Following the $1+ billion success of Skyfall, Craig's asking price has gone up (because he's why everyone went to see that movie) and as a result, instead of paying the actor, there are rumors his Mikael Blomkvist character may be written out of the sequel. Blomkvist is not central to The Girl Who Played with Fire, but, in my eyes, a definite necessity.
Then again, perhaps they'll pull a Bourne on us, and simply use the novels as a framework for the narrative and adjust as necessary. It worked out well for the Bourne trilogy so why not give it a shot? After all, as long as Lisbeth (Rooney Mara) is there and we are dealing with her violent past and up-in-the-air future I think we have a story.
Siegel reports Craig does want to return, but sources were unwilling to comment further. Another factor to consider is that writing Blomkvist out of the story would involve commissioning a rewrite from Steve Zaillian, which in itself costs money not to mention Zaillian is currently working on the HBO series "Criminal Justice," starring James Gandolfini.
As for Fincher, he is currently looking at an adaptation of the best-selling novel "Gone Girl" as well as the long-gestating 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I'm up for most anything Fincher is willing to bring to the table, but I really would love to see him complete the Millennium trilogy, and the idea of shifting the narrative a bit has me even more intrigued.
Here's the plot of The Girl Who Played with Fire as it currently stands:
In The Girl Who Played With Fire the second installment in the "Millennium" trilogy following The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is about to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society. On the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara).