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Stieg Larsson’s internationally acclaimed novel “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” will, once again, hit the big screen worldwide this winter in a most-anticipated re-make of the enigmatic story – this time by the hand of David Fincher. The green band trailer was released by Sony last week but shortly before, fans and curious spectators were buzzing with excitement over a “leaked”/camera-captured red band trailer – which was subsequently pulled off of youtube. One day later, the US green band version appeared online but the word had already spread – a pitch-perfect example of viral marketing.
Blogger Todd Brown commented on the site twitchfilm.com that “Sony’s handling of the trailer release feels to me like on of the great recent moves in viral marketing – think about it, who announces that they’re putting a red band trailer in theaters but not releasing it then sits quietly for days while a suspiciously high quality version of that same trailer racks up massive traffic and chatter online? It’s a classic case of creating desire by ‘denying’ access.”
Fincher’s version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is expected to turn out notably different from Niels Arden Oplev’s 2009 take on the popular book. The Golden Globe-winning director has re-cast Rooney Mara (fresh off The Social Network) as the dark and hard-hitting Lisbeth Salander while Daniel Craig stars as Michael Blomkvist, the journalist who gets tangled up in the web of terror behind a young girl’s disappearance.
The announcement of the American remake made quite a stir initially when it was revealed that the Oscar-winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian, who was to pen the American version, had crafted a new ending to the revered work. According to slashfilm.com, “fans of Larsson’s work have been very vocal with their disappointment” and according to an article by Lynn Hirschberg in W Magazine, Fincher’s version does admittedly depart 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.”
So – should Larsson fans forego the remake?
If you were one of the few who managed to catch a glimpse of the red band trailer – heck, if you’ve had the chance to peek at the official trailer – it does actually look good. Very good.
Draped over a rough and stormy Karen O-cover of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song, the preview of Fincher’s Dragon Tattoo is a dazzling glimpse into the darkness that looms in Larsson’s universe. The final result will most likely prove darker than what the reserved and delicate Scandinavian storytelling tradition is used to, but like last year’s Let Me In (not to mention a wide array of Spanish, Japanese and Korean horror and thriller films), American cinema has a way of taking something foreign and translating it into Hollywood. For better or for worse.
Some may continue to curse the day Fincher laid eyes on Larsson’s work but if you read the book and saw the 2009 adaptation, another take may not be such a bad idea. The character of Lisbeth Salander is becoming an iconic figure of anti-hero(ine)ism – and a refreshingly grim one I might add. The more interpretations we get of her troubled fictional existence, the deeper we may venture into her mind. Fans of the books will have to admit that the first movie was a good, but superficial, interpretation of the original story’s complexity and suspense. A remake may add a new layer to its visualization.
With a promising trailer out, Dragon Tattoo fans should let go of their reservation and at least give the upcoming adaptation a chance – it won’t be the book and it won’t be the 2009 movie; The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by David Fincher is going to leave a whole new set of marks this December.
Image provided by Naír la jefa