It’s nearly two full years since David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo hit theaters and we’ve still yet to see much movement on the sequel, The Girl who Played with Fire. She doesn’t look a day older since portraying Lisbeth Salander in the 2011 release, but Rooney Mara does have a point – she’s not getting any younger.

After accumulating a decent $232.6 million at the worldwide box office, it would have made sense for Fincher and Co. to roll right into the next installment of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and then perhaps just jump right into the final novel, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, but instead he moved on to House of Cards and his stars, Mara and Daniel Craig, were swarmed by other projects.

Even though Mara is prepping to shoot Stephen Daldry’s Trash in Brazil this September, she’s still hopeful that the adaptation of the Millennium series will continue. While discussing her upcoming release, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, she noted:

“I hope that they make the second one. I’m just not sure when they’re going to. I mean, I hope they make it soon because I’m not getting any younger. The second one is very physical, so hopefully they’ll be making it sooner rather than later.”

Just a few weeks ago, word got out that Andrew Kevin Walker is currently rewriting the Girl Who Played with Fire script that Steve Zaillian earned a pretty penny to pen, so perhaps Mara could get her wish. Fincher’s Gone Girl is currently in pre-production, so assuming he shoots that while Mara shoots Trash and while Walker polishes the script, they could be in prime position for a green light soon thereafter.

But, of course, that still leaves Daniel Craig. In order to avoid a lengthy wait while Craig shoots Bond 24, The Girl Who Played with Fire would need to be in production in early 2014, otherwise they run the risk of killing all of the series’ momentum.

When asked is she was contractually obligated to be on standby should the sequel get a green light, Mara simply replied, “kind of.” It’d seem strange for the filmmakers to commit to the first film without ensuring they’d have both Mara and Craig locked for the next two installments, but there has been talk of moving forward on a smaller budget by cutting Craig’s character.

Regardless of whether or not they pay Craig’s fee, the longer they wait, the pricier and busier Mara will end up getting so that new writer recruit could be a sign of the studio making a serious push towards keeping Mara, getting Fincher while he’s free and maintaining a reasonable amount of franchise hype. If there’s another snag between now and then, it could be necessary to put the trilogy to bed early.

Keep an eye out for our full chat with Mara on Ain’t Them Bodies Saints coming later this week.

Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.