Dragon Tattoo Runtime Debate, New Video

David Fincher’s adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novel “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” has appeared to have had a relatively smooth run behind-the-scenes so far.

Today though came a speed bump – the issue of runtime according to The Playlist. Fincher currently sits on a three hour cut of the film, but Sony Pictures wants a version no longer than two hours and twenty minutes.

Directors and studios always battle over runtime but usually the discrepancy isn’t this large. Nor is this new for Fincher who famously feuded with Paramount over the runtime of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”.

While that film ended up running 166 minutes, it cost Fincher – the studio essentially scuttling his “Torso” and “Heavy Metal” projects which were in development at the studio at the time.

Playlist posits that if the ordeal escalates, it is possible Fincher may not return to direct the next two films in the proposed ‘Girl’ trilogy. That sounds a bit alarmist, and one should remember Fincher had no problems with Sony over “The Social Network” – though that film clocked in at a tight two hours exactly.

The previous Swedish-language adaptation of the 533-page book was shot as a three-hour mini-series which was edited down to a two-and-a-half hour film version for its theatrical run. Even at 150 minutes though it had to cut quite a few elements out of the book to fit. The two-hour film cut of the sequel “The Girl Who Played with Fire” lost huge swaths of the second book much to its detriment.