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Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Sequel Could Ditch Daniel Craig, Feature Female Lead Instead

What’s Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy without Mikael Blomkvist? Sony hopes it’s a wildly successful film sequel starring a women in the lead role. They’ve got our attention. 

David Fincher’s American adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was enough of a success Sony planned to continue the series with The Girl Who Played with Fire. But The Hollywood Reporter recently wrote Daniel Craig might not return even though the studio has options on him for the entire trilogy.

The reason is, of course, money. Craig’s latest Bond outing made $1 billion worldwide and word is he wants a bigger cut for The Girl Who Played with Fire. Here’s where it gets interesting.

If Sony can’t bring Craig back to reprise his role as journalist Mikael Blomkvist, the sources say the studio could write the character out of the sequel. (A Craig source says negotiations have yet to commence but the actor wants to return to the role.)

That means Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth Salander would most likely carry the film. An intriguing notion to be sure and not entirely impossible considering the second book focuses more on Lisbeth. Of course it would change the dynamic of the story a bit but perhaps that doesn’t matter. Are viewers in this for Blomkvist or Salander? Character-wise I’d say Lisbeth is the draw but acting-wise I’m sure Craig is the name that sold tickets to those who hadn’t read the novels. But I think Mara has it in her, she did get a Best Actress nomination after all. (Check out Lisbeth in our list of great fictional hackers.)

It would rest on the story they were able to come up with, however. Sony has already paid Steven Zaillian a lot to write the sequel and re-writes could push the budget further past their comfort zone.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

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  • WendyD

    I’d be curious to see what the movie would be like without the character of Blomvkist, but if they just recast Daniel Craig, I’m OUT.

  • Brittany N Harris

    That’s disappointing, Rooney Mara isn’t even a good Lisbeth how the hell is she suppose to hold up the whole movie without Mikael Bloomkvist?…

  • Zach Gaskins

    …and then show Noomi Rapace in the title image. #awkward

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Why awkward? It’s a kick-ass image.

  • TheFeminineMissGeek

    Didn’t the second book heavily feature Blomkvist with Salander absent most of the time? Or was that the third? I seem to remember reading as fast as I could through large chunks of his investigation, eager to get back to Lizbeth.

  • Erika

    I’m curious to know if you’ve actually read the original text. Rooney’s Lisbeth is as close to Stieg’s character as you can get. Other than that, of course they can’t carry the rest of the films out without Mikael. Mikael is the one who finds her in the end.

  • Zach Gaskins

    Why not use a pic of Rooney Mara, if that’s the version the article’s about?

  • Anonymous

    nooooo :( i love mara as lisbeth, but craig is so perfect too, and their relationship is what drives the story i think. i would be pretty upset if this happened. i’d probably still see it, but with the first movie it was so cool to see the book come to life–the swedish films weren’t like that for me, i guess because as an american i envisioned it all in an american way. although it might be cool if they could feature mimmi or erika berger more? or actually have lisbeth and erika meet and get to know each other, which they really never got to do in the books as far as i remember. which was too bad bc they’re both awesome

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Because she hasn’t filmed Girl who Played with Fire yet and Rapace has.

  • Kate Lorimer

    I loved all the renditions of the story, but I liked Rooney’s performance more, as i think she really sold the character more, and I think shes more than capable of carrying the story herself. I also see great potential of a straight laced female to her full on alt. Lifestyle… Kinda the odd couple kinda thing… Would require quite a bit of a rewrite tho. btw… Is it just me or does anyone else think that once youve read the book, the trailer for the US film with the Reznor song works really well as a music video basically telling the story in a series of flashes… Montage kinda thing? ¦)

  • m.s.

    I beg to differ I MUCH preferred Mara’s Lisbeth to to Rapace’s… she fit the build and the meekness much better then Rapace (who i love and was pretty kick ass as Lisbeth tbh) But neither of them could hold up a whole movie I think alone… you need that person who backs up the main character to settle her whole persona down. So with out Bloomkvist the whole story seems STRANGE.

  • John Wao

    Is recasting not an option? I like Daniel Craig but anyone can play his part. Clive Owen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Bean, etc.

  • Nikki Lincoln

    That’s the third. The second has them kind of in two different story lines so it would work for that but the third would be pretty odd without him there.

