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David Fincher’s adaptation of Stigg Larssen’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was barely a domestic success, earning $102 million on a $90 million budget, though the foreign gross certainly helped it out (it wound up with $232 million worldwide). And despite a handful of Academy Award nominations (and a win in Best Film Editing), the prospect of seeing the sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire, getting made has gotten more and more unlikely. But wait! The Playlist reports the film’s screenplay will be reworked by screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, whose finest hour came when he wrote 1995’s serial killer thriller Se7en, which Fincher also directed. Walker also wrote a draft of Fincher’s doomed 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea adaptation, which is now officially dead. But more on that later.
The Playlist sources say Walker has been hired to “work quietly” on the script, a phrase that doesn’t mean much in the constant din of Internet entertainment news. The original script was penned by Steve Zaillian, who was reportedly paid handsomely for his work. And rather than make it all look like a wash, Sony is keeping the faith. Walker is nearly done with his draft, and while that’s great news in and of itself, it doesn’t mean everyone else is available to work on it.
This fall, Fincher will be busy with filming his adaptation of the Gillian Flynn thriller Gone Girl with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in mind to star. Meanwhile, Daniel Craig will be performing opposite wife Rachel Weisz on Broadway in the play Betrayal, which will run from October through January 5, 2014. And we all know he’ll be back with Sam Mendes for the next Bond movie, which will be filming at some point next year. And Fincher’s post-production process has never been a quick one, so he probably won’t be available to shoot The Girl Who Played With Fire during Craig’s open window. So perhaps Sony’s decision to hire a new director will be the next big news we get about this film.
It wouldn’t be the only movie Fincher’s plans to direct fell through on, as IndieWire also revealed 20,000 Leagues is not only deader than Jules Verne, but it’s actually been that way for months. A few months ago, we reported that the Australian government might step in and financially assist the film by offering tax incentives, but that was all apparently smoke and mirrors set up to try and get the producers to consider filming there, and didn’t carry much merit. Given The Lone Ranger’s recent box office embarrassment, there’s no surprise in Disney not wanting to drop $200 million on yet another risky project. (Yes, they opted out of financing Fincher’s film before Lone Ranger hit theaters, but they had to have an inkling.)
Let us know in the poll below who you’d like to see directing Girl Who Played With Fire if Fincher can't make it work.
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