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Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn to re-tell Hamlet

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Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn is set to bring a 21st Century spin to Hamlet, in a modern day re-telling of Shakespeare's bloody tale of revenge and despair.

The American novelist has been signed on to re-write the tragedy as part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, which sees well-known authors re-imagine Shakespeare "for contemporary readers".

Other writers involved in the project include Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo, who will take on Macbeth, Margaret Atwood, who will tackle The Tempest and Girl With a Pearl Earring author Tracy Chevalier, who is lined up to pen a modern-day version of Othello.

Anne Tyler will put her writing skills to the test with The Taming of the Shrew and Jeanette Winterson, author of Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, is to give The Winter’s Tale a contemporary makeover.

At first glance, 2012 best-selling thriller Gone Girl doesn't seem to hold much in common with Hamlet.

But dig a little deeper and Gillian Flynn is revealed as an astute choice for one of Shakespeare's darkest plays revolving around themes of madness and revenge.

The 1990 film version of Hamlet

Gone Girl tracks the disappearance of a woman and the breakdown of a contemporary marriage told in diary form from the wife and then the husband's point of view.

Like Hamlet, deception and revenge are focal points, as is the blurred line between reality and paranoia.

"Hamlet has long been a fascination of mine: murder, betrayal, revenge, deceit, madness ‒ all my favourite things," said Flynn.

"Add to that some of Shakespeare’s most intriguing, curious characters ‒ from the titular brooding prince to rueful Ophelia ‒ and what (slightly cheeky) writer wouldn’t be tempted to re-imagine it?"

Gone Girl is Flynn’s third novel and has sold almost 6.5 million copies since being published in 2012.

It's currently being adapted into a film starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, with Flynn having penned the script. The climatic ending is reportedly set to be different from that of the book.

The Hogarth Shakespeare series will launch in 2016, to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

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