‘Girl Who Played with Fire’ Could Move Forward Without Daniel Craig

Published 2 years ago by

The Girl Who Played With Fire Delay Girl Who Played with Fire Could Move Forward Without Daniel Craig

There are a handful of reasons why a followup to David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo adaptation, The Girl Who Played with Fire is not arriving this Fall, as was originally intended. On the creative side of development, both Fincher and screenwriter Steve Zaillian have been struggling to “make it [their] own thing,” as far as adapting Stieg Larsson’s source material goes.

However, financial issues are of greater concern for Sony, after Dragon Tattoo only proved to be a moderate box office success (a $233 million worldwide gross on a $90 million budget); not to mention, its profit margin is smaller when compared to director Niels Arden Oplev’s Swedish adaptation (which grossed $104 million on a $13 million budget). Hence, the sequel is shaping up leaner than its predecessor – which could mean more than just budget reductions.

THR is reporting that 007 Daniel Craig – who played journalist Mikael Blomkvist in Dragon Tattoo, opposite Rooney Mara as the titular character (Lisbeth Salander) – could end up being lumped together with other “loose fat” trimmed off to make Girl Who Played with Fire a cheaper investment. The reason? He’s now able to demand a higher salary than before, in the aftermath of Skyfall collecting over $1 billion in theaters.

Insiders says that negotiations with Craig have not started yet, but the actor does want to reprise his role. Nonetheless, Girl Who Played with Fire revolves primarily around the continuing adventures of Lisbeth; unlike Dragon Tattoo, Blomkvist is something of a fringe player in the neo-Noir thriller proceedings. That is not to say Craig should be removed from Zallian’s script – nor that the task of writing him out would be simple and clean – but, regardless, that option remains on the table.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Daniel Craig Girl Who Played with Fire Could Move Forward Without Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’

Right now, either the Dragon Tattoo sequel or Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remake looks to become Fincher’s next directing effort (note: Fincher has begun early talks to adapt Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl novel, but development on the aforementioned projects is much further ahead… for now, anyway). Both literature adaptations are currently stalled in pre-production, thanks to the potential cost; that goes double for the latter, as the Jules Verne adaptation is a 3D CGI-heavy venture boasting effects demands on a par with Avatar and John Carter. The pair are racing to work out their budget woes first, in order to begin production this year.

Sony has more on its plate right now than just worries about Craig’s salary for Girl Who Played with Fire. Mara, after all, is a rising talent (case in point: she headlines next week’s Side Effects), so bringing her back might become more expensive as time goes on. There’s also Fincher’s original proposal to consider, ie. shooting the second and third installments, including Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, back-to-back; that could allow for the cost-cutting Sony wants. However, this approach requires waiting upwards of an extra year for either Zallian or another screenwriter to adapt Larsson’s third book. In short: there are some hard choices to be made here, by Sony and Fincher alike.

More on The Girl Who Played with Fire as the story develops.

Source: THR

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. TGWPWF needs Daniel Graig! I enjoyed the first film so much.

  2. I hate commercial actors. Look, you’re already making more money per film than most people make in their life, so if you actually LIKE the role you’re playing, don’t let money stop you from doing it. Rooney Mara LOVES the role, and it would really surprise me if the movie doesn’t get made because she’s starting to get high-profile enough to get a higher paycheck. And while Craig never came across as quite as enthused about his role, he did seem to like it enough that coming back for the sequel should be something he WANTS to do, not just something he’d do only if they pay him enough.

    This is why I have so much respect for actors like James Woods. Dude loves playing Disney’s Hades so dang much that he’s played the character in every thing the character ever appeared in. He says “pay me what you want” and just takes the role for the love of the craft.

    • So, true. It’s really sad how greed destroys everything. It isn’t enough to make so much money that you couldn’t possibly spend it all, living a reasonably wealthy lifestyle. No… one has to make more and more money every time in order to have 3 houses, 5 cars, 2 yachts and other useless stuff. I’m not just talking about actors, but also about the studio bosses who are rich beyond belief but who still feel the need to trim a project down, even though it already turned in more than twice its budget with the first installment. Isn’t that enough profit already, even with the marketing costs factored in?

    • It didn’t mention anything about Craig asking for more money! Besides, it’s often the managers/agents that deal with all that. You can’t really blame an actor for trying to keep their pay grade at a certain level though. I mean how many people would take a huge pay cut just as a favour.

      I’d like to think Craig liked the role enough, and enjoyed the shoot enough to do what he could to secure the role. But if the studio is going to start skimping, I’m not gonna be upset with Craig.

  3. Daniel Craig made the 1st remake for me too… Otherwise it was different to the original but not necessarily an improvement. Fincher directed solidly don’t get me wrong but it wasn’t the visual spectacle I had expected from the hype, plus a small point of confusion for me was that the opening title sequence did not relate in anyway to the rest of the film and jarred for me… It was as if he were trying to do a James Bond title sequence but out of context… Still the film was a good 3.5 out of 5.

  4. I’m not really bothered when they recast a role because an actor just isn’t interested, but if Craig wants to do it, then (IMO) they would be very foolish to let him go.

  5. They are completely NUTTS if they cut Daniel Craig! I didn’t understand what the movie was when the first one came out and didn’t see until after dvd release. The movie has since then had a HUGE cult following and we are all waiting for the new movie to come out so we can RUN to the theaters to see it- that is…. if it has Daniel Craig. If they lose him, I am left wondering if they also sacrifice the quality of the whole movie and am likely to skip it completely. I am fine with paying the $8 ticket price to see Daniel Craig but if they change the actor, I will keep my money in my pocket.