Daniel Craig could be cut from the sequel to 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' over his pay cheque.
Sources at Sony Pictures told The Hollywood Reporter that the British actor is asking for more money to appear as Mikael Blomkvist in 'The Girl Who Played With Fire', following the worldwide success of 'Skyfall'.
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However, because the first film was only deemed a moderate success – it made $223 million (£140 million) on a $90 million (£57 million) budget - the studio is reportedly looking to cut costs.
The combination of these issues could mean that Craig's character could be written out of the sequel altogether, though Craig's reps say that talks on salary have not yet begun.
Rooney Mara is reportedly already signed up for the sequel, which revolves more around her character Lisbeth Salander than Blomkvist, making a cut of Craig's part awkward but feasible.
It's thought that the issues around budget may be what is holding up the production, and if Craig were to be written out, it would mean re-writing screenwriter Steven Zaillian's script, which is said to be finished and among the most expensive adapted screenplays to date.
An insider at the studio told THR: “Everyone wants to make the next movies happen. There's a great story to tell.”
The books, written by the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson, the final instalment being 'The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest', have sold 65 million copies worldwide.