This is very exciting news. Which means the whole thing will fall apart in a week or two…
David Fincher is a fascinating director, and when he’s on top of his game we get brilliant films like Seven, The Game, and Zodiac. Even his lesser works like Panic Room and Benjamin Button are highly watchable and enjoyable. (Well okay, maybe not Benjamin Button so much…) He’s currently finishing up the much-anticipated Facebook movie, The Social Network, with Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake.
But what’s next for the director?
Per Vulture, Fincher is interested in adapting Stieg Larsson’s best-seller “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” for English-speaking audiences who can’t stand subtitles. Larsson’s home country of Sweden has already seen a trio of films produced from his trilogy, and Sony has picked up the rights for all three. Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List, Hannibal) is adapting the novel that follows a decades-old murder being investigated by a disgraced middle aged journalist named Mikael Blomkvist and a young, female computer hacker named Lisbeth Salander. Their partnership lasts through all three books making it possible franchise material.
Salander is a sexy, troubled, bisexual near genius with Asperger’s syndrome (maybe), and the role has apparently become a hot ticket for actresses throughout Hollywood. According to Vulture the name at the top of Sony’s wish-list is Carey Mulligan (An Education) although Entertainment Weekly recently reported Kristen Stewart is also interested. As usual for roles of this caliber my vote goes to the lovely Natalie Portman. I’ve read the book and seen the flawed but engaging Swedish adaptation, and Salander is a truly fascinating character that will challenge any actress. She gets very physical (in every definition of the word) and walks a fine line between being likable and unlikable.
The Blomkvist character is far less colorful.
Fincher’s involvement increases the odds that the movie can retain the sheer intelligence on display in the novel without fear of dumbing it down for commercial audiences. The novel is more than simply a murder mystery as it delves into journalism ethics, sexual abuse, and personal freedoms in depth, but it manages to maintain suspense and interest throughout. The first two books are available stateside with the third due out here in May. (Although Amazon.UK already has the English translation of third volume available for order.)
Have you read the books or seen the Swedish films? Who should play Salander and Blomkvist?