In 2011 David Fincher and MGM Studios released the American remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. But it under-performed at the box office. The original was estimated to have a budget of around 100 million and the estimated final gross was $231 million. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s Chief Executive Gary Barber called this a modest loss. They were expecting 10% more profits. And the film was co-financed with Sony Pictures.
Now on the sequel it appeared Sony was going to kick director David Fincher off the project. Then statements were made saying his schedule was too full to pursue this project. Steve Zallian has been working on a script this whole time and actors Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig made statements showing their willingness to return. They are both signed up for the second and third films. But the film is continually being delayed. Recently statements were made saying The Girl who Played with Fire would probably not be made and released until 2014.
Now the latest bump in the road could spell disaster or at the very least, a very different film. Actor Daniel Craig is said to be holding out for a pay raise. After the massive success of the latest Bond film Skyfall which made over a billion dollars worldwide, it is reasonable to assume that the actor is quickly becoming a bankable star. Having Craig in the first film was one of its initial draws before word circulated about the immense quality of the film itself.
Sony is looking to cut costs where it can on this film and so they may refuse Craig’s demands. Now the possibility that Craig’s character, reporter Mikael Blomkvist, could be written out of the film entirely(and presumable the third film as well).
The problem that then arises is the quality of the story itself without the character of Blomkvist. Lisbeth is the star of the picture but Blomkvist works, in the books and the Swedish films, as a perfect counterbalance for her fierce and antisocial personality. Their relationship is an unusual one that walks the line between romance and friendship. It is considered a highlight of the books. This relationship is also a major part of the story in the next two books. As Lisbeth deals with false allegations and the authorities, Blomkvist is her stubborn ally.
Some say that this whole mess might be some kind of bargaining tactic. Daniel Craig has been very vocal in his love of the material and his readiness to return. Rooney Mara has stated the rumors are ridiculous. For the sake of all those who loved Steig Larsson’s trilogy, one must hope that is truly the case. Here's hoping 2014 comes with The Girl Who Played with Fire screening in theaters all over Sacramento.