Dragon Tattoo sequel too expensive?
Apparently a film that earned something around US $230million and was budgeted at $90 million has not been deemed a success and therefore the people with the spreadsheets at the studio have said the sequel must be cheaper.
Apparently while the plan is to try and get David Fincher back the biggest sticking point is the cost of Daniel Craig, an actor whose star value has increased yet again with the release of Skyfall (Filmstalker review).
Now we never really know the inner workings of productions at studios for they are complicated beasts, but it seems that there is movement on a sequel to the David Fincher directed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo although it is very early and the plans are to make a cheaper, leaner sequel, the Hollywood version of The Girl who Played with Fire.
According to The Hollywood Reporter the studio are keen to continue with the franchise even though it has been some time since we saw the original and the remake, they also want David Fincher to return to direct, and quite frankly why wouldn't you? Fincher did a great job on delivering his version of the novel despite the already strong adaptation in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Filmstalker review).
However there's something they apparently want just as much, a reduction in costs for the film, or is that an increase in profits?
The article says that they are looking to reduce costs at a time when Daniel Craig's market value has done nothing but increase, in fact their "sources close to the project" have told them that there's not really an issue with Fincher's return but there is with Craig's return, a return that might cost them too much.
Their sources, who I'll remind you could be anyone from the tea lady upwards, have stated that Craig is asking too much money for the sequels. While his contract has a clause for him for two more films it obviously didn't secure his rate for them.
Now the article suggests that they might consider writing him out of the sequel altogether and have the film concentrate on someone other than the character of Mikael Blomkvist.
Interestingly the article has another source, but this time the tea lady from Daniel Craig's side, who says that there hasn't been any discussion or negotiations but that Craig is keen to return to the role, and again why not, it was a great role and he did it really well.
To me this all sounds like the studio positioning their negotiations before any have actually begun. I wouldn't be surprised if they leaked this story because they're scared of what Daniel Craig might ask for salary wise considering how well Skyfall (Filmstalker review) went. After all negotiations haven't started yet and when do you do your salary negotiations for a job, before you've even agreed to have an interview?
I think the studio are keen to keep costs down and are already positioning it that way, looking at the paper it would seem that the expensive commodities are the actors and the director, and if they can sort them out before they even approach then so much the better.
Did anyone suggest that if the studio were so concerned about budget they shouldn't have spent so much money on the script, apparently Steven Zaillian's script cost them in the middle of the seven figure range, now that's a lot of money.
I don't doubt there will be another film however if the studio are keen on penny pinching then there are fears, the quality of the final product may drop from the first film and they may press for a film that doesn't pander to the adult audience, perhaps dropping it from the adult rating of the original and pushing towards that teen-friendly audience to pack them in. That might get them money, but it might not get them a third film.