By Jeff Sneider
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - As "Argo" director Ben Affleck preps his next movie "Live By Night" for Warners, the actor has begun negotiating to play the male lead in David Fincher's "Gone Girl," people familiar with the project told TheWrap.
Reese Witherspoon is producing but will not star; an individual familiar with the project tells TheWrap that Oscar winners Natalie Portman and Charlize Theron are being eyed for the title role along with Emily Blunt.
Affleck's likely involvement in the 20th Century Fox project - based on the bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn - is expected to cement "Gone Girl" as Fincher's next movie.
Affleck would play a man implicated in the disappearance of his wife on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary.
Witherspoon is producing with her Pacific Standard partner Bruna Papandrea and Leslie Dixon. New Regency is co-financing "Gone Girl," which could start production as soon as this fall.
WME-repped Affleck next stars opposite Justin Timberlake in Fox's "Runner Runner," which hits theaters September 27.