Fincher’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Coming Dec. 2011

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Sony’s Columbia Pictures has set a Wednesday, December 21, 2011 release date for director David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Written by Steve Zaillian, the film will be based on Stieg Larsson’s posthumously published crime thriller trilogy, “The Millennium Series.” The book describes the mystery surrounding the long-unsolved disappearance of an heiress. A journalist recently dinged by a libel case and a young female hacker try to resolve it, stirring up bundles of personal and industrial corruption along the way.

Director Niels Arden Oplev’s Swedish adaptation of the book, starring Noomi Rapace, has earned an impressive $101.6 million worldwide. The follow-up, The Girl Who Played with Fire, has taken in $53.3 million so far. The third installment, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, has not been released here yet.

Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Amy Pascal recently told The Wrap that the studio was planning on making it a trilogy with Fincher.

“We’re doing the book. That’s why we hired David Fincher. We’re going to really do this, in all their glory. Otherwise why do it? They’re very R-rated movies,” she said. “It’s the shock of what’s really going on underneath the surface of society. If you don’t actually make good on that, you haven’t told the story.”

She added that they are going to try to get the three movies out as fast as possible. “But, you know, we’ll have the first one next Christmas. And hopefully, the next two as quick as I can get them. We’re trying to figure that out now.”

Pascal said that they had not cast the lead actress yet. “No, we are going to do a global search on her. Every actress in the world wants it. It’s the greatest character for a girl since I-don’t-know-what.”