When Sony Pictures first began setting up an adaptation of the red-hot bestselling novel The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, it was a slam dunk. They wooed David Fincher, fresh off of wrapping The Social Network, to craft a big-budget franchise whose primary audience wasn’t teens or fanboys but adults. This bold vision came to fruition with stellar performances, gorgeous photography and set design, and one of the best teaser trailers in recent memory, but unfortunately the movie underperformed at the box office. Granted, releasing a two-and-a-half-hour R-rated mystery drama with a graphic rape scene during the Christmas holiday probably wasn’t the best of ideas, but regardless, the film’s $232 million worldwide box office was a disappointment in the face of a production budget near $100 million.
Screenwriter Steven Zaillian took a stab at writing the script for the sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire, but Fincher and Sony had a bit of a tumultuous relationship during Dragon Tattoo’s post-production that left both sour on reuniting for the sequel, and so it languished in development hell with minor updates here and there.
Until last week, that is, when word surfaced that Sony was looking to finally move forward with a Dragon Tattoo follow-up, albeit one that would serve as a semi-reboot of the franchise. It was reported that Steven Knight (Locke) was being brought in to write a screenplay for The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the fourth book in the Millennium series and the first not written by author Stieg Larsson, who passed away after writing the initial trilogy. Moreover, the report noted that Ex Machina star Alicia Vikander was being eyed to step into Mara’s shoes and replace the actress in the series, filling the role of Lisbeth Salander.
Well that’s news to Mara. E! Online caught up with the actress recently who responded thusly to inquires that she wouldn’t return for the next Dragon Tattoo movie:
“As far as I know I’m doing it until someone tells me otherwise. And then I still might do it!”
It certainly would’ve been nice of producers Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin to reach out to Mara if they were planning to reboot the franchise without her (she did net a Best Actress Oscar nomination, after all), but seeing as this information is still a report in a trade and not an official press release, perhaps they weren’t expecting word to leak out as early as it did. Or maybe Mara won’t be replaced at all, although if Sony is looking to reboot the franchise, they likely wouldn’t want to remind folks of Fincher’s film by keeping Mara in the lead role. Regardless, it’s a major bummer that Fincher, Mara, and Daniel Craig never got to finish out their trilogy.