Word on the street is that Ben Affleck is in final talks to take the male lead in David Fincher's big screen adaptation of best-selling mystery novel Gone Girl, so now all attention has shifted to the search for the titular lady herself.

Gillian Flynn's novel tells the tale of a man whose whole world is turned upside down when his wife, Amy, disappears on their 5th wedding anniversary. Deadline is reporting that Affleck has been granted permission to shelve his next directorial project for a little while, giving him time to take the lead in the movie.

The hunt for his wife is well underway, and as per The Wrap, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt are most likely to play her. We have to say, we wouldn't mind seeing any of these three ladies stepping into the shoes of one modern fiction's most interesting ladies. Theron's just about to star work on a big screen adaptation of Flynn's second novel, Dark Places, so we're not sure if that makes her more or less likely to nab this particular role.

Fincher has been working on the project since January, and has even managed to get Flynn on board to write the first draft of the screenplay. That'll be music to the ears of fans of the smash hit novel, which first hit the bookshelves in 2012.

Oh, and in case you were wondering about those Reece Witherspoon rumours, she's ruled herself out of the running to play Amy: She'll just be happy to produce the flick with Bruna Papandrea.