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American Remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Taking Shape

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Yes, it’s taking shape. I just haven’t yet decided what shape it’s taking. I saw the original Swedish film earlier this year and it is one of my favorite movies of the year. By that time the American version was already a foregone conclusion. The big question was whether it was going to be a Hollywood cash grab or if someone was genuinely interested in offering up another take on the material.

I believe it is still too early too tell, but the fact that David Fincher is the man behind the camera gives me some hope for quality. I mean, the one movie I thought of while I watched this was Fincher’s Zodiac. Now, I have heard some suggest this will be the equivalent of Gus Van Sant’s Psycho debacle. I only hope it is not that bad.

With shooting slated for early 2011, the cast is starting to take shape. Daniel Craig is on board to play the male lead. I like this. The role is a rugged type but not necessarily a star and while it can be argued that Craig is a big star, I still feel he has the skill to pull it off convincingly. The character is a reporter and one of his fellow reporters will be played by Robin Wright, a casting choice I am indifferent to as it is not a major role and she does have the right look for it.

There is a family (the Vanger family) being investigated in the film and two members have been cast. One will be Stellan Skarsgard. He is a fine actor and a good choice for the film. The other has been revealed to be Max Von Sydow. His presence should lend some credibility to the film as he generally makes everything better.

These roles are all fine. The big question mark is the female lead. The character is Lisbeth Salander and she was played so memorably by Noomi Rapace, who brings strength and vulnerability to the screen in what is not your typical heroine. This is the key role for the film and one that will be very difficult for whoever should take it on.

Lisbeth has been cast and the actress is Rooney Mara. I can almost hear you say “Who?” She was most recently seen in A Nightmare on Elm Street, where she was all right save for all her mumbling. I am really not sure I am going to like her in this role, she doesn’t strike me as having the right qualities. Of course, I can think of no one other than Noomi Rapace.

I guess we will see when the film reaches theaters sometime next year.

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About Draven99

  • Jordan Richardson

    Should be interesting, that’s for sure.

    As soon as I saw the movie and heard of the remake, I was thinking Max Von Sydow for something. Great casting choice there.

    Not sure how I feel about the Daniel Craig idea yet, but I suppose it could work out okay.

    Fincher’s the ideal choice for director, though. He’s already done the procedural with Zodiac, as you mention, so I think he can set the right mood for this one. Should be interesting to see.

  • http://criticaloutcast.com Chris Beaumont

    I am cautiously optimistic at this point.

    The only thing that concerns me is Mara’s casting. But I do have faith in Fincher.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I saw a little blip on CNN yesterday about the casting of this film. It was reported that, Drew Barrymore would not be chosen for the leading character. good decision…it would have become all about, Drew…better to cast an unknown

  • Jordan Richardson

    Good point, Jeannie. Besides the celebrity status of Barrymore, I think she’s almost a little too “happy” to play the part.

    Have not yet seen Mara in anything, so I can’t comment on how that would be. Could be a make or break role for her, though.

    I’m also curious about Let Me In, another American remake of a Swedish flick. Is Sweden the new Japan in terms of American cinema?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Yes, it probably will type-cast whoever plays it, unless they quickly swing into another role.

    : )I admire Drew, she has a lot of…happy tenacity!

  • John Wilson

    Why bother. The Swedish film was terrific. Besides, I think taking the films out of Sweden diminishes them, as happened with Kenneth Branaghs porting of the Wollander movies.

    It’s a weakness of Hollywood: recycling ideas and styles.

  • Chris Beaumont

    There is always more than one way to tel a story and given the right talent I find nothing inherently wrong with remakes. It is also not strictly hollywood. Zhang Yimou is remaking Blood simple and I think it looks pretty awesome.

  • Jordan Richardson

    And some remakes are better than the originals, like Carpenter’s The Thing and Cronenberg’s version of The Fly.

  • http://criticaloutcast.com Chris Beaumont

    Of course, on the other side of the coin are the likes of Van Sant’s Psycho, as well as Ring 2, One Missed Call, Clash of the Titans.

    There really is no rule to whether it will be good or bad, but you can go generally get a good idea based on the names involved. But even that can be iffy…

    Oh yeah, I am also glad that Barrymore wasn’t cast. There was a list of names I saw once, but I do not recall any of the actresses other than not wanting any of them for the role.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “I think taking the films out of Sweden diminishes them, as happened with Kenneth Branaghs porting of the Wollander movies.

    It’s a weakness of Hollywood: recycling ideas and styles.”

    Not sure what you mean. How has Branagh’s Wallander been taken out of Sweden? And it was made by the BBC so Hollywood had nothing to do with it