Flynn at the 52nd New York Film Festival, September 2014
|Born||February 24, 1971|
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Gillian Schieber Flynn (; born February 24, 1971) is an American writer. Flynn has published three novels, Sharp Objects, Dark Places, and Gone Girl, all three of which have been adapted for film or television. Flynn wrote the adaptations for the 2014 Gone Girl film and the HBO limited series Sharp Objects. She was formerly a television critic for Entertainment Weekly.
Flynn was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in midtown Kansas City's Coleman Highlands neighborhood. Both of her parents were professors at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley: her mother, Judith Ann (née Schieber), was a reading-comprehension professor, and her father, Edwin Matthew Flynn, was a film professor. She has an older brother, Travis, who is a railroad machinist. Her uncle is Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Robert Schieber. Flynn was "painfully shy" and found escape in reading and writing. When she was growing up, Flynn's father would take her to watch horror movies.
Flynn attended Bishop Miege High School and graduated in 1989. As a teenager, she worked odd jobs which required her to do things such as dress up as a giant "yogurt cone who wore a tuxedo."
She attended the University of Kansas, where she received her undergraduate degrees in English and journalism. She spent two years in California, writing for a trade magazine for human resources professionals, before moving to Chicago and attending Northwestern University for a master's degree at its Medill School of Journalism in 1997. Flynn initially wanted to work as a police reporter, but she chose to focus on her own writing, as she discovered she had "no aptitude" for police reporting.
After graduating from Northwestern, Flynn worked freelance briefly at U.S. News & World Report before being hired as a feature writer in 1998 at Entertainment Weekly. She was promoted to television critic and wrote about films but was laid off in December 2008.
She attributes her craft to her 15-some years in journalism. She said, "I could not have written a novel if I hadn't been a journalist first, because it taught me that there's no muse that's going to come down and bestow upon you the mood to write. You just have to do it. I'm definitely not precious."
Some critics have accused Flynn of misogyny due to the often unflattering depiction of female characters in her books. Flynn identifies as a feminist. She feels that feminism allows for women to be bad characters in literature. She states, "The one thing that really frustrates me is this idea that women are innately good, innately nurturing." Flynn also said people will dismiss "trampy, vampy, bitchy types - but there's still a big pushback against the idea that women can be just pragmatically evil, bad, and selfish." In 2015, Flynn explained her decision to write cruel female characters, saying, "I've grown quite weary of the spunky heroines, brave rape victims, soul-searching fashionistas that stock so many books. I particularly mourn the lack of female villains - good, potent female villains."
When Flynn was working for Entertainment Weekly, she was also writing novels during her free time. She has written three novels and one short story.
Flynn was an avid reader of comic and graphic novels when she was a child. She collaborated with illustrator Dave Gibbons and wrote a comic book story called Masks. It is part of the anthology series Dark Horse Presents and was published by Dark Horse Comics in February 2015.
In February 2014, it was reported that Flynn would be writing the scripts for Utopia, an HBO drama series adapted from the acclaimed British series Utopia. The HBO series was to be directed and executive produced by David Fincher. In July 2015 the project was cancelled due to budget disputes between Fincher and HBO. However, the project received second life at Amazon, with the streamer ordering the project to series with a 2020 release. Flynn wrote all nine hours and served as the project's showrunner. Utopia was released on Amazon Prime Video on September 25, 2020.
For her Gone Girl screenplay, Flynn was nominated for the Golden Globe, Writers Guild of America Award and BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Flynn and filmmaker Steve McQueen co-wrote a film adaptation of the ITV series Widows. The film stars Viola Davis and was released in November 2018.
Flynn married lawyer Brett Nolan in 2007. They met through a grad school classmate at Northwestern, which she attended when she moved to Chicago from New York City in her mid-30s. The couple have two children. Their son Flynn was born in 2010 and their daughter Veronica was born August 6, 2014. As of at least 2013, they reside in Chicago.
|2014||Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay||Gone Girl||Won|
|Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards||Best Woman Screenwriter||Won|
|Austin Film Critics Association||Best Adapted Screenplay||Won|
|Chicago Film Critics Association||Best Adapted Screenplay||Won|
|Critics' Choice Movie Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay||Won|
|Florida Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay||Won|
|Hollywood Film Awards||Screenwriter Award||Won|
|Online Film Critics Society Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay||Won|
|San Diego Film Critics Society Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay||Won|
|St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay||Won|
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay||Won|
|Denver Film Critics Society||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|International Online Film Critics' Poll Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Screenplay||Nominated|
|USC Scripter Award||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|BAFTA Award||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|Writers Guild of America Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|2015||Edgar Award||Best Short Story||The Grownup||Won|
In the late eighties, my job involved going out in public dressed as a tuxedoed dairy product. Children ran from me.
|2015||Dark Places||No||No||No||Based on the novel by|
|2018||Widows||No||Yes||No||Co-written with Steve McQueen|
|2016||The Mindy Project||No||No||No||Yes||Cameo (Episode: "Revenge of the Nurse")|
|2018||Sharp Objects||No||Yes||Executive||No||Writer (3 episodes)|
|2020||Utopia||No||Yes||Executive||No||Creator; writer (8 episodes)|