Daniel Craig Gets A “Dragon Tattoo”

Though it has been rumoured that Brad Pitt was to re-team with his “Fight Club” director David Fincher on the upcoming remake of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, a much more suitable name has emerged today to play the film’s male lead – Daniel Craig.

Though several outlets are reporting different statuses in regards to Craig’s involvement (Deadline says he’s in talks, The Wrap says he’s “near a deal”), all agree that Craig is looking the most likely to take on the role of investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist in the English-language adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s megahit “Millennium” novel trilogy.

In the story, Blomqvist is a disgraced journalist in Stockholm who is investigating the 40-year-old disappearance of a industrialist’s niece on a remote island. His investigations alongside misunderstood rebellious female hacker Lisbeth Salander uncovers religious killings, Nazism, rape, child abuse and murder.

The film’s distributor Sony Pictures has denied all the casting reports thus far, saying “We have not offered any roles to anyone nor are we negotiating with anyone.” Michael Nyqvist played the role in the Swedish-language film version which opened in Europe last year and is currently in limited theatrical release in the U.S., U.K. and Australia where it has scored strong reviews and box-office.

Craig, currently filming Jon Favreau’s “Cowboys and Aliens”, was slated to shoot the next James Bond film at the end of the year. MGM’s financial difficulties however have likely pushed back filming on 007’s next adventure into 2011.

The important role of Lisbeth Salander has yet to be cast though, with names like Carey Mulligan, Ellen Page, Natalie Portman, Keira Knightley, Kristen Stewart, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway and Scarlett Johansson being bandied about as potentials.

Steve Zaillian (“Schindler’s List,” “American Gangster”) is penning the script based directly on the book rather than the Swedish-language film. Fincher has the option to direct the next two films in the trilogy, “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”, with rumours suggesting both films will be shot back-to-back.

Filming on ‘Dragon Tattoo’ kicks off in Sweden in October on the first film which is slated for release in December next year.