With Daniel Craig in the role of James Bond, the latest 007 movie brought in a cool billion in worldwide box office revenues. It goes without saying that the film’s stellar financial performance means that its star should be seeing a raise over the course of his next few pictures. It’s good news for Craig (and for Skyfall), but it could be bad news for The Girl Who Played With Fire, the much-anticipated sequel to David Fincher’s 2011 English adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony, the studio behind the franchise, is “said to be hellbent on reducing the cost of the next chapter.” The original film cost $90 million to make but brought in a respectable $233 million in returns. Still, Sony is reported to be looking to save money on the two sequels it’s already purchased the rights to, which means they may not be able to afford Craig.
THR claims that the actor is keen on the project, but is demanding a raise and that it may actually be more cost-effective for the studio to pay someone to edit Craig’s role completely out of Steven Zaillian’s “production-ready” script (a script that cost somewhere in the mid-seven figure range—” one of the most expensive adaptations to date,” reports THR).
“Everyone wants to make the next movies happen. There’s a great story to tell,” said a Sony insider. It’s just that the story might have to be told without Craig’s journalist character, Mikael Blomkvist—which, say the optimists over at THR, may not be an unmitigated disaster. Stieg Larson’s The Girl Who Played With Fire novel focuses heavily on
Noomi Rapace’s Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth Salander (Mara has already been confirmed to the project) so skirting the Blomkvist arc may not completely ruin the story. However, if it’s any consolation to Craig fans, Mara is certain that the sequel will indeed include the actor. For the actress, it’s whether or not David Fincher will return that’s the real question mark.