What would you do if I told you that there was a fourth The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo book on its way? Because apparently it’s happening, although there’s just one problem: Stieg Larsson passed away from a heart attack in 2004.
But that’s apparently not stopping anyone. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Swedish publisher of Larsson’s Millenium trilogy, Nordstedts, has hired author David Langercrantz to pen a fourth entry in the series. Although an unfinished draft for a fourth Millenium novel was found on Larsson’s computer after his death, it won’t be used; the new novel will be a completely original story using the characters of Mikael Blomqvist and Lisbeth Salander. It’s set to be published in August of 2015.
The decision was made to continue the series after the publisher finished talks with Larsson’s father and brother, Erland and Joakim Larsson, who hold the rights to the work—but not everyone is happy about it. Larsson’s partner, Eva Gabrielsson, has called the continuation “tasteless”: “I guess I think it’s greedy,” she was quoted as saying. “It’s already a multimillion industry.”
Here’s my take: I don’t ALWAYS have a problem with other people taking up dead authors’ characters; true, they’re never as good as the originals (see: Frank Herbert, Robert Ludlum, and John Bellairs), but if a writer left unfinished drafts or even just notes for future books, sometimes it’s fun to see them brought to life after the fact. But in this case, I’m not sure how I feel about it—maybe it would be one thing if they were hiring a writer to finish what Larsson started; but they’re completely ignoring what he left and just hopping on the cash cow the series has become, and as Eva Gabrielsson said, that sounds greedy.
That said, though, I actually think further Millenium books are kind of unnecessary in the first place, so I’m not entirely sure I would feel much better about it if this new entry WERE going to be a finished version of Larsson’s draft. Yes, I found the original trilogy to be as much of a page-turner as everyone else; but to be honest, I always found the first one to be the best of the three, largely because it stands on its own so well. The second two felt like they should have been one book, as they were really two parts of the same story. And by the end of the trilogy, all of the threads of each character got wrapped up nicely, so I’m not sure there’s much of a need to revisit them.
Maybe that’s just me, though. What do you think, Bettys? Yea? Nay? Yea for the idea, but nay for the execution of it? And while we’re at it, where the heck is the next movie adaptation, Sony? Leave us a comment and tell us what you think!
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s senior editor.