missouri as you can get — even author Gillian Flynn has given it her blessing as the real North Carthage. The place? None other than Cape Girardeau, Missouri, a small town lying on the bed of the Mississippi River, about two hours south of St. Louis.
Flynn explained the choice in an interview with the Southeast Missourian :
Q: David Fincher [director of "Gone Girl"] said you told him that Cape Girardeau was the place you had in mind for the "Gone Girl" location of North Carthage. Is that true?
A: I remember when he sent me photos of Cape Girardeau, and there was that great length of street heading down to the river. It looked absolutely what I had pictured in my mind. It was perfect when I saw it. I hadn't been to Cape Girardeau in a number of years, but it was the exact type of location I had in mind. I wanted the river to be a big character, and the corner bar just looked perfect. I felt everything about it was straight out of my brain.
So, while you may not be able to find Nick Dunne's bar, or the rundown mall that's a fixture in the book, the feel of the location — not to mention the Mississippi River, which is arguably one of the most important details of the book's setting — should certainly be enough to sate Gone Girl fans longing for some sort of novel-inspired tour. The town is even offering a walking/driving tour, which promises to take fans through locations from the film and let them "literally follow in Ben Affleck’s footsteps!"
Anyone up for a road trip about now?
Image: 20th Century Fox