Friday, December 18, 2009

Good news or bad? Sony nearing deal for US remake of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

As I said in my review of “Män som hatar kvinnor” (the Swedish-language, English-subtitled film adaptation of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO), I wondered how Hollywood filmmakers might (mis?)handle aspects of Larsson's story, given the chance. Well, as has been long-rumoured, it appears that such as US remake will come to fruition, with heavyweight Hollywood studio Sony Pictures is close to securing a deal for the English-language rights.

As reported in film trade publication Variety this week, Sony Pictures has "optioned the English-language screen rights to “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” the first of three titles in the Millennium Series of crime thriller novels by late Swedish journalist-activist Stieg Larsson." Although the deal hasn’t quite closed yet; it’s been gestating for six months because of a rights dispute between Larsson’s parents and his longtime partner, Eva Gabrielsson.

The good news? Swedish producers Yellow Bird Films, who have created the three Swedish-language versions, are working with Sony on the project. Oscar-winning screenwriter Steve Zaillian (Schindler's List, Gangs of New York, American Gangster) is in talks to write the script, and reportedly Oscar-winner Scott Rudin (The Truman Show, No Country for Old Men, Doubt, Revolutionary Road) will produce with Ole Sondberg and Soren Staermose of Yellow Bird Films. So there's some serious 'dramatic film' clout there.

The not-so-good news? Anita Singh in The Telegraph reports that Kristen Stewart of tween hit Twilight, has been linked to the role of Lisbeth Salander. Yikes. It may just be that any dark-featured young Hollywood actress on the rise will be mentioned as a possibility - but at least to me I wouldn't think that using such a 'teen icon' in the role would work very well. Maybe for initial sales and box office, but not so much in terms of creating a great film. Ah, the eternal tension between art and commerce at the cinema eh? I would also like to think there are better young actresses available, in terms of evoking such a complex character.

What are your thoughts on a US remake? If it goes ahead, who would you like to see in the main roles, in terms of US actors? Thoughts and comments most welcome.


  1. If it goes ahead, and I'm not so sure it should, I would like to see unknown actors play the main roles. With all that US film clout I guess they'll be looking at known actors. Kristen Stewart would be good but I agree with you - it may not work very well. As for the male hero I wouldn't even like to hazard a guess! Let's stick with unknowns.

  2. Any rumors about the director?

    Some heavyweight films mentioned there.

  3. I have the exact opposite reaction to Kristen Stewart for this part. Have you seen her resume? Into The Wild, CakeEaters, Speak and Adventureland? The girl didn't know Twi would turn into the animal it is. She has a depth that makes me very excited for the future entertainment she will provide us. I can see what you are saying regarding the hunks in Twi, but please don't put Kristen in that category. Remember she is the Parker Posey of Sundance this year with The Runaways and Welcome to the Rileys. Please do your research properly. There isn't another young actress with ambition or courage she has shown in the diverse roles she has played. Twi be d-----.

  4. Good points there anonymous (sorry, I've only just come back to this post and seen your comment). Perhaps I'm being too harsh on Stewart, who as you say has been impressive in other films.

    The bigger issue for me is that, although she can undoubtedly act, such a large chunk of the movie-going audience sees her as Bella, so that will dilute and effect anything else she does. Similarly to what happened with Leo after Titanic, for a long time. It took years before he could break away from that. And he is one of the best actors of his generation. It's only in the past few years he's been seen as that though. And then there's people like Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) from Star Wars - who both really never fully recovered from being identified with such iconic characters.

    Having said all that, Kristen Stewart would certainly be a better pick than some that are now being suggest. The always excellent crime commentator Ali Karim has even suggested Beyonce!