For fans of the Stieg Larsson crime novel series, this week brought both good news and bad news. According to Variety, Sony will produce The Girl in the Spider’s Web, with the release date set for October 5, 2018.
The bad news: it’s not a true sequel to 2011’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which was directed by David Fincher and starred Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. None of those three will be involved in the new project.
The good news: though pretty much no one working today can fill David Fincher’s shoes, the pick of Don’t Breathe director Fede Alvarez is a pretty inspired one. The series is as dark as a crime series can be, which is part of what made Fincher so perfect a fit, but clearly Alvarez has the sensibility to match as well.
But the biggest discussion at the moment is who will fill the iconic role of Lisbeth Salander, the goth computer wiz with more than a few relationship problems. Rooney Mara’s performance was terrific, and the original Swedish film adaptations starred Noomi Rapace, who expertly embodied the role as well.
Reportedly, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson are among those vying for the role. Both actresses were in the running for the David Fincher adaptation, but lost out to Mara due to Fincher’s own preference. They’re both coming off of big roles, too: Portman was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Jackie, and Johansson stars in the controversy-embroiled Ghost in the Shell, due out this month.
The confusing footnote to all of this is that The Girl in the Spider’s Web is not one of the original Stieg Larsson novels in the beloved trilogy. Larsson famously died before finishing the story of Salander and her relationship with journalist Mikael Blomkvist. The story was continued by David Lagercrantz in The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
So here’s where we stand with cinematic adaptations of the series. All three books of the original trilogy were adapted in the original Swedish. Only one, the first novel, has an English adaptation (Fincher’s 2011 film). But for the English-language follow-up, Sony has elected to skip the second and third books in the series and adapt Spider’s Web, which doesn’t yet have a film made about it at all.
I’ll forever wish we had an entire trilogy of Fincher/Mara/Craig films, but alas, it wasn’t to be. We’ll have to make do with this, which could end up disappointing, but certainly has the potential to be terrific as well.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web will be released on October 5, 2018.