28 July, 2010

Daniel Craig Gets Star Billing

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

Hollywood has been buzzing about it all summer. Who would star as the male lead in the tinseltown version of the incredibly popular novel trilogy by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson. Brad Pitt was considered the front runner and Tom Cruise was said to be interested. But word comes out from the Hills of Beverly that English actor Daniel Craig has closed his deal to star in Sony’s THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO plus the two potential follow-ups that will be based on author Stieg Larsson’s best-selling trilogy. David Fincher is on board to direct the adaptation, which Steve Zaillian is writing and Scott Rudin is producing.

Craig was thought not to be available due to prior commitments to reprise his role as James Bond in the latest film in the successful series. However, all development and production on the film was recently halted in the midst of distributor MGM's endless financial restructuring. Craig became available and was snatched up. English actress Keri Mulligan (nominated this year for her role as the ingenue in AN EDUCATION) will also star.

The film trilogy should become a major franchise if the success in the USA of the original Swedish films based on the books are any indication. Fledgling specialty distributor Music Box Films has made a name for itself with its successful handling of the films. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO has grossed an impressive (for a sub-titled film) $9.6 million in the U.S. and $92 million internationally. The second film, THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, was released last month and has so far has taken in $3 million and counting in the USA. The final film THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST is scheduled to be released later this year.

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