  • Magic Xylophone

    Actor quality and female prominence aside, that sounds like a bad idea for narrative integrity. The first film (never mind the books) set up their relationship as the crux of the story. Unceremoniously dropping half that double act between films leaves a massive loose end. Imagine if Han Solo just didn’t show up in Episode V.

  • Alex

    I think they will cast another actor, which will suck because Craig is great. Rooney is perfect as Salander but if they write Mikael out, it’s going to be a mess to fixed the whole story. That’s not viable as the budget is quite tight.

  • Alex

    I completely agree with you, I like Rapace’s acting but as a fan of the books I thought she was not a good Lisbeth. Talking about personality and the look. Rooney is the real representation of Lisbeth and I believe more of the people only prefer Noomi because a) They haven’t read the books. b) They like her because she was the first.

  • Captain Canada

    What a terrible idea. I really hate when Hollywood changes characters like that.

  • Velexia Ombra

    Wait… the two movies with Rapace in them came out in like… 2009. So why are they being remade in 2011, 2013(?) …?

  • Robin Burks

    Because those movies weren’t in English. Americans seem to have an aversion to foreign-language movies (or so Hollywood would have us believe).

  • Matthew Abely

    Personally if production screws with this movie series, why do they have to follow the book’s plots exactly. Good as the two part sequel (because Fire and Hornet’s nest are one giant tome to me), they could tell a different story if they so chose.

    Also Kale was never interesting to me. Always could tell he was a blatant author insert. There were better ways, better characters that could have existed, for the audience to glom onto and follow Lizbeth around with (got to keep her mysterious and all that)

  • WendyD

    The more I think about this, the more I realize that this would be a huge disappointment. I’ve read the books and seen the Swedish films, but I actually preferred the US version because the script was more true to the characters as they were in the book. The whole relationship between Blomkvist and his publisher that seals the end of the book/US version doesn’t even exist in the Swedish films, which always struck me as very odd.

  • Anonymous

    I think your right. I have a feeling Sony is just trying to make some noise before talking with Craig, to see if they can pay less. I like John Wao’s suggestion to recast him if necessary more than removing the character. Sean Bean sounds great to me.

  • Anonymous

    Death at a Funeral is another recent victim.

  • Veronica Belmont

    I’m gonna agree with OP on this one, it was a little confusing! Still a kick-ass image though, as you say.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    I love her. I liked Rooney Mara as well. I think they both had different takes on the character that were both true to the material.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    I also like it because it seems to kind of reference the fact that this was originally a Swedish film and was remade as a US film. So if part two doesn’t have Daniel Craig it will be a remake too.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    Yeah, same with “Let the Right One In”. The US version was decent enough, “Let Me In” but it didn’t bring anything new to the table. The original will still be my favorite.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    I like them both and thought both actors brought out different elements of the character. I adore Noomi Rapace, and Mara won me over pretty quickly.

  • James Gardiner

    Agreed on both taking a non book-based route and Kale as an author-insert. While I enjoyed Fincher’s Dragon Tattoo enough, things like Kale kept it from being any more than a “watch, enjoy, forget” kind of movie.
    As for leaving the book’s plot, I always favor adaptations that do that. The original story already exists (in both book and Swedish film form), so why not try something new?

  • Matthew Abely

    Fun Fact, not sure if it is 100% true or not: the books were originally supposed to be an ongoing murder mystery/social activism series of at least 10 books, apparently. Then the author died suddenly.

  • Anonymous

    (My brain said, “Sean Bean? Sean Bean? But… Blomkvist doesn’t die.” Brain is tired.)

  • Alex

    I think Rapace played a more energetic/angrier version of Salander, which I enjoyed, but when I saw Rooney I could see the Lisbeth from the books. I like Noomi, even if I’m not very excited for the roles she’s doing right now, I believe she is a very good actress.

  • Ryan

    As long as Fincher directs and Reznor/Ross do the music I will see it.

  • Ryan Colson

    The adaptation doesn’t really need Craig that bad. Heck, they could really put him in the first five minutes and the last five, and call it a movie.

  • Ryan Colson

    Girl Who Kicked doesn’t really need Michel that badly so it can work…

  • Anonymous

    what “narrative integrity”? they thew it out a window right in the first movie, could as well throw out half of the trilogy’s characters. Salander is a genius, and they portrayed her like a mentally disturbed a little-above-average Mac user, or whatever. if i haven’t read the books, i couldn’t have guessed for the life of me WTF is going on and why these people are doing whatever it is they’re doing. seriously.