The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has not been particularly kind to Sony, and yet the studio refuses to give up on the franchise. David Fincher's adaptation of the film hit theaters in 2011, right at the tail end of the world's obsession with this story about a journalist, a hacker and a girl who has been missing for decades, and didn't leave the dent on pop culture the studio was hoping for. It was an expensive movie, it didn't perform all that well relative to its budget, and the hunger for a sequel from audiences just wasn't there.
Despite all of that, however, the studio apparently remains committed to adapting the next book in Stieg Larsson's series, The Girl Who Played with Fire. Steven Zaillian, who wrote the first film, had already written the screenplay, but now the studio is bringing in another high-profile writer to take a pass at it. IndieWire is reporting that Sony has hired Andrew Kevin Walker to buff up the pages.
Now before all you fans of Se7en start freaking out at the prospect of a new Walker script directed by Fincher, that may not happen. IndieWire's report reaffirms that it just may no longer be logistically possible for Fincher to even direct this next movie. He's already in the works on Gone Girl for the foreseeable future, and while his schedule might open up in 2014, star Daniel Craig's will get even tighter as he goes off to shoot Bond 24. It's certainly possible the studio might find some window in which Fincher can direct, but considering his initial deal was of the "pay or play" variety (meaning he gets a check whether he actually directs or not) and it's taken this long to come together, it's hard to imagine Fincher isn't ready to move on completely at this point.
As for what Fincher may do after Gone Girl, unfortunately for sci-fi fans it looks like his long-brewing version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is no more. Walker also worked on that script, but the scale of the movie proved too large to get off the ground. It was thought that Fincher and Disney were still trying to make it work, but according to IndieWire, the director left it months ago.