Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Year of the (girl with the) Dragon (tattoo)

Stieg Larrson's "Millennium Trilogy" became a mini-phenomenon in the US and a mega phenomenon everywhere else, on both page and screen. And even after the the last of the generally limp Swedish film adaptations was rolled out Stateside in November and you thought it was all over...NOPE. Likely-future-Oscar-winner David Fincher's American film version is currently filming and will hit theaters this December (it was originally set for late 2012). But of course, with a new adaptation comes a new Lisbeth, and that brings us to the good stuff.

The folks over at have two medium-size images from W Magazine featuring our new Lisbeth, Rooney Mara, and they're pretty impressive. As far as looks go, I think Noomi Rapace still has her beat, but as far as performance goes, well, we'll just have to wait and see, but this film is already sounding much better than the original. First was the news that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross would be composing the score, following their phenomenal work on Fincher's The Social Network. And even better, according to this article (or something pulled from W...?) scribe Steven Zaillian has actually made...wait for it...changes:
The script, which captures the novel’s bleak tone (its original Swedish title was Men Who Hate Women), was written by Academy Award winner Steven Zaillian, who wrote Schindler’s List, and it departs rather dramatically from the book. Blomkvist is less promiscuous, Salander is more aggressive, and, most notably, the ending—the resolution of the drama—has been completely changed. This may be sacrilege to some, but Zaillian has improved on Larsson—the script’s ending is more interesting.

"You're damn right it's more interesting."

I know I'm beating a dead horse here, but I've never been completely sold on Larrson's stories. Lisbeth Salander always seemed like a concept or emblem rather than a fully realized idea, who really deserved to be the star of better novels handled by a better author. And by making such drastic changes, Lisbeth may finally have found a better creator in two forms: a screenwriter and a director.

One last note: I also loooove the change in character for Mikael Blomqvist. The role always felt like a transparent author-insert (or "Gary Stu") for Larrson, and as brought to life by He Who Shall No Longer Be Named, not terribly convincing or interesting. The decisions to make the character less of a womanizer AND to cast the much more talented Daniel Craig in the role should balance each other nicely. Hopefully the same will be true for Robin Wright as Blomqvist's co-worker Erika Berger, a role whose poor writing in the Swedish films often left acclaimed actress Lena Endre looking confused most of the time.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Oh, this is really interesting! I haven't seen the original film yet, though I did read the book, which was gripping if not a bit shallow. But definitely, this sounds like it has a lot of potential.