It is a shame Stieg Larsson passed away before his Millennium trilogy, three thrilling crime books set in his native Sweden, took the world by storm. Chronicling the dangerous lives of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his unlikely ally, punked-out twenty-something researcher Lisbeth Salander, the stories were enough to sell millions of books, inspire three Swedish films, a graphic novel, and start a line of Hollywood adaptations, the first of which, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", was released in 2011. The David Fincher film, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara as the unlikely pair, grossed a hefty 232 million dollars worldwide, paying for its 90 million dollar budget two and a half times over. One would expect to hear news about the sequel, "The Girl Who Played With Fire", but in the year and a half since "Tattoo"'s release, the news front has been a little more than vacant. So what is going on with "Fire"?
A little Salander-ian research will teach you that Sony is indeed planning to move ahead with the second film, although with a smaller budget than the original's 90 million. Since the budget is smaller this time around, it might not leave room for the after-"Skyfall"-expensive Daniel Craig (who earned 17 million for Skyfall according to The Hollywood Reporter). With Craig in question, some websites said the production might go ahead without him. That seems to make perfect sense, considering there are probably a great many other actors who could replace him as the always-endangered journalist (Michael Fassbender, Eric Bana, Gerard Butler to name a few), but that's not what the websites meant. Instead of recasting Craig, Mikael Blomkvist would simply be "written out" of the script. But how do you have a Millennium movie without Mikael Blomkvist (especially since the name of the trilogy is derived from the name of Blomkvist's controversial magazine)?
Hollywood is no stranger to drastically changing everything about source material ("Dragonball: Evolution", for example), but can a film really cut out such a major character? Fincher and crew already took creative liberties with the ending of "Tattoo", and even though he said he has to make "Fire" his "own thing", would they make such a drastic change?
We'll have to see what Sony decides, but in the meantime, what do you think? Should Sony spring the extra kronor to get Craig back, choose another actor, or leave Blomkvist out of the story?