For years, Sony’s development on the followup to its Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie, The Girl Who Played With Fire, has moved forward at a glacial pace. Now, however, director David Fincher himself has chimed in on the chances of a sequel. While in Sweden to promote his upcoming Gone Girl, the director indicated that Sony has already invested so much in developing The Girl Who Played With Fire that it may have to make it.
David Fincher’s 2011 U.S. adaptation of the late Stieg Larsson’s international bestseller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo received a good amount of critical acclaim but overall only broke even here in the States. It wasn’t exactly a huge money-loser given its international haul of over $130 million, but it never really sparked the same kind of popularity the original Swedish film trilogy experienced (they were hits in Sweden and Europe).
There was once talk that Daniel Craig, who played crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist, could be written out of the sequel to Fincher’s Dragon Tattoo movie, to keep the costs down. However, aside from reports of script rewrites and star Rooney Mara’s hope that the movie happens sooner rather than later, the most recent, solid, news on the franchise was the dubious notion of a new author being hired to write a fourth book in the series.
Fincher told Afton Bladet (by way of Film Divider) that while greenlighting the sequel “is unfortunately not up to me,” he still expects Sony to make the move… eventually (his quote below is roughly translated from Swedish).
I think because it [Sony] already has spent millions of dollars on the rights and the script so it will result in something. The script that we now have a huge potential, I can reveal as much as it is extremely different from the book.
Just how “extremely different” from the book is the latest draft of the script? In the interview with the Swedish outlet, Fincher mentioned that they would need to schedule around Daniel Craig’s ongoing involvement with the James Bond franchise – a hint that Craig’s character will show up in the sequel after all. With production on Bond 24 to possibly begin as soon as this December, could we see The Girl Who Played With Fire enter production some time in 2015?
As for the novel it would be based on, the story finds Salander and Blomkvist in separate narratives for much of the book. After the events of the first novel, Salander refuses to communicate with Blomkvist, who begins to investigate underground sex trafficking in Sweden. Meanwhile, Salander comes under attack after prying into the existence of a shadowy underworld figure named “Zala,” whose real identity has a deep connection to Salander’s troubled past.
The second book ends on a cliffhanger, which sets up The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest to conclude the story. It’s entirely possible that the changes Fincher refers to restructure the plot to make the second film more of a standalone story – there’s likely little desire at Sony to set up a third film if they’re less than confident about the prospects of a second.
Overall, some changes to the convoluted plotlines of the second and third books could prove for the best. Stay tuned for more information as it surfaces.
The Girl Who Played With Fire is in development at Sony.