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While we wait for David Fincher to figure out just what his next directing effort will be, and even if he'll take on the increasingly unlikely-seeming The Girl Who Played With Fire, we've got a brief, gorgeous collaboration between him and his Dragon Tattoo muse Rooney Mara to feast our eyes on. Yes, it's a minute-long Calvin Klein ad, filled with all the vague imagery and glossy black and white cinematography you're familiar with from perfume ads (there's kind of a White Diamonds vibe to this, right?). But it's also got some stunning digital photography, and what feels like a Fincher-eye view of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo PR process. It's a lot more fascinating than most ads that will come across your TV screens.
Those blunt black bangs Mara sports on the final shots of the ad are familiar from her Dragon Tattoo red carpet appearances and even Oscar nomination, but the ad takes care to show Mara in all kinds of situations you couldn't imagine Lisbeth Salander finding herself in-- cooing over a puppy on her way to a press conference, dancing with some little girls between takes on the set, grinning when caught in a sudden rainstorm. Even though Mara has gone on to give stirring performances in Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects and the upcoming Sundance hit Ain't Them Bodies Saints, she is still probably struggling to get away from the cold, ruthless Lisbeth Salander-- and Fincher, the director who made her famous, seems to be doing his best to help.
If you're hoping this ad somehow means that Fincher and Mara are back to working together and getting The Girl Who Played With Fire up and running at last… hold your horses. The last thing we heard about it was Mara denying rumors that Daniel Craig would be written out of the sequel due to contract disputes. Mara said at the time that "I've been talking a lot with David about the sequel," but it's unclear where those conversations got them-- and there's still the problem that Dragon Tattoo lost money for its producers. An anonymous source on the production promised back in August that the film was still happening… but it's been almost a year, and there's no word. When you're trying to make a series of films based on hit books, you really ned to get in there while the books are still popular, and it's been a solid three years since Stieg Larsson's Millennium series took American readers by storm.
On top of all that there's still the question of Fincher's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which seemed on its way toward production before hitting a snag in late May. Fincher's also lined up to tackle another adaptation of a wildly successful and incredibly dark book, Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. It seems like Fincher isn't really bothering to wait around and see if Played With Fire ever gets the green light, and as long as he gets to collaborate with Mara on gorgeous stuff like this, he might never feel that itch at all. Sad for fans of Larsson's books who wanted to see the trilogy completed on film, but maybe the best for Fincher and Mara both.