Stieg Larsson’s dragon tattoo girl returns, despite death of Stieg Larsson

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's adaptation of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."
Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher’s adaptation of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
(Columbia Pictures)

Lisbeth Salander, the tough protagonist of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and its sequels, will return in a fourth book in August, “That Which Does Not Kill.”

That’s despite the absence of author Stieg Larsson, who died unexpectedly in 2004 before his thrillers had achieved their worldwide success.

Larsson’s books featuring Salander -- “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” -- are known as the Millennium Trilogy. Once they caught on, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” was made into a blockbuster film twice -- once in Larsson’s native Sweden and once by American director David Fincher.

Desire to continue the franchise was high, but it hasn’t been easy to figure out who should manage Larsson’s legacy. His family and longtime partner, Eva Gabrielsson, have been at fighting in court about what he would have wanted.


Gabrielsson lived with Larsson for 30 years; the two had never gotten married. After Larsson’s sudden death -- he had a heart attack at age 50 -- the status of his estate was left hanging. According to Swedish law, all of it went to his father and brother, Erland and Joakim Larsson.

The Larssons worked with the author’s Swedish publisher to find a new writer for a Salander book under the Larsson brand. They selected David Lagercrantz, who co-wrote the bestselling memoir of a Swedish soccer star.

“Obviously it will build on the previous books,” the publisher said in 2013. "[Millennium Trilogy character Mikael] Blomkvist and Salander will be included and many of the other characters.”

“That Which Does Not Kill” is not connected to a partial draft of a fourth book Larsson himself was rumored to have written. Gabrielsson had said she had seen it, but its whereabouts are unknown.


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