Director of the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Expresses His Frustration with the American Remake
11.11.10 by Ryan
It's far from the first time Hollywood studios have taken a recent foreign movie and decided to remake it, but the latest is director Niels Oplev's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Based on the first novel of the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson's internationally famous Millennium trilogy, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo premiered in Scandinavian countries to wide acclaim, particularly the performance of Noomi Rapace as computer hacker Lisbeth Salander. The movie opened in the United States earlier this year, followed by the sequels The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, just as reports spread that David Fincher would direct an American adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, with Daniel Craig as journalist Mikael Blomkvist and Rooney Mara as Salander.
Speaking with Word and Film, Oplev expressed his frustration with the American version.
I know he’s seen my film but I don’t know anything besides that. The only thing that’s annoying to me is that the Sony PR machine is trying to make their Lisbeth Salander the lead Lisbeth Salander. That’s highly unfair because Noomi has captured this part and it should always be all her. That’s her legacy in a way I can’t see anyone competing with. I hope she gets nominated for an Oscar. I know a lot of Academy members have seen the film and liked it because every time I go to LA I meet so many people who have seen my version of it. Even in Hollywood there seems to be a kind of anger about the remake, like, "Why would they remake something when they can just go see the original?" Everybody who loves film will go see the original one. It’s like, what do you want to see, the French version of La Femme Nikita or the American one [1993's Point of No Return]? You can hope that Fincher does a better job.
It is Oplev's belief that the character of Salander is the "key" to the success of Larsson's novels, and, in turn, the movie adaptations. Oplev says he has not been contacted by Fincher or anyone associated with the American version. "I know he’s seen my film but I don’t know anything besides that," said Oplev.
Oplev has three projects currently in the works, including The Last Photograph, which would star Christian Bale in a movie Oplev described as "a modern-day Apocalypse Now." Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opens on December 21, 2011 and he maintains that his version is not a remake, but an adaptation of Larsson's novel by screenwriter Steven Zaillian.