Over the last couple weeks, one studio announcement has been conspicuously absent.

With the launch of most major film franchises — that is, the opening of a film that is envisioned as a gateway to more of the same — it doesn’t take long at all for studios to greenlight the second entry. With films based on existing properties like comic books, that announcement can come before even the end of the first film’s opening weekend. Studio accounting, shady as it is, has been refined to a science, and Thursday, Friday and Saturday numbers are often all that it takes when the time comes to pull the trigger on a sequel, or to put the gun against the temple of the young franchise.

So where’s the press release announcing that David Fincher will direct The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sequel The Girl Who Played With Fire for Sony/Columbia? It hasn’t hit yet. But Sony says the film is still in development and that it will get made. We’ve known that Steven Zaillian is busy on the screenplay, and there has been vague talk of shooting the second and third films back to back. But will David Fincher direct? Read More »

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(This review originally ran last week when Sony lifted the review embargo, but we’re running it again today to coincide with the film’s wide opening.)

Something at the center of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium novels has captured the attention of millions. Actually, make that ‘someone.’ The first novel, Män som hatar kvinnor (Men Who Hate Women, softened to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in many countries) spins around an unlikely nucleus: counterculture heroine Lisbeth Salander, a determined outsider possessed of keen investigative skills, a vengeful spirit and a strong sense of fairness. In the 2009 Swedish film adaptation, Noomi Rapace played Salander as a character just different enough to be a forceful vision, and familiar enough to become nearly iconic. But the film in which she lives is a routine potboiler of a thriller.

The directly translated Swedish title is promising in a way, as ‘men who hate women’ hints at a thriller that will use the conventions of a serial killer story to explore the ways in which abuse and violence shape people and their relationships to one another. The first film didn’t skimp on the intersection of sex, power and violence, as a dethroned magazine publisher is hired to discover the truth about the murder of an industrial magnate’s niece, but it was never any good at getting under the skin of the story.

Enter David Fincher and screenwriter Steven Zaillian with their own take on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Fincher also doesn’t skimp on sex and violence, and in the middle of his dark, frosty film is a strange but tightly controlled performance from Rooney Mara as Salander. This film trims minor players and subplots to focus, in a slightly more effective manner, on these characters who have been molded by violence. And yet it remains merely a routine thriller. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a technically proficient piece of work, but it is almost as bloodless as an old murder victim. Read More »

It doesn’t feel like the last time we reported on a US remake of TimeCrimes was almost a year ago. But it was back in January that Steven Zaillian was reported as the screenwriter responsible for the roadmap for the remake of Nacho Vigalondo‘s fan-favorite time-travel thriller.

He was working from a previous draft from Tim Sexton, and Zaillian was producing as well. Rumors that David Cronenberg might direct had been scuttled, and at the time we didn’t know who might direct the remake. Now, while doing the press rounds for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which Zaillian wrote, he says that he’d like to direct the TimeCrimes remake. Read More »

We’ve already got a fairly good idea of what David Fincher‘s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will look like, thanks to all those previously released photos, trailers, and whatnot, but since everything has looked pretty damn stunning so far, we’re more than happy to flip through a few more pictures. Empire Magazine has unveiled some gorgeous new promo pics of Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in character in their latest issue. See Blomkvist (Craig) keeping his cool while handcuffed to a chair, Lisbeth (Mara) hanging out with her space heater, and the two of them sharing a smoky moment after the jump.

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Moneyball is a baseball movie, an underdog tale, a true story and a Brad Pitt vehicle. But more than any of those things, Moneyball is a character study about what it’s like to stand up against everyone and everything because you have faith in an idea.

In 2001, the Oakland Athletics, with a payroll of about $40 million – almost a third of the ultra-rich New York Yankees – made the playoffs. The next year, three of their marquee players were poached by other teams for bigger contracts and, with little money and few resources, general manager Billy Beane (Pitt) was forced to embrace a whole new way of looking at baseball to stay competitive.

Directed by Bennett Miller, who directed Philip Seymour Hoffman (also in this movie) to an Oscar in Capote, Moneyball plays like an exciting fantasy baseball draft if everyone was in on the intricacies but, at its heart, it’s really about the struggle of being different. And that’s something we can all relate to. Read More »

Did you skip the awful Entertainment Tonight presentation of the trailer for Bennett Miller‘s Moneyball, which came complete with unwanted additional voiceover? So did I, but we’re all in luck now, as Sony has released a clean HD version of the trailer to Yahoo. Check it out below. Read More »

The backstory of the new telling of Jack Ryan‘s origin story is becoming quite an origin story of its own. Paramount has been trying to kickstart the rebirth of the Jack Ryan franchise for two years — it stalled out in 2002 with the Ben Affleck-led The Sum of All Fears.

Now the latest screenwriter to try to stick an adrenaline needle in the franchise’s nearly-flatlined chest is David Koepp. But is he doctoring the script, or starting from scratch? Read More »

Stieg Larsson‘s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is of the great cultural success stories in recent years. No matter where you go – on a train, plane, or just sitting in the park – that bright green and yellow book cover seems to be everywhere. The original movies were a smash hit overseas and by now we all know that Golden Globe-winning director David Fincher is hard at work on the American remake. Rooney Mara stars the titular character, Lisbeth Salander, who teams up with journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) to solve a long gestating disappearance.

As the first photos of Mara portraying the now iconic character were released, so too was some extremely controversial information about the film, mainly that Oscar-winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian has crafted a new ending to the revered work. And though we ran that quote last week, fans of Larsson’s work have been very vocal with their disappointment so it’s time to defend Fincher and Zaillian. Read why we feel the original ending needs to be changed after the jump. Read More »

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