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The Swedish publisher of the best-selling The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy had hired Swedish author David Lagercrantz to write a fourth novel in the franchise, created by Stieg Larsson, who died in 2004, aged 50.
Norstedts said it signed a contract with Lagercrantz for a completely original story based on Larsson’s main characters: the investigative journalist Mikael Blomqvist and goth hacker Lisbeth Salander. The new novel is set to be published in August 2015. The original books, also known as the Millennium trilogy, have sold more than 75 million books in 50 countries and spawned 3 successful Swedish films, a TV series and a U.S. remake of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by David Fincher.
Lagercrantz’s last book was I Am Zlatan, a biography of Swedish soccer superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic, that has been a massive local best seller.
The head of publishing at Norstedts, Eva Gedin, told Swedish media that the new novel will not include anything from Larsson’s drafts for a fourth Millennium novel, which he had been working on when he died.
“Obviously it will build on the previous books,” she was quoted as saying. “Blomqvist and Salander will be included and many of the other characters.”
Gedin said they had made the decision to continue the series after talks with Larsson’s father and brother, Erland and Joakim Larsson, who own the rights to his work.
But Larsson’s longtime partner, Eva Gabrielsson, who has been in a legal wrangle with Erland and Joakim over the rights to the trilogy, told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that it was “tasteless” to continue the Millennium franchise without Larsson.
“I guess I think it’s greedy. It’s already a multimillion industry,” she was quoted as saying.
Gabrielsson lived with Larsson for more than 30 years but never married. Under Swedish law, because Larsson did not leave a will, his father and brother and not Gabrielsson inherited the rights to the books. Gabrielsson initially claimed to have Larsson’s unfinished manuscript for a fourth Millennium novel but later denied that and insisted she did not want any more books published in the series.
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