5 years ago, we got one of the most disappointing sequels ever
The first movie is a bit of a modern classic, so the sequel had a LONG way to fall...
Released in cinemas in December 2011, director David Fincher's take on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo proved to be both massively commercially and critically popular.
Based on the novel by Stieg Larsson, which had already been adapted into a Swedish-language movie in 2009, the script was provided by Oscar-winner Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List, The Irishman). The plot paired together investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) with vigilante hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) to solve a decades old case involving the missing, presumed murdered, grandniece of mega-rich businessman Henrik Vagner (Christopher Plummer).
With an admittedly hefty production budget of $90 million, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo still went on to bank just shy of $240 million worldwide, as well as being nominated for five Academy Awards (including Best Actress for Mara), going on to win one of them (Best Film Editing).
At the time of release, Fincher revealed that there were plans to film the story's direct sequels - The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest - back-to-back, to both save money on the combined production, and cut down on eating into everyone's schedule; especially for Daniel Craig, who was set to film Skyfall around the same time.
However, by 2015, all of those plans had fallen away and Sony began to move ahead in a completely different direction...
The very, very good teaser trailer for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Released in cinemas on 9 November 2018, The Girl In The Spider's Web is based on characters created by Stieg Larsson, but from a book written by David Lagercrantz, which was published in 2015, after Larsson passed away in 2004.
Rumour has it that Sony balked at Fincher's proposed budget for the two Dragon Tattoo sequels, instead hiring a new director, writer and cast for the connected-except-not-really follow-up.
Fede Alvarez (Don't Breathe) was put in the director's chair, with a script by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders), and The Crown star Claire Foy replacing Rooney Mara in the title role, while pretty much complete unknown (at least in this part of the world) Sverrir Gudnason replaced Daniel Craig.
The plot focused much more on Salander, as she investigates an organisation known as The Spiders, who plan low-key but influential world domination. It made for quite the jump from the case involving one missing girl in the first movie, and neither audiences nor critics were willing to take that leap.
The Girl In The Spider's Web failed in every way a movie can fail
On a significantly paired-down production budget of just $43 million, The Girl In The Spider's Web managed to bank only $35 million worldwide, going on to become one of the biggest flops of 2018.
Additionally, critics gave the movie just 39% on Rotten Tomatoes, and tellingly, despite there now being seven books in the Lisbeth Salander series, Hollywood hasn't so much as whispered a mention of another sequel or adaptation being in the works.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Girls In The Spider's Web are both available to watch on Netflix.
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