Director David Fincher Not Sure About Sequels to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
12.20.11 by BrentJS
There are three books in the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson's "Millenium series" of crime-mystery novels that feature the now-iconic characters Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2005), The Girl Who Played with Fire (2006) and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (2007). There are also three internationally acclaimed Swedish movie adaptations based on Larsson's posthumously published novels. As such, it almost seems like a foregone conclusion that Columbia Pictures' The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — which opens nationwide today — will be the first movie in a trilogy of English-language movie adaptations. Surprisingly, sequels are anything but a given for director David Fincher, who recently told IndieWIRE that "the story is complete" in Dragon Tattoo and he feels no "need" to make sequels.
Do I want to see a sequel for this? I would be happy for everyone involved as that would mean a lot of people went to see it and enjoyed it. Do I need to see a sequel? No, there’s a little bit of an emotional cliffhanger at the end, but the story is complete.
Fincher went on to say that, unlike actors in potential franchise movies, directors are typically not given multi-picture deals. However, if The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is successful and he is asked to return, he would likely want to shoot The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest concurrently.
Classically, movie studios don't make deals with directors, even if there’s a hope that there's going to be three [movies], because they want to make sure you behave. But yes, the second and third books are very much one story and it doesn't seem prudent to me to go to Sweden for a year and then come back for a year, put out the second [movie], go back to Sweden for a year, come back for a year... I think that would be crazy, and especially given the sense that it's really one story that's bifurcated.
Fincher said that he "made a commitment" to actress Rooney Mara — who suffered both brutal public scrutiny and physical discomfort after landing the role of Lisbeth Salander — when he cast her in the movie, but that should the franchise continue without him he is confident that she would be "good to go."
I know that [Rooney's] first foray into being the center of a movie was an incredibly draining, unproductive, and bad experience for her and I made a commitment to her when I asked her to do all these things. I said, "I'm not going to hang you out there. You are not going to be in a situation where you don't know how much of you is going to be seen. You're not going to be in a situation where I ask you to put holes in your body if it's not going to benefit the character or the movie. You're not a puppet in this. You're a partner in this and I need you to take authorship and I need to give it over to you completely. I want to be confident that this is going to work out. I want to give you as much help as I can, but this is your thing. It's our thing as it relates to what has to happen on [the screen], but she's your thing and I felt that I found the right person."
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was adapted for the screen by Steven Zaillian (American Gangster). The cast includes Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist, Stellan Skarsgård as Martin Vanger, Robin Wright as Erika Berger, Embeth Davidtz as Annika Blomkvist, and Christopher Plummer as Henrik Vanger.