Sony Pictures confirmed yesterday that it is moving forward with the new adaptation The Girl in the Spider's Web, a novel by David Lagercrantz which continues the iconic Millennium Trilogy centering on Lisbeth Salander, written by the late Stieg Larsson. The studio has set an October 5, 2018 release date for the adaptation, with production set to begin this September under the direction of Fede Alvarez. The production is currently looking for the right actress to play Lisbeth Salander. Now, a report has surfaced that two A-list actresses are already in the running, Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman.
Variety's studio insiders claim that both Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman are currently in the mix, as director Fede Alvarez starts meeting with prospective talent. Ironically, Scarlett Johansson was also up for the Lisbeth Salander role for Sony's English-language reboot of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which ultimately went to Rooney Mara, and landed her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Scarlett Johansson was said to have tried out for the role largely because David Fincher was involved, but now that he isn't directing this project, it isn't clear if her interest is as high this time around.
Fede Alvarez came aboard to direct in November 2016, with the studio ultimately deciding to skip over author Stieg Larsson's remaining two novels, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, instead opting to adapt the 2015 novel The Girl In the Spider's Web. The story centers on journalist Mikael Blomkvist, played by Daniel Craig in 2011's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, who, late one night, receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States. The source has been in contact with a young female superhacker, a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well.
The implications are staggering. Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Salander for help. She, as usual, has her own agenda. The secret they are both chasing is at the center of a tangled web of spies, cybercriminals, and governments around the world, and someone is prepared to kill to protect it. Fede Alvarez is set to direct the project from a screenplay he is co-writing with Steven Knight and Jay Basu. Scott Rudin, Soren Staermose, Ole Sondberg, Amy Pascal, Elizabeth Cantillon, Eli Bush, and Berna Levin will produce the adaptation, with Anni Faurbye Fernandez, Line Winther Skyum Funch, Johannes Jensen and David Fincher set to executive produce. As of now, The Girl in the Spider's Web adaptation will go up against Warner Bros.' Aquaman when it hits theaters on October 5, 2018.
Scarlett Johansson will next be seen in Paramount's Ghost in the Shell, in theaters March 31, and in Sony's R-rated comedy Rough Night, which hits theaters June 16. She will also return as Black Widow in Avengers: Infinity War, which is currently in production and set for release on May 4, 2018. Natalie Portman is coming off her Oscar-nominated portrayal in Jackie, and she will next be seen in Terrence Malick's indie ensemble Song to Song, in theaters March 17. We also reported yesterday that she is teaming up with director Ridley Scott for the Getty kidnapping drama All the Money in the World. Hopefully we'll ahve more on The Girl in the Spider's Web in the near future.