There’s been a lot of back and forth, and mostly conjecture, about whether or not: a) Sony would actually make a followup to David Fincher‘s “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and b) whether or not it would involve any of the original cast members. The hiring of Fede Alvarez (“Don’t Breathe“) last fall for “The Girl In The Spider’s Web,” confirmed that the studio was moving on without Fincher, which wasn’t a big surprise, given how fractious the filming of ‘Dragon Tattoo’ was. However, Rooney Mara has continually expressed her desire to carry on as Lisbeth Salander, but that won’t be happening. (Again, not much of a surprise — she’s been out of the mix for a while now).

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The Girl In The Spider’s Web” has now been set with a release date for October 5, 2018. The big question of course, is who will be playing the hacker/journalist and while I might’ve assumed Alvarez might turn to Jane Levy, who starred in his pictures “Evil Dead” and “Don’t Breathe,” a worldwide search will instead conducted for the pivotal part. So you can forget those reports from a couple years back that had Alicia Vikander touted for the part. And while Steven Knight did work on the initial script, final credit will be shared between him, Alvarez, and Jay Basu (“Monsters: Dark Continent“), so it’s probably safe to say that draft got reworked.

READ MORE: ‘Don’t Breathe’ Is A Well Crafted, But Hollow Genre Exercise [Review]

If you’re still wondering why Fincher and co. have left, perhaps you’ve forgotten how ugly things went down during the making of ‘Dragon Tattoo.’ Fincher, who demands a lot of control of his films including marketing, fell out with Sony’s Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin early on. Fincher had to fight tooth and nail with both producers to land Rooney Mara in the lead — an actress he vehemently endorsed after her superb, but small turn in “The Social Network.” Rudin wanted one of the actors on a shortlist that included Sophie Lowe, Carey Mulligan, Mia Wasikowska, Sarah Snook, Lea Seydoux, Emily Browning and many others (indeed, almost every actress in Hollywood and beyond was considered including Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Ellen Page, Mia Wasikowska, Keira Knightley, and Anne Hathaway). Fincher won that battle, but Mara was paid a pittance for her work. More of the caustic friction between Rudin, Pascal and Fincher was publicly detailed in the Sony email leak drama in 2015, where the producers uncensored take on the director was laid bare.

The film will easily be Alvarez’s biggest job yet, but he’s shown a fairly slick and compelling hand behind the camera, particularly with “Don’t Breathe.” And the fall release date pits it against “Aquaman,” which is certainly a huge vote of confidence from Sony. [Buzzfeed]