Jon Hamm Couldn’t Do ‘Gone Girl’ Because He Wasn’t Allowed Out of His “Mad Men” Contract

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Jon Hamm in “Mad Men”
Photo: AMC

Booking the lead on a television show for an actor must be an exciting thing. You have a steady, day-to-day job, and if your series is well received and people watch it, you must be riding sky high. Although, because television shows, particularly hour-long, single-camera dramas, take up an exorbitant amount of time to shoot, you will have much less time to work on other projects that may be interesting to you. It’s particularly more difficult if you have the chance for a great part in a big movie, directed by David Fincher, and your showrunner won’t let you go shoot it. Such is the case with Jon Hamm.

The St. Louis native was up for the part of Nick Dunne in Gone Girl — maybe you’ve heard of it — and instead of getting the part it went to Hamm’s The Town director and co-star Ben Affleck. One of the reasons it turned out this way is because “Mad Men” creator and showrunner Matthew Weiner would not allow Hamm out of his contract to go film it.

A source tells Page Six:

Matt would not let Jon out of his contract to do ‘Gone Girl.’ Jon was really upset about it at the time — and is still upset, because he’s thinking about the future of his career as ‘Mad Men’ comes to a close.

This happens way more often than we probably ever know about, but with a title as popular as Gone Girl and a name as big as Hamm’s, the information gets out there. It’s not 100% clear if Hamm was officially offered the part, but if that is the case, that is even a bigger bummer… for me at least.

Affleck was perfectly fine as Nick Dunne, but he was one of the reasons that film didn’t surge into my top ten of the year and ended up on the outside looking in. I think Hamm has shown far more range than Affleck ever has on screen, in what I’ve seen from my limited exposure to “Mad Men” and his other performances, and I could never get past this guy we so closely associate with Boston passing for a homegrown Midwesterner. Hamm, being from St. Louis, would’ve had no issue with that.

But what’s done it’s done. It’s fun to think “what if” about these things, but Fincher ended up making a great film regardless. I feel bad for Jon Hamm though (words I never thought I’d think). It would have been a great vehicle to show the mainstream he is more than Don Draper.