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Sony May Write Daniel Craig Out Of 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequels As Actor Asks For Raise

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 31, 2013 9:06 AM
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There has been a lot of speculation about why Sony has been taking their time in getting a sequel in front of cameras for "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." Maybe the studio was expecting more than the over $230 million they took in worldwide for the hard-R, adult thriller. Perhaps it's the price point, with fees for David Fincher, Scott Rudin and screenwriter Steve Zaillian tallying between $25-$35 million before a frame of film is even shot (not to mention that Fincher gets $5 million anyway as part of his pay-or-play deal if Sony goes with someone else). However, the studio has continually insisted a followup is coming...but just not before 2014. And now things seem to have gotten a bit more complicated.

THR reports that it's not Fincher that is holding things up, but Mikael Blomkvist himself, Daniel Craig. The actor, perhaps justifiably, is asking for a pay raise, following the billion dollar success of "Skyfall." While Sony has an option on the actor already for the followups, the trade notes "the studio could write the character out of the sequel." However, that would present its own set of headaches.

For one thing, they'd have to recommission Zaillian to write new scripts, which would require spending more money on the movie that hasn't lensed, and moreover, he might not be available as he's working on HBO's "Criminal Justice." And no one has been more loyal to his cast during 'Dragon Tattoo' than Fincher, and we'd wager that he would be less than happy about seeing his lead actor unceremoniously removed from the franchise. Meanwhile, Sony's Columbia Pictures arm distributes the Bond movies with MGM who co-produces, with the studios also pairing up on the 'Dragon Tattoo' movies, and dumping Craig could make things a little awkward.

Our guess? This all sounds like negotiation tactic stuff, and we don't see Craig leaving, if only for the fact that his exit would likely cause more problems than it could solve. The endgame here is that Sony wants to cut down the $90 million they spent on the first movie, and while that will require some tough decisions, we couldn't see that happening at the expense of the creative team. At least we hope not.

However, the question remains as to when this will happen. Fincher is gearing up to go into production as executive producer (and we'd wager he'll direct a couple episodes too) of the second season of "House Of Cards," which shoots in the spring. And while the recently announced "Gone Girl" and "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" remain options, the former apparently needs script work while the latter is still sorting out a budget that Disney can roll with. But Craig is tied up anyway with Bond, as the next installment aims for a 2014 release date, which means he'll likely be shooting that before the end of the year.

So, in short -- keep waiting. Whether or not we'll see Lisbeth Salander kicking hornet's nests and playing with fire anytime soon still seems up in the air.

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  • Frankie | August 15, 2014 6:53 PMReply

    I sure wish they would get moving on these sequels. My excitement is waning.

  • VANT | January 15, 2014 1:11 PMReply

    Rooney and Craig have to stay. Fincher has to direct. Trent Reznor has to provide the background score. SONY HAS TO PAY UP.

  • Floyd | February 6, 2013 5:02 AMReply

    These sequels are taking way too long to come out. 4 years between Batman 2-3. 4 year wait for Star Trek 2. By the time they get to Dragon Tattoo 3, Daniel Craig will need a face lift.

  • Maggie | February 2, 2013 6:15 PMReply

    who the hell does he think he is?

  • Ewa | February 2, 2013 9:28 PM

    A great actor who attracts audience? Besides this news is just rubbish, total gossip, according to Rooney Mara, so you'd better think before you start bashing someone due to some stupid suppositions. And, btw, he IS worth anything he wants, if he's not in the movie, people won't go to the cinema anyway.

  • NeuroMan42 | February 1, 2013 1:55 PMReply

    The Mericanized version of the film was horrible. Mara was atrocious as Lisbeth and Craig was somewhat passable. Just step away and stop, as the original three films were superior to the US crap.

  • Mandy | March 28, 2013 9:30 AM

    You hate it just because its american. I feel bad for people like you, who stereotype America and our culture from some unknown hate you have. Or maybe you're just being a hipster who thinks you're cool because you watched the original movies. I think the original three films suck. Noomi looks too big to play lisbeth, since the writer described her as looking like an anorexic teenage boy. And her clothes are too HotTopic goth, while Rooney had thrift store clothes. But you don't see me blaming it on the entire country of Sweden, do you?

  • Brad | February 1, 2013 2:49 PM

    Yes indeed Mara was so atrocious she got herself nominated for best actress. Just because you didn't think she did a good job as Lisbeth I guess we should accept it is fact.

  • Ewa | January 31, 2013 9:03 PMReply

    Craig is the perfect Blomqvist. He has to stay. Pay the man whatever he wants, he's definitely worth it.

  • DG | January 31, 2013 5:27 PMReply

    Id rather see these sequels happen than any of the other shit Fincher is linked to. It would be idiotic to write Craig's characters out but seriously Rooney Mara is the main dram anyways

  • MJ | January 31, 2013 4:00 PMReply

    Blomkvist is the series' actual protagonist despite the naming scheme, you can't write him out, you can recast the role, but that'd be unfortunate.

  • caro | January 31, 2013 2:28 PMReply

    the 2 next books are just less good(i'm very polite here) than the first book

  • Grobobbbo | January 31, 2013 1:45 PMReply

    Good riddance! Craig was lousy as Blomkvist and so was Mara. Time to bring back the far superior original Swedish actors Rapace and Nykvist and why not let the original director do the amerivan version too. He was definitively better at telling a good story than Fincher who admittedly is very good at visuals.

  • Alan B | January 31, 2013 6:18 PM

    Nykvist is superior to nothing and no one. The guy is incapable of expressing any emotion bar confusion.

  • coke | January 31, 2013 2:23 PM

    You got to be kiding me... the swedish films were rubbish (specially the last one)

  • Joe | January 31, 2013 12:39 PMReply

    Liev Schreiber or Matthias Schoenaerts should replace him!

  • caro | January 31, 2013 2:29 PM

    Schoenaerts is too young and good looking but Schreiber is a good idea

  • Glass | January 31, 2013 10:41 AMReply

    Yeah this makes no sense to me - isn't the second book almost completely Blomkvist's story, with very little Salander?

  • Alex | January 31, 2013 10:38 AMReply

    If you write out Blomkvist there is no movie, it's a two protagonist film. Blomkvist is the one who investigates and clears Lizbeth's name in the sequel. For the last film, Lizbeth is stuck the whole time on a hospital bed with Blomkvist as the key part of the action in the outside world. This is a dumb news story written by a reporter who obviously didn't read the book to realize that Sony is lying through their teeth.

  • CB | January 31, 2013 9:59 AMReply

    Just cancel the sequels and move on, please. Fincher's version was great though.

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