Back and 2011, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the David Fincher-directed adaptation of the first book in the Millennium Trilogy (which has since been renamed the Lisbeth Salander Series) hit theaters. The movie starred Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig, both of whom gave stellar performances to these beloved characters. In the eyes of some fans of the source material, the movie was even superior to the original Swedish film — which was already a pretty high bar.
For one reason or another, however, the film didn’t perform too well. It made over $232 million worldwide, but with a production budget of $90 million, and what we can assume is around a $90 million marketing budget, it would have had to net over $180 million in order to make a profit. Taking into account the theaters’ share of the gross, the film likely resulted in a loss of about $25 million. When all said and done, after Blu-ray and digital sales, odds are high that they ended in the black, but it didn’t seem like a promising bet to continue with a standard sequel.
Despite the high praise the film had, no sequel materialized in the years that followed its 2011 release. For the longest time, actress Rooney Mara seemed to hold out hope that a sequel could indeed happen, but as recently as last September, even Mara went on the record to state that she was open to a sequel, “but I’m not holding out hope anymore.”
On the heels of that comment, rumors floated around that there could, in fact, be a sequel, but not one that we’d expect. Rather than continue on with the story chronicled in sequels The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest — which rounded out the trilogy’s arc — the studio seemed to be contemplating adapting The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
For those unfamiliar, the original trilogy was published after the death of author Stieg Larsson, who had hoped to write many novels in the series, but only had finished the three. In 2015, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, a continuation of the story, was published near-simultaneously around the world, and picking up the baton for Larsson was Swedish journalist David Lagercrantz.
This rumor of adapting this fourth book was all but confirmed a couple weeks back when Don't Breathe director Fede Alvarez and Burnt screenwriter Steven Knight were hired to direct and write the film, respectively. It’s been quiet in the time between then and now, but a recent interview between Collider and Knight pretty much confirms the project:
“A commission and an original are two different things, and both have their virtues and vices. A commission is a bit more collaborative, in that you outline the story that you think should be told, and then you write it. And then, there are notes and you change it, in the conventional studio system. But, it was great fun to do because of the central character. With The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the girl is really the central character. She’s the whole thing. It’s not really Blomkvist.”
That’s no huge surprise to those who have read the books. Salander has always been one of the main draws, and one of the emotional cruxes of the story, so it makes sense that the story would shift to focus on her over time. But those who are expecting a direct sequel to the first David Fincher film will be out of luck.
“It can’t be anything other than a sequel, but a couple of books have been skipped, so it is different, in that sense. It’s really taking a very strong central character and thinking, how do you execute this? It’s quite different.”
So if you’d walked away from that first film wondering how Salander and Blomkvist would repair their broken relationship, you’ll have to turn to the books (or the Swedish films — but those took a turn for the worse after the first one) for answers.
As far as whether or not Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara will be returning, we’ll have to wait and see.
What do you think of Knight’s comments? Are you excited to see them finally explore new territory in this new film? Let us know in the comments down below!
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