If there was one big difference between the two film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” it was profitability.
The 2009 Swedish-language film was shot on a budget of just $13 million, and the final result was good enough to look about double that. More importantly it made $104 million in box-office worldwide, around eight times its budget.
On the flip side, David Fincher’s English-language version clocked in at a considerable $90 million budget. While its worldwide haul of $232 million was quite solid, it wasn’t enough for Sony to get particularly excited about continuing this franchise.
They still intend to move forward though, so long as the budget for the sequel “The Girl Who Played with Fire” can be brought down considerably.
Today though, THR reports that the present hold-up on the franchise isn’t the studio, star Rooney Mara, or even Fincher – it is actor Daniel Craig. While the studio has options on Craig for two sequels, the actor is said to want a pay raise in the wake of the success of “Skyfall”.
Craig is still interested in returning to the role, but with the budget being so tight they are reportedly considering a more drastic option – writing his journalist Mikael Blomkvist character out of the sequel altogether.
The second book focuses heavily on Lisbeth Salander, with Mikael scoring the secondary plot which deals with Swedish sex trafficking and the exposure of the true identity of the mysterious ‘Zala’, a man with an important link to Salander.
Salander and Blomkvist share very few scenes together so it wouldn’t be impossible, but it will become a problem when the third entry comes around as both Blomkvist and his sister play larger parts.
Taking this option also means an expensive rewrite of Steven Zaillian’s script which is reportedly considered production-ready and proved quite expensive.
Fincher’s schedule is also fairly clear at the moment as most of the projects he is linked with are in very early stages, while Disney’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” is having budget issues.
Fincher’s U.S. remake of “House of Cards” premieres in its entirety on Netflix tomorrow.