‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’ Might Happen Without Daniel Craig

Before David Fincher was busying himself with Netflix programming and the upcoming adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s runaway bestseller Gone Girl, he was getting all gaga over the punked-out Rooney Mara in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Based on Stieg Larsson’s trilogy (as well as the original Swedish films), the American version was supposed to blow everyone’s minds. Well, the first film was a box-office success and picked up some Oscar nominations, but everyone agreed that there was something a little disappointing in the nearly shot-by-shot remake. 

The studio execs still want to pursue the film’s two sequels, and want to keep Fincher on board. They’re less attached, however, to Daniel Craig, simply because the James Bond actor costs too much. 

Although 2011’s Tattoo made $233 million worldwide — not a bad haul for a hard-R movie that came on the heels of a wildly successful Swedish-language trilogy also based on the books by Stieg Larsson — the $90 million-budgeted film was not perceived as a runaway hit, and the studio is said to be hellbent on reducing the cost of the next chapter.

Sources close to the project say the biggest holdup isn’t Fincher’s involvement but star Daniel Craig’s. The studio has options on Craig for two sequels, but the actor is said to want a pay raise, not a cut, in the wake of Skyfall grossing $1 billion worldwide. 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.

Rooney Mara, however, is still on board. Remember when she wouldn’t stop talking about how crazy she had to look for the movie, with the hair and the shaved eyebrows and the nipple piercings? Can’t wait to get into all of that again. 

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