It was long rumored that Sony Pictures would pay a price to get back in the James Bond business and today it was revealed just what that price would be.  Sony announced today that MGM was investing in and receiving a financial stake in David Fincher's highly anticipated thriller "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."  Sony Pictures will continue to produce, market and distribute the film worldwide.  MGM will handle select international television licensing on the picture.

In a statement, Sony Pictures framed the news as part of both companies previous agreement to "explore co-financing opportunities on future motion pictures produced by each of the respective studios for the next five years."  Sony is already distributing "The Zookeeper" which was produced by the previous MGM regime.  Two other MGM films on the shelf, "Red Dawn" and "Cabin in the Woods," are said to be well done and commercial sells.  However, the new MGM ownership has been playing hardball with expensive demands that have kept potential interested partners on the sidelines.  Those two pictures do not appear to have a home at Sony.

Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara.  The first of three expected films is based on the best selling "Millennimum Trilogy" literary series by Stieg Larsson.  The picture is being produced by Scott Rudin ("The Social Network") and was adapted by Steve Zaillian ("Schindler's List").

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" opens nationwide on Dec. 21.