‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ Sequels Could Shoot Back-to-Back

Published 3 years ago by , Updated December 19th, 2011 at 2:28 pm,

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trailer Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Sequels Could Shoot Back to Back

Early buzz concerning director David Fincher’s soon-to-be-released The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo adaptation is extremely positive (so far). The film (at the time of writing this) has a Rotten Tomatoes score of over 92% and managed to earn a Golden Globe nomination for starlet Rooney Mara’s portrayal of the titular anti-heroine.

Fincher already has the option to helm the Dragon Tattoo followup, The Girl Who Played With Fire; it’s expected that, should Fincher choose to exercise that option, Sony would also want the Oscar-nominated filmmaker to adapt the final entry in author Stieg Larsson’s original Millennium trilogy – ie. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.

Larsson’s Dragon Tattoo sequels are (essentially) two halves of a single narrative – something that not only lends further credence to the idea of Fincher handling both film adaptations, but also supports the notion that they could feasibly be shot back-to back.

The filmmaker agrees on that latter point, and recently had the following to say on the matter, while promoting his Dragon Tattoo adaptation at a New York City press conference:

“Yes, the second two books [in the Millennium trilogy] are very much one story and it doesn’t seem prudent to me to go to Sweden for a year.  Come back for a year.  Put out the second one.  Go to Sweden for a year.  Come back for a year.  I don’t think Rooney [Mara] wants to be doing this four years from now.  So I think that would be crazy especially given the sense that it’s really one story that’s kind of bifurcated in the middle.”

While Dragon Tattoo screenwriter Steven Zaillian is officially onboard to script Girl Who Played With Fire, he has admitted to Collider to not having actually begun the writing process just yet. The Oscar-winner scribe also said that he expects to finish the first draft of the script in about six months’ time – meaning that production on the first Dragon Tattoo sequel likely wouldn’t get underway until late 2012, at the earliest.

Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Sequels Could Shoot Back to Back

'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara

Much like Dragon Tattoo, Girl Who Played With Fire and Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest are both neo-Noir tales that are ripe with disturbing subject matter, darkly dangerous characters, and unsettling atmosphere. While readers may have mixed feelings about the quality of Larsson’s latter source material in comparison to his first novel about Lisbeth Salander, those books certainly stand to benefit from being scripted by Zaillian and visually-realized by Fincher.

All the same, shooting the second and third movies in a blockbuster series back-to-back can be a problematic approach, especially when they have a shared storyline; the results have often been weak to disappointing, in the past (see: the Matrix and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises).

In this particular case, that production plan actually makes more sense – not only for the practical reasons Fincher has cited, but also because the Dragon Tattoo sequels’ narrative is already set in stone and planned out in advance (a la Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy adaptation) … unlike, say, the third Pirates flick, where shooting began before the script was even complete.


Look to learn more information about this subject (including, an update on Fincher’s involvement) in the upcoming weeks, following the theatrical release of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on December 20th, 2011.

Source: David Fincher (via Collider)

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  1. Ah yes, but they shot all three Lord of the Rings movies at the same time and that worked out well.

  2. i just finished reading the books and i really wasnt impressed.

    the first was just good, nothing special. and 2 and 3 were long and boring. I was expecting a fast pace mystery thriller but what i got was a slow pace spy thriller.

    i use to really want to see the David Fincher movie, but after reading the books, i’m not so sure anymore.

    (on a lighter note, i’m just finishing the first “Hunger Games” book, can’t wait for that movie)

    • Agreed with everything except The Hunger Games, was also dissapointed with that one.

      That being said, it makes sense to shoot the sequels back to back. When I first read them they felt like one story cut in half instead of stand alone sequels. So if they do that and release it 6 month apart then it’d be great.

    • I guess different strokes for etc etc….. I found all three compelling. They kept my interest page after page. I hated to put them down and couldn’t wait to get back to reading on. I tore through all three in record time. The Dragon Tattoo movie was excellent and I’m anticipating the (Hollywood) sequels. I have watched all three Swedish versions – also enjoyable. On the other hand I struggled to get through Hunger Games and haven’t bothered moving on to the second or third.

  3. I’ve read the series and to be honest I’d rather see the final 2 combined into 1 film. I think that would be a more tempting option for Fincher.

    • Frankly, i wouldnt mind them splicing the two books into one film. Cut down to the bare basics of characters and plot points enough to have a fast-paced yet smart crime thriller.

      in each book, the entire middle third was just repeating the same thing over and over again. In Book two, it was the investigation teams going back and forth about what they know about the crimes, never actually solving anything. And in the third book, the whole middle third was each group spying on the other, again not going anywhere. It was dull. Stuff like that i would cut down to a bare minimum and upped when the action or emotions where dire. Otherwise, i’m out of this saga.

      I have complete faith in David Fincher as a film maker but i have little faith in this story. I guess only time will tell where i officially stand on these movies.

      • Not sure on combining them. The depth of characters would be lost, most specifically lisbeth who already comes across aloof rather than insular. The films stand up in their own right but cutting them down would be dumbing them down.

        As for hunger games, I personally enjoyed it in the context that the books aren’t targeting adults. If i hadn’t have known that i’d have struggled.
        Film in this case should be even better.