Variety has reported that Sony Pictures may be close to selecting Fede Alvarez, director of the Evil Dead remake and Don’t Breathe, to direct its followup to 2011’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The film will reportedly be based on the novel, The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Based on the tremendous critical and financial success of the grisly Don’t Breathe, it isn’t surprising that Alvarez would be a top contender for taking a crack at this notoriously dark and intense series.
The original American film, directed by the legendary David Fincher, failed to meet Sony’s expectations, earning approximately $102,515,793 on an estimated $90 million production budget. Since then, sequels have been in development hell for years. Fincher began to separate from the franchise as early as late 2012, around the time his involvement in (the now defunct) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was announced, and rumors continue to swirl about Daniel Craig’s and Rooney Mara’s participation in any upcoming films in the franchise. Craig’s involvement has been in question due to other commitments and salary-related reasons, and Mara has stated over the course of the past few years that she would be willing to reprise her role as Lisbeth Salander, but is unaware of Sony’s plans. The notorious Sony email leak of 2015 revealed messages between Mara and former Sony exec Amy Pascal, in which Mara expressed great interest in returning, but that has yet to materialize.
In addition to uncertainty surrounding the director and the main cast members, Sony has made an interesting decision to continue their production of the franchise by skipping the next two Stieg Larsson books continuing the source material, and jumping directly into The Girl in the Spider’s Web, a novel written by David Lagercrantz in 2015, eleven years after Larsson’s death. While this will certainly give Sony greater license to move on without the key players of the first film, it is unknown how all of these changes will affect fan interest. Alvarez’s involvement could be Sony’s way of communicating that they are still committed to presenting the world of the text in the same unflinchingly violent and morally ambiguous manner that Fincher presented in the first entry.
Keep your eye on Horror News Network for more developments as they unfold.