Rooney Mara in 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' (Photo: Baldur Bragason/Sony)
Lisbeth Salander is nearly back.
Sony will release the film on Oct. 5, 2018, opposite Warner Bros. superhero flick Aquaman starring Jason Momoa.
Don't Breathe director Fede Alvarez is helming the adaptation of the fourth book of the Millennium series. It will begin production in September and feature an entirely new cast. Alvarez is currently meeting with candidate actresses to play Lisbeth Salander.
Written by David Lagercrantz — who was hired after Larsson passed away in 2004 — Spider's Web follows superhacker Salander and investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist as they find themselves at the center of a tangled web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt governments.
Steven Knight adapted the screenplay with Alvarez and Jay Basu.
As previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Dragon Tattoo producer Scott Rudin is returning to produce the sequel alongside Amy Pascal, who negotiated the rights in her exit package from the studio, and Elizabeth Cantillon, as well as Søren Stærmose, Ole Søndberg and Berna Levin of Yellow Bird, the production company that secured the rights to the Millennium books years ago and produced the Swedish-language trilogy as well as the English-language Dragon Tattoo. Eli Bush will also produce. The executive producers are Anni Faurbye Fernandez, Line Winther Skyum Funch, Johannes Jensen, and Dragon Tattoo director David Fincher. David Beaubaire is overseeing for the studio.
Fincher's 2011 thriller starred Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander, opposite Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard and Robin Wright. Featuring a script by Steven Zaillian, the film grossed $233 million worldwide, but was deemed too expensive for a hard-R film thanks to a $90 million budget. The studio had options on Craig for two sequels, but the actor was said to want a pay raise, making his return impossible given the studio's mandate to make Spider's Web at a much lower budget.
Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch made the announcement at the London Book Fair. “In all of contemporary literature, Lisbeth Salander is completely sui generis – probably one of the greatest female literary characters of all time in my view," he said in a statement. "Modern punk defiance personified, she is unforgettable in every incarnation, truly one of the most compelling characters we’ve seen in recent years. David Lagercrantz’s brilliant work in continuing this remarkable series honors Stieg Larsson’s masterpiece. We at Sony are so honored to be part of this series with Yellowbird, and we’re so excited to be making an original film of The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Fede Alvarez is the perfect choice to direct. Fede is an amazing director with a unique vision of the world. In particular, his talent and skill in creating psychological intensity will bring Lisbeth Salander back into popular movie culture with a roar.”
Alvarez added, “I’m hugely excited and grateful for this opportunity. Sony has become family to me and I can’t think of a more thrilling project to celebrate our relationship Lisbeth Salander is the kind of character any director dreams of bringing to life. We’ve got a great script and now comes the most fun part – finding our Lisbeth.”