With the benefit hindsight at our disposal, releasing a dark, 160-minute thriller — involving rape, Nazis, and unnecessary subplots dealing with financial fraud, no less — around Christmas might have been a… miscalculation. Sony must be taking this lesson to heart; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has earned somewhere north of $72 million in less than two weeks — on a $90 million budget — which, on paper, doesn’t look half bad. But when you factor in the oft-obscured marketing cost and the required interest among audiences to justify moving forward on an equally (or more highly-priced) sequel, it’s a little underwhelming.
Sony, to their credit or fault, doesn’t seem to be concerned — EW reports that a sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire, is still in their rolodex. (Do those still exist?) The studio addressed the box office situation in their announcement, saying that it “continues to do strong business and nothing has changed with respect to development of the next book.” Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal then went on to say that a late 2013 release is still being targeted, but we could have guessed that, anyway.
If the question of it, you know, actually getting made seems a little hazy, things are more firm in the creative department. Steve Zaillian is working on the screenplay — David Fincher made the requisite comment that the script is “really good” — and both Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig are signed to star. Unfortunately, the best aspect of Dragon Tattoo — that being the involvement of one Mr. Fincher — might not apply for the follow-up. Some of his past answers to the question of helming Fire have been a little dispassionate, a characteristic some would argue comes across in the final product.
I’m not wholly convinced that Dragon would be a very good film without the man’s direction, so a lack of his involvement — and, concurrently, the participation of Zaillian and his all-too-faithful scribing — on a sequel might be something of a turn-off. At the same time, those box office numbers not picking up means we can’t even be sure if Fire will ever go before cameras. Without Fincher, I can’t honestly say I’d want it to.
Are you hoping for The Girl Who Played with Fire? Is David Fincher’s involvement a must for you?
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