Emily Blunt in running to play "super-sweet, utter evil" role

British actress Emily Blunt wants the much-coveted lead in new film 'Gone Girl', billed as Sex and the City meets Hitchcock.

Emily Blunt has been spotted reading 'Gone Girl', the New York Times bestseller by Gillian Flynn, according to the Times newspaper.

Film adaptation rights for the novel have gone to 20th Century Fox, which bid an estimated $1.5 million. The producers include Reese Witherspoon.

Emily Blunt (Credit: Wenn)
Set amend the psychological wreckage of the American recession, 'Gone Girl' tells the story of Nick Dunne and his "dazzling wife" Amy. Their journalism careers ruined by the internet, they move from New York to his tiny home town. On their fifth anniversary, he arrives home to find Amy missing.

The novel also satirises modern culture's obsession with true crime and TV shows such as CSI. Published last summer, it has sold over two million copies.

There is speculation that producer Witherspoon may want to play the lead role of Amy, but fans of the book say she is too chipper. The role of Amy, critics say, needs an actress who’s more “drawn,” “someone with secrets.”

Others in the running to play Amy are said to include Charlize Theron and Rachel McAdams, while speculation rages that Mad Men's Jon Hamm may play Nick - although he may have to fight off Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassender.

Author Flyn, 41, was herself made redundant from her job as TV critic of Entertainment Weekly. Since the success of 'Gone Girl', film rights to her previous novels - both crime thrillers - have also been snapped up.