It’s been clear for some time now that even if the Dragon Tattoo sequels move forward, it will be without David Fincher as the director. The filmmaker was given a “blockbuster” budget for his R-rated The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo adaptation, and while the film earned respectable box office, it wasn’t the smash hit that Sony Pictures was expecting given the success of the books. Moreover, Fincher and the studio butted heads quite a bit during production and over the marketing, and Sony wanted to significantly reduce the budget for the follow-up, so that relationship didn’t exactly end on a high note.
Four years after the release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sony has yet to move forward on the follow-ups in any capacity, but that may be about to change. THR reports that a new plan is being proposed in which The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest would be combined into one film, with an adaptation of the upcoming The Girl in the Spider’s Web closing out the series once and for all. Moreover, the idea is to move forward with these films without Fincher’s involvement.
The upcoming Spider’s Web is written by David Lagercrantz and is a continuation of Steig Larsson’s initial series. The book will be released on September 1st and is drawing some heavy interest in the form of pre-orders, so Sony is thinking this could be a way to generate renewed interest in the film franchise.
But Amy Pascal, who recently departed Sony as studio head but is still a producer on the Dragon Tattoo films, isn’t crazy about the idea of tossing Steven Zaillian’s script for The Girl Who Played with Fire, for which the studio paid in the mid-seven figures. It’s also unclear if Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig would return. They’re no doubt contractually obligated to appear in two more Dragon Tattoo films, so I imagine they have little choice in the matter.
For now this all seems to be in the nascent stages, so it’s possible this plan could come to fruition, or it’s possible that Sony could finally cut its losses and move on. Either way, it’s likely they’ll wait and see how Spider’s Web does in book sales before making a final decision.