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Did ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ Similarities Kill CBS’ Latest Pilot?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Sony Pictures

Sometimes, great things come in similar pairings.  Coke and Pepsi, for instance.  Panda Express and Yoshinoya Beef Bowl!  ‘30 Rock‘ and ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’!  Or perhaps best of all, ‘Mad Men‘ and ‘The Playboy Club’.  We didn’t say both things had to be successful.

It would seem that Sony Pictures, not keen on any property infringing upon their precious ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ franchise, applied enough legal pressure to effectively kill one of CBS’ upcoming pilot dramas, entitled ‘Quean’. What exactly did they have in common?

‘Quean’, which prior to its axing came from Warner Brothers TV and Joel Silver’s Silver pictures, was to chronicle an edgy and independent female hacker who teams with the Oakland police department to fight crimes.  Suffice to say, we can see the resemblance.

According to the report from Deadline TV, ‘Quean’ writer and ‘The L Word’ creator Ilene Chaiken put the pilot script through extensive re-writes in response to Sony’s lawsuit threat, changing the lead character’s employers to a law firm from private investigators, the gender and race of the lead character’s boss to avoid similarities with Daniel Craig’s Mikhail Blomkvist, and even toning down Quean’s edginess by providing a boyfriend to make her less of a loner.

Reportedly CBS executives still approved of the pilot following the re-writes, but an outside law firm still advised against proceeding with the series due to the similarity of each property’s lead character being a female hacker, and Warner Brothers officially killed the project.  Way to ruin it for everybody, Stieg Larsson!  Now how am I supposed to enjoy Angelina Jolie in 1995′s ‘Hackers’ ever again?

‘Quean’ isn’t the only forthcoming pilot in a bit of hot water these days, as multiple pilots of the upcoming season have drawn comparison to other major franchises, in particular The CW’s ‘The Selection,’ which has gained quite a bit of buzz from being notably similar to upcoming mega-trilogy ‘The Hunger Games.’

Given how much money ‘The Hunger Games’ has already made in pre-sales alone, we doubt if they’re too worried about any infraction.  David Fincher’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ however notably under-performed at the box office , which might have made Sony Pictures a little jumpy toward any TV or movies that would hurt future sales and sequels.

What say you, ‘Dragon Tattoo’ fans?  Is there only room for one female hacker out there, or did Sony jump the gun in threatening CBS?  Should they go for broke and make an all-out “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ TV series?  Give us your take in the comments section below!

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