Sony, Zaillian Adapt “Dragon Tattoo”

Sony Pictures has optioned the rights for an English-language film adaptation of international literary sensation “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” reports the trades.

Steve Zaillian (“American Gangster,” “Schindler’s List”) is in talks to write the script based on the first of the crime thriller novel trilogy by late Swedish journalist-activist Stieg Larsson.

The story follows Mikael Blomqvist, a disgraced journalist and Lisbeth Salander, a bisexual female hacker with Asperger’s syndrome who investigate the 40-year-old disappearance of a industrialist’s niece on a remote island.

Their investigations uncover religious killings, Nazism, rape, child abuse and murder. The next two novels deal with a conspiracy within the Government dating back to the Cold War. All three books have scored rave critical reviews, especially for the Salander character who’s considered one of the most compelling female characters of modern fiction.

Yellow Bird Films produced Swedish-language film adaptations of all three books which scored European release this year. ‘Tattoo’ (released as “Män som hatar kvinnor”) opened in February and pulled in nearly $100 million across the continent. Music Box Films acquired US distribution rights and will release ‘Tattoo’ in select theatres on March 19th. Should that fare well, the subsequent two films will be released later in the year.

Scott Rudin (“No Country for Old Men”) will produce the remake with Yellow Bird’s Ole Sondberg and Soren Staermose. However the deal isn’t yet locked due to a rights dispute between Larsson’s parents and his longtime partner, Eva Gabrielsson.