David Fincher’s English-language adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was actually a pretty good film. It wasn’t perfect, but featured some trademark Fincher direction and a superb performance by then newcomer Rooney Mara (not to mention a stellar score by Messieurs Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross). However despite the artistic strengths of that film, the production of it was quite expensive and with films of that nature – adult-oriented drama – not typically raking in lots of money at the box office, it was a risky move that didn’t quite pay off and the film ended up being considered a flop by Sony Pictures (it actually made a total of $232 million off a $90 million budget, but less than half of that came from the US where the studio had been banking on a massive turnout).
At the time of production there were high hopes of all three books in author Stieg Larsson’s series being turned into a film, as they were in the original Swedish feature film adaptations by Niels Arden Oplev. However after the less than stellar financial performance of Fincher’s version, it seemed as if those plans were put on hold and the franchise potentially abandoned completely.
Only it seems this is not the case as Variety is reporting that we could be seeing a sequel to the film after all. Except it’s not the sequel that everyone would be expecting. Whereas the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was followed by The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest in Larsson’s trilogy, the book they are looking to adapt as a sequel here is The Girl in the Spider’s Web. This fourth book was actually written by David Lagercrantz, who took over for the series after the original novel’s author Stieg Larsson died in 2004.
It’s an interesting decision, but it appears the producers may be trying to distance themselves from that first film. While its still unclear whether Rooney Mara will reprise her role in this one or not – one of the contentious issues on the first film was Fincher insisting on her while Sony wanted somebody else – they are going for a complete change in director. This time they are looking to secure Fede Alvarez, who recently directed the brilliant Don’t Breathe which was a huge success for Sony. He was also the man behind the surprisingly good recent Evil Dead remake, so he knows how to play with another filmmaker’s toys.
While I’m a Fincher fan, I think this is a smart move by the studio. Not only has Alvarez shown he knows how to direct a solid, gritty film that suits the tone of the novels, but he is also likely to work on a tighter budget (Don’t Breathe and Evil Dead only cost a respective $9 million and $17 million to make) which bodes well for the future profitability of the series.
Eastern Promises and Locke’s Steven Knight has already penned the script with Scott Rudin, Amy Pascal, Elizabeth Cantillon, Eli Bush and Yellow Bird’s Ole Søndberg and Søren Stærmose on board to produce.
Last Updated: November 4, 2016