The Girl Who Played with Fire

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No, I will not be apologizing for that title. David Fincher is having a pretty newsworthy week thanks to the recent confirmation that his follow-up to 2011′s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will be another literary thriller adaptation. He’s heading into pre-production on Gone Girl based on Gillian Flynn’s bestseller with star Ben Affleck and an as-yet unnamed female lead, but while that’s exciting news it leaves a couple questions hanging limply in the air. Will we still see the Dragon Tattoo sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire hit screens in the near future? And for the love of god can we finally sink the idea of Fincher wasting his time on a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remake once and for all? Happily, the answer to both questions appears to be yes.

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dragon tat

The Girl Who Played With Fire hasn’t exactly been a fast-tracked project over at Sony. Since the 2011 release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, things have been slow on the sequel front. Screenwriter Steve Zaillian has a ready-to-go script, but Sony hasn’t been keen on sinking another $90m into the project. That was the cost of the first movie, and while it did make over $230m worldwide, it wasn’t the major hit everyone was hoping for. Now Sony has another reason – or possibly an excuse – to stall. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Daniel Craig ‘s asking price for the sequel is too high for their taste. They didn’t specify how much Craig wants, but coming off the billion dollar success of Skyfall, it’s logical to guess he wants a good chunk of change. Billion dollar box office aside, why would Sony give in? Craig isn’t exactly a box office star, he’s James Bond. Looking over his recent filmography, Dream House, Cowboys & Aliens, The Golden Compass, Defiance, and The Invasion, none of those films proved Craig’s presence equal success when he’s not playing an iconic spy.

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Chris Pine

Apparently Sony is skittish after hearing about bacterially infected tattoo ink because the studio won’t be rushing the sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo out of the gate. Or, you know, maybe it’s because the first flick – helmed by David Fincher – didn’t make a huge pile of cash. According to Entertainment Weekly, The Girl Who Played With Fire is still being written by Steve Zaillian, but it was sort of obvious at this point that the movie wouldn’t make a 2013 release. Apparently the aim is for 2014, but Fincher hasn’t signed on yet. It’s his job if he wants it, so make of it what you will that he hasn’t agreed to it at this point. Perhaps it’s simply a matter of seeing a finished script. As far as movies that we will get to see next year, Deadline Hollywood is reporting that the Jack Ryan reboot (creatively titled Jack Ryan (which means they dropped the “of Mars” part)) will hit theaters late into 2013. It sees Chris Pine taking over the iconic character created by Tom Clancy, as well as Keira Knightley co-starring and Kenneth Branagh pulling double duty as director and Russian villain. With any luck, that means he’ll be twirling his moustache on screen and in the video village. Paramount, unsurprisingly, is looking to build a franchise here, so I want to officially suggest they begin the contract negotiations necessary to see a Bond/Bourne/Ryan crossover film because it would be amazing.

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Sony isn’t slowing down on its adaptations of Steig Larsson‘s best-selling novels, so according to Entertainment Weekly, we’ll get a healthy dose of Lisbeth Salander and The Girl Who Played With Fire soon. Undoubtedly, unless the second one struggles worse, we’ll have The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest soon after that. Apparently there was some question as to the plan when The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo didn’t perform at insanely high levels. So far, the $90m-budget film has scored $72m worldwide, which isn’t all that great, but it’s still early in its life as a release at two weeks old. It’s not the crazy phenomenon that the Niels Arden Oplev flicks, but lightning so rarely strikes the same franchise twice. No matter what a studio believes. Checking the scoreboard, Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig are both signed up for two more movies, Steve Zaillian is already working on the script for the second film, but David Fincher is not secured. Maybe he’ll come back, maybe they’ll need to find a new director. Either way, the train is leaving the station and headed for a late 2013 release. Would you want to see Fincher stay on?

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Sly Stallone is still ripped

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that is about to turn 1-year old. As a digital entity, it always knew this day would come. It’s a matter of deduction, really. As a sentient being, it knows that each day is a blessing. Each night, however, is a curse — a curse full of delicious movie-related links. We begin this evening with a shot of Sylvester Stallone in Bullet to the Head, a new actioner from famed action director guy Walter Hill. What’s impressive about this image — beyond the fact that it features a man who, at this point, is old enough to receive Social Security — is that Stallone continues to look younger and leaner than ever. There’s something fishy about it. And whatever drugs he’s on, I want some, too.

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David Fincher - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Anybody who has either read Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Series or seen the original film adaptations directed by Niels Arden Oplev and Daniel Alfredson knows that David Fincher’s upcoming film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is going to have two potential sequels after its release. The question is, will he pass the torch to another director to make the English language versions of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and The Girl Who Played With Fire like Oplev did, or will he take them on himself? Ace Showbiz reports that Fincher spoke on this very issue during a recent press release, and though he doesn’t sound all that thrilled with having to make Dragon Tattoo sequels, he’s probably going to do it anyway. He plans on making them the same way you pull off a bandage though, in one quick motion so that he can be done with it.

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This Week in Blu-ray

Last week, I picked perhaps the worst week of the year to take a break from This Week in Blu-ray. As you will see in this week’s entry, two or three of the most impressive releases of the year hit store shelves. And it’s likely that they – the likes of Alien, Back to the Future and Hausu – have already made their way into your collection. I will be talking about them anyway, dear reader. For those of you who need a little extra nudge, here it comes. I also have plenty to say about this week’s releases, including a few deliciously crafted releases for some legitimate cinematic classics. Julie Andrews sings, Dick Van Dyke flies through the air and Bing Crosby tap-dances with Danny “F**kin’” Kaye as our weekly Blu-ray buying budget empties faster than our tear ducts during the final act of Pixar’s Toy Story 3. Give it up, Blu-ray lovers, it is perhaps the most magical time of year. Also, This Week in DVD host Rob Hunter stops buy to review a few releases that were well off my radar screen. And he does so with gusto!

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Join us each week as Rob Hunter takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs. And remember, these listings and category placements are meant as informational conversation starters only. But you can still tell Hunter how wrong he is in the comment section below. This week sees more Buy recommendations than we’ve ever had before! (I think.) And they include an ass-kicking serial killer flick from South Korea (The Chaser), a John Carpenter classic (Dark Star), and the brilliant new Back To the Future trilogy release. Others worth Renting or Avoiding include The Girl Who Played With Fire, Altitude, Winter’s Bone, Lake Placid 3, and more.

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Foreign Objects

Stiegg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy continues to dominate the New York Times bestsellers lists just as it did across Europe, and the film adaptations are doing brisk business as well. The first film, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (review here), didn’t top the US box-office (it is subtitled after all), but it did very well in limited release. It appeared on DVD and Blu-ray this week and both formats currently sit near the top of the sales charts. The inevitable US remake is still in pre-production and cast speculations run rampant, but for those of us who don’t mind reading while we watch the second film in the Swedish trilogy is about to reach our screens. The Girl Who Played With Fire picks up roughly a year after the conclusion of Dragon Tattoo, and our two leads have gone their separate ways. Once-disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) is back in the saddle both as co-publisher of Millennium Magazine and as occasional sex buddy with his long time magazine partner, Erika Berger. He hasn’t seen the odd and fiercely intelligent Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) for quite some time and is unsure why she left and where she’s gone. For those of you with short-term memory loss, Dragon Tattoo saw Blomkvist convicted of libel and decide to take on a forty year-old missing person case while he awaits sentencing. His investigation crosses paths with Salander and the two join forces and genitals to solve the case and stop a present-day killer.

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