For 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,' Sony takes a page out of 'Black Swan'
Even with its tough-as-nails protagonist, David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is a broad audience play: It's based on a book read by millions, contains an accessible mystery and sports an A-list star in Daniel Craig. So whatever gritty elements the "Se7en" director was putting into the film, you'd expect to get played down in a marketing campaign.
But studio Sony is choosing a different path. After a red-band trailer that went for the gore, a new poster goes one step further: It shows Rooney Mara, of course taking on the Lisbeth Salander character that Noomi Rapace made famous in the original, looking tough and baring a pierced nipple as Craig looms behind her. The image is risqué enough that we can't show it here, though here's a link (more sensitive readers, note the partial nudity).
It's hard not to see the poster as a reply to early questions about whether the actress, most recently on screen as a well-scrubbed Boston University coed in "The Social Network," was tough enough for the part. Who knows if the film is as hard-edged as the early marketing material suggests? But it's telling that Sony is doing this much to emphasize that angle.
It's an interesting strategy for a studio with a wide-release picture coming out over the holidays; a campaign like this may turn off more delicate filmgoers. But there's a logic too: This image gets the buzz going and appeases fans worried about losing the grit. There's time to soften things up later. Or, given how well "Black Swan" did last winter, not.
-- Steven Zeitchik