Hollywood Hopes To Cash In On Nordic Noir

Amy Hitchcock, showbiz reporter
Hollywood Hopes To Cash In On Nordic Noir

A new version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is released in the UK today and is tipped to be a box office hit despite coming just years after the original Swedish film.

Based on the first in a globally best selling trilogy by Swedish crime writer Stieg Larsson , the film - starring Daniel Craig - follows a critically acclaimed film by Swedish film-maker Neils Arden Oplev.

Oplev has questioned whether Hollywood should have remade his movie for a mass audience and critics have also attacked the trend of reproducing foreign language films.

Craig says he did not watch the original film before making The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo because he "didn't want to be affected by them".

He said: "I had lined them up to watch but then I got sent the script."

The Bond star denied that he felt under pressure because the book had been so popular.

"I just wanted to do the best job I could. The book sold so many and the film was critically acclaimed so this is a chance to push it further," he said.

The director David Fincher - best known for Fight Club and The Social Network - admits that there was some resentment to his interpretation.

"There's nowhere stronger than in Sweden. This is a city where the book was based, he was writing about where he lived and places that he knew and the Swedish crew were extremely protective, at first," he said.

"There was a sense of here come the grave robbers."

The film is the first in what is likely to be a blockbuster trilogy and tells the story of a journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Craig) who is helped by computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) in his search for a missing woman.

It is sexually violent and at times difficult to watch but Craig said it had to be that way.

"I don't think we could have done the film unless it had been as violent as it is and what David's done is tricky, to imply as opposed to showing everything, and I think the mind fills in the gaps," he said.

"The books were about sexual politics and violence towards women and without showing that the movie doesn't stand up.

"If it had been sanitised and made certificate 13 for a mass audience, it wouldn't have worked. It's an adult movie".

Fincher says that surprisingly fewer women auditioned to play the lead Elsbeth in Girl With The Dragon Tattoo than they did to play Mark Zuckerberg in his previous hit The Social Network.

He decided to cast New York-born actress Rooney Mara , who he had previously worked with on The Social Network.

She took up skate boarding, kick boxing and computer training for the part which will catapult her from relative anonymity into superstardom.

Mara says she loved playing Lisbeth: "She's a character that a lot of people can relate to because of that feeling of being misunderstood or outcast.

"She has two opposing sides, visibly described as anorexic and childlike, you think she can't look after herself, but she's incredibly strong, a genius hacker but quite naive."

Mara did a Swedish accent for the film but Craig decided against it saying: "How many Swedes do I know who speak English impeccably, better than I do".