While it's not a given that David Fincher will return to the director's chair for The Girl Who Played with Fire - sequel to last year's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo American remake - it's long been assumed he would. After a moderately successful release – the film barely broke even domestically and made a solid push overseas – Sony Pictures is moving ahead with their adaptation of Stieg Larsson's second book, but trouble with the film's script is still holding it back.
Fincher, however, is still attached to the project for now, even as screenwriter Steve Zaillian revises his earlier drafts. With several projects on his plate, though, including an updated version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, it seems entirely likely that the Fight Club director might walk.
For now, though, Fincher is still trying to "figure [The Girl who Played with Fire] out" or at least that's what he told Art of the Title in an interview about his films' famous title sequences. Fincher reveals that they're trying to "make it [their] own thing," a quote which suggests simply adapting the novel will not fly this time around.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, while an entertaining film, didn't add more to the story than the International adaptations of the books did; it merely retold the novel's plot with English-speaking actors. Fincher's penchant for visual storytelling was present in full, but a familiar narrative somewhat narrative overshadows that.
In addition to trying to crack Girl Who Played with Fire, Fincher also reveals he's been working on House of Cards, a new Netflix-only TV series he's developing with Neil Kellerhouse. We might not know what the director's next film project will be, but House of Cards appears to be receiving the majority of Fincher's attention right now.
If Fincher does return to direct Girl Who Played with Fire the question becomes whether he will close out the series with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. The two novels were built essentially as a single narrative, which almost implies they be shot back-to-back. Perhaps that could be a way for Fincher to make the property stand out against the Swedish films.
The third book had to be completed posthumously after Larsson's passing, and reads as somewhat scattered in focus and undercooked in development; the second book is often criticized for focusing more on peripheral characters and less on protagonist Lisbeth Salander. That's all to say: maybe mashing the second and third books together into one film - or taking creative liberties with both - wouldn't be a terrible idea.
Although Girl Who Played with Fire won't be making its originally announced 2013 release date, Fincher apparently remains optimistic he will see the project through to theaters. The prolific director has been known to acquire new gigs and subsequently drop them, but after having fostered the first leg of the series we'd like to see him finish them all.
Should David Fincher return to direct the next film in the Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire?