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Category: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

With new trailer, 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' begins to breathe its fire

May 29, 2011 |  5:46 pm

 
Crai
There's already a debate about how this trailer for "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" got online: Was it leaked from a European theater or stealthily put there by Sony? Whatever your conspiracy theory, the source is perhaps less important than the content of this so-called "feel-bad" Christmas movie, all of which comes at us fast, gritty and stylish. (We link to the trailer here instead of embedding it because it's been red-banded, apparently owing to a blink-and-you'll-miss-it nudity shot; please use your discretion in clicking through.)

Shrewdly assuming knowledge of the Stieg Larsson literary series, the spot for the David Fincher movie eschews traditional setup and exposition in favor of quick cuts and a driving Led Zeppelin cover by Trent Reznor and Karen O. This one's for the devotees.

Still, if you pause the spot or watch it multiple times, you'll see many allusions to the mystery that Daniel Craig's Mikael Blomkvist and Rooney Mara's Lisbeth Salander are trying to solve in the Swedish snow. It's a smart approach: The story is there for those who want it, but it's not laid out in a way that could subject it to scrutiny.

The trailer's cumulative effect is to make the movie feel both polished and raw, a sophisticated product that moves miles beyond the made-for-TV feel of the Swedish-language original. If the book and the casting already have fans excited for the first installment this December, this one will make them rapturous.

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-- Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Rooney Mara on the set of  "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Credit: Vanity Fair

 


Noomi Rapace: I'm glad Rooney Mara is a relative unknown

October 27, 2010 | 12:04 pm

Noomi2 Noomi Rapace had never heard of Rooney Mara, the young actress who was recently tapped to play Lisbeth Salander in the English-language version of of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," before she was cast in the part.

But Rapace, who, of course, originated the Salander role in the three Swedish films adapted from author Stieg Larsson's Millennium series, says she now endorses the choice.

“I don’t know her. I haven’t seen her,” said the 30-year-old, who was in Hollywood to promote the Friday U.S. release of the final film in the trilogy, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.” But, she added, "I think that David Fincher is a great filmmaker, and he probably made a good choice.... I don’t think that people should ever know so much about an actor that they go into the theater and can't see the character."

Since she was cast in the Salander role several months ago, Mara has faced criticism (perhaps inevitable, given the affection for Rapace) about whether she could walk in the actress' footsteps. Mara has sought to answer those critics by throwing herself into the role. It’s been reported that Mara, who has been in production on the remake in Sweden since September, recently pierced her nipples and dyed her hair to get into character.

Rapace herself famously went to similar lengths to play Salander, cutting off her hair, buffing up and getting seven body piercings. "I’m overwhelmed by how people have embraced my performance in the films," Rapace said. "I didn’t expect that at all."

 Rapace, on a brief respite from production of Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” sequel in London, said, despite the acclaim it brought her, she was not eager to reprise the Salander role.  "I was done with it, and I was very clear that I didn’t want to do it again. And when people knew that it was David Fincher, everybody came back to me and said, ‘Have you changed your mind?’ No. Why should I?”

The actress says she has not been asked by the filmmaker or Mara for advice on how to approach Salander. "I don't think I could help her, because she has to find her own [version]. I don't know more about this book than she does, because she's probably read the books, and she has to find her own truth and give something from her to it. She will probably do something completely different."

— Amy Kaufman

Twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Rapace in West Hollywood earlier this week. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times.

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Noomi Rapace, the girl with the dragon tattoo, will have a vampire bite

October 13, 2010 |  3:23 pm

  Rapace

EXCLUSIVE: Swedish actress Noomi Rapace has been on a hot streak since her Swedish-language "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" became an art-house hit in the U.S. Now she's signing for a new role in an intriguing genre.

Rapace is set to come aboard the "The Last Voyage of Demeter," about the ill-fated journey of Dracula's coffin from Transylvania to England, according to sources familiar with the project. 

Rapace is expected to play a stowaway on the boat, which according to legend arrived at its port with no survivors, prompting speculation that the vampire corpse made a little mayhem. Ben Kingsley is also coming aboard the ship, the sources said, while a lead actor is in the process of being cast.

The film has heat behind it: it's being directed by Oscar-winner Stefan Ruzowitzky ("The Counterfeiters") and produced by the team behind "Shutter Island" at Phoenix Pictures; the movie is expected to contain some of the literary genre qualities that characterized "Shutter."

With a new role in "Sherlock Holmes 2" and discussions on "Mission: Impossible 4" and the "Alien" prequel, Rapace has already capitalized on her popularity from "Dragon Tattoo" and the two films that followed in the adaptation of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy.

"Demeter," however, would mark Rapace's first English-language genre movie, and also put her back in something of the scrappy loner role that she popularized as Lisbeth Salander. And if she decided to really go tough, she probably wouldn't even need to change her outfit.

-- Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Noomi Rapace in 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.' Credit: Music Box Films

 


Rooney Mara's shoulder, transfixing Sweden more than ABBA

September 22, 2010 | 12:34 pm

Mara
Matt Damon, Fred Savage and Rick Astley are not dead. And, apparently, Rooney Mara was not "seriously injured" as she got in shape to play Lisbeth Salander in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

It apparently all began with a report on this Swedish site -- try to read it closely and maybe you'll understand why so many gave it credibility -- that production had to be shut down after Mara injured her shoulder on the set of the David Fincher film. (At least so said some American bloggers who, apparently, speak Swedish.)

The rumor gained currency after a Perez Hilton post, whose URL claimed  that production was "shut down indefinitely after star suffers severe injury."

And then just as quickly, after conversations with Sony and Mara reps, came the headlines that "Rooney Mara  NOT Injured on Set of 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." It appears as though, at most, Mara may have tweaked her shoulder while getting in shape, but production isn't shut down and she's just fine. The Perez post has been taken down, and all seems to be proceeding apace over in Stockholm and its environs.

Internet hoaxes tend to play on what we're already predisposed to believe. And a story of Mara getting banged up feeds nicely into questions about whether the actress is tough enough to play the role of the Goth hacker and justice-seeker, which may be why so many were quick to run it. That, or someone is just a really bad Swedish translator.

--Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Rooney Mara in "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (with horror-movie makeup). Credit: New Line

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Rooney Mara will be 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'

August 16, 2010 | 11:12 am

DSC9803_r After months of speculation over one of the most buzzed about casting choices in recent history, Sony has announced that actress Rooney Mara will play Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's English-language version of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

Mara, whose most notable credit so far is "A Nightmare on Elm Street," has already worked with Fincher on this fall's "The Social Network."

The 24-year-old had been rumored to be in running for the part, up against other relative newcomers such as French actress Léa Seydoux and Australian actresses Sarah Snook and Sophie Lowe.

Mara will star opposite Daniel Craig in three films adapted from author Stieg Larsson's "The Millennium Trilogy," which also include "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest." Shooting commences in September in Sweden, Sony announced Monday. The first film will be released in December 2011.

As my colleague Steven Zeitchik noted recently, the leading role in the trilogy is a challenging part. “Salander is a raven-haired beauty who's at once fierce and vulnerable,” he wrote, “someone who betrays some serious emotional damage but who also can be the tough girl when it counts.”

It’s difficult to judge how Mara may fare in the role. Most of the reviews for the “Elm Street” reboot earlier this year were left largely without mention of her. But take what you will from this April assessment by Robert Abele in the Times, which said of Mara and her young male costar, Kyle Gallner: “[they were] cast out of the Kristen Stewart-Robert Pattinson school of pasty, glum adolescence.”

-- Amy Kaufman

[For the record, 5:49 p.m.: A previous version of this post gave the title of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" as "The Nightmare on Elm Street."]

Twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Rooney Mara. Credit: Merrick Morton.

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Clicking on Green Links will take you to a third-party e-commerce site. These sites are not operated by the Los Angeles Times. The Times Editorial staff is not involved in any way with Green Links or with these third-party sites.

'Tell No One's' attempt to relay the word to American audiences

August 9, 2010 |  3:07 pm

As "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" continues to lock down cast, another U.S. remake of a movie based on an international bestseller quietly looks to find its way.

"Tell No One" -- which began life as an English-language bestseller, then was made into a French-language movie before getting snapped back up by American studios -- has slowly been taking shape. But slowly remains the operative word, as what final form it will take, and whether it will move toward production, remains a question.

Tell Sources tell us that Andrew Dominik, the New Zealand filmmaker [Update: Per the comment below, the New Zealand-born Aussie filmmaker] who wrote and directed "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," has been writing a draft of the script for the English-language version of the thriller.

Dominik has been charged with reworking the story of a doctor who, after believing his wife has been murdered years before (and in fact after being named as a suspect in the case), begins getting mysterious messages suggesting she may still be alive. (Dominik, whose "Ford" also saw an upscale drama wed to a familiar genre, is an interesting choice to write about a mysterious femme: He's developing the Marilyn Monroe biopic "Blonde").

Guillaume Canet's "Tell No One," the first movie to be made from a novel by bestselling author Harlan Coben, was a big hit in Europe (it won four Cesars in France) and a word-of-mouth hit here, earning $6 million at the U.S. box office two summers ago and landing on numerous end-of-year critics' lists. (Incidentally, it came to the States from the same distributor that released the Swedish-language "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.")

In the spring of 2009, Focus Features and Miramax Films bought remake rights to "Tell No One,"  with Hollywood uber-producer Kathleen Kennedy coming on board to produce. (Just to deepen the "Tattoo"-"Tell No One" connection, Kennedy at one point talked to David Fincher about directing the remake.) The idea was for Focus to handle international rights (everywhere but in France, where Europa Corp, which financed and co-produced the original, would handle). The incarnation of Miramax Films that optioned the rights is no longer in business, so Focus has since taken over the domestic side as well, according to insiders.

But the question remains about how fast the company will move forward; Focus, like all specialty divisions, has been scrutinizing its development slate and business plans.

Back when it was announced, the goal was to have a "Tell No One" shooting this spring and in theaters by next year. The movie was the kind of literate thriller that Miramax was eagerly looking to invest in, the title had brand recognition in the U.S. and foreign-language remakes were an emerging trend, as "Let the Right One In" and others became hot development fodder.

Numerous factors have put the slowdown on it -- and skeptics continue to chirp about the value of redos -- but when it comes to remakes of foreign-language hits, American entities still seek to tell someone.

-- Steven Zeitchik

http://twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: 'Tell No One.' Credit: Music Box Films

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Clicking on Green Links will take you to a third-party e-commerce site. These sites are not operated by the Los Angeles Times. The Times Editorial staff is not involved in any way with Green Links or with these third-party sites.

The Lisbeth Salander actress: The girl with the impossible task

July 29, 2010 |  5:38 pm

  Noomi
Most eye-catching about the names being mentioned for the Lisbeth Salander role in David Fincher's English-language version of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is just how little-known they all are.

The role would seem to require some deep and diverse acting experience; it is, after all, one of the more challenging parts to come along in a big commercial film for some time. At least as envisioned in Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy and in the Swedish-language originals, Salander is a raven-haired beauty who's at once fierce and vulnerable, someone who betrays some serious emotional damage but who also can be the tough girl when it counts.

Even some of the top 20-something names out there don't seem to do the trick. Rumored candidate Natalie Portman, for all of her acting chops, just might be too fey. And it's hard for us to feel the Ellen Page of it, no matter how much running around dream worlds she's been doing lately.

You can probably get away with a little less vulnerability if you bring the requisite toughness, and so if you're going with a known name, the best actress, of all people, might be Jessica Alba or her ilk.

Alas, Fincher seems intent on going with an unknown. He's considering four actresses who are barely recognizable to American audiences. Would they work? Rooney Mara is the most familiar, and perhaps the most viable. She was impressive enough in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" reboot -- although, at least as articulated in that film, an ethereal presence as much as an angry one. (Of course she worked with Fincher on "Social Network," so if she has the chops for this, he'd be the first to know.)

Also in the mix is Léa Seydoux, a French national known for French-national roles in "Robin Hood" and "Inglourious Basterds." It was hard to get much of a sense of her in either, although as a member of the interrogated LaPadite family in "Basterd's" breathtaking opening scene, she at least showed that she can act convincingly in a tough spot.

The other two contenders, Sarah Snook and Sophie Lowe, are Australian actresses whose movies we haven't seen, although given the actresses who've emerged from that country in recent years (Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts, etc.) there are worse wells from which to draw.

Lisbeth Salander is a meaty role for any actress, so Fincher should have his pick. Then again, the A-listers have reason to give it a second thought: You're signing on for a potential trilogy, which can sap your schedule (and in Sweden, no less). And playing iconic book characters can be a losing game -- fans have their own vivid notions of how the character should appear (just ask Tom Hanks or Audrey Tautou about their experience with "The Da Vinci Code").

When a part is so tough, someone completely unfamiliar to American audiences could be the best choice -- a blank canvas is better than one partially filled. And it would, at least in the immediate aftermath of release, generate a new star. Let’s just hope it also generates a persuasive role.

-- Steven Zeitchik

http://twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Noomi Rapace in the Swedish-language "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Credit: Music Box Films

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Clicking on Green Links will take you to a third-party e-commerce site. These sites are not operated by the Los Angeles Times. The Times Editorial staff is not involved in any way with Green Links or with these third-party sites.

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