David Fincher has little interest in the awards and accolades currently being heaped at his latest film’s feet. Instead, he’s knee deep in production for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and has no problem saying his last film was a mere “movie” rather than a “film.” All of this comes from a great interview with the director in W Magazine, where the first pictures of Fincher’s own version of Lisbeth Salander have debuted. Played by Rooney Mara, the disturbed, hyper-intelligent Salander has been re-envisioned (or perhaps simply refined) by the Seven director as less of a punk/metal vengeance heroine, and more of sophisticated “goth pippi longstockings” with a spidery physique and cold eyes.
Along with the new pictures and an interview that touches on Fincher’s history, The Social Network, and the director’s thought process, comes a few glimpses into what will be different about the American adaptation of the best-selling books. The most important note is that for those wondering with what purpose this film is being made, unlike Let Me In, the sophisticated filmmaking will come with a drastically changed story…
“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.”
The other intriguing info is that the producers planned from the beginning to push the edge of the series and in no way avoid the grotesque and perverted material of the books. (Those events are talked about explicitly, if you’re unfamiliar and wish to avoid spoilers.)
“This is shocking material for a major studio like Sony. In one of the pivotal scenes, taken directly from Larsson, Salander punishes the man who raped her by raping him with a large prosthetic penis, and then tattooing his torso with the words i am a rapist pig. Not exactly mainstream fare. “Sony and Scott Rudin told me they wanted to be in the adult-film-franchise business,” Fincher said. “And they said, ‘We want you to kick the A in adult.’ They already had a release date—December 2011—but I wasn’t sure I wanted to do another movie about a serial killer. Then I read the script, and I called Scott and said, ‘I can’t imagine why you thought of me.’…”
Sounds like a delight, and the perfect Holiday season film to close the year! Its comforting to know that Fincher didn’t sign up for just any ole Hollywood phenomenon cash-in, and that the film will strike out and find its own excuse for existing and perhaps even explore new ground. My knowledge of the source is minimal, and what I have seen of the Swedish films (pieces of the first two and all of the third- perhaps not the best sample) certainly don’t seem to befit a franchise of such immense popularity. It will be interesting to watch Sony push a film with this kind of built-in audience that also includes that kind of content. If Fincher gained any new fans with “the Facebook movie” that have avoided his rougher stuff, some of them might be a little shocked when they check out his next piece. That is, if Mara’s audition process is any indication…
“It was hard,” Fincher recalled. “We had five or six girls audition with the rape scene. The girls had to kick a dildo up his ass. That’s Salander’s big scene, and we had to see if they could do it.”
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo hits theaters December 21st, 2011.