Claire Foy does her best to capture Lisbeth Salander, the heroine in Stieg Larsson’s Swedish crime novels, but the character has been Americanized and homogenized into your standard action-hero in a new trailer for “The Girl in the Spider’s Web.”
Make no mistake, the novel on which “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” is based wasn’t written by Larsson and it shows.
The fact that the film got made at all is curious.
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” the original 2009 Swedish film based on Larsson’s first novel, starred Noomi Rapace as Salander, the nihilist computer hacker who gets involved in a mysterious murder that exposes Sweden’s Nazi underbelly.
Rapace went on to reprise the role in two more Swedish films based on the books, “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest.”
Then, Sony Entertainment Pictures optioned the novels and produced an American version of “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Directed by David Fincher, the 2011 film starred Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara as the two central characters, journalist Mikael Blomkvist and Salander.
Despite being a only modestly successful, Sony green-lighted the next book with Mara and Craig in the lead roles, again. But the sequel never got off the ground.
In a 2015 interview, Mara said the film “just doesn’t seem like it’s in the cards.”
Sony spent a good deal of time and money on “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” but over a year ago, and almost four years after Finch’s thriller, the studio decided to head in a new direction,” according to Film, a movie blog.
Instead, Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Scott Rudin Productions and Yellow Bird got into the act. The two Larsson novels were skipped in favor of a fourth novel, written by David Lagercrantz. Larsson died of a heart attack in 2004.
Based on the trailer, the movie lacks the nuance and political undertones of Larsson’s work in the original Millennium Series. Instead, it’s a wham-bam, stunt-filled, action-adventure movie, a la Tom Cruise’s “Mission Impossible” pictures.
As such,the film is being billed as a reboot of the 2011 film instead of a sequel. Sony, however, still owns the rights to all future installments based on Larsson’s work.
In the film, Foy’s Salander sets out to “hurt men who hurt women.” She gets wrapped up in a gruesome criminal conspiracy involving her estranged sister Camilla, played by Dutch actress Sylvia Hoeks.
Fede Alverez directs the latest movie. LaKeith Stanfield, Stephen Merchant and Vicky Krieps also appear.
The film is not without some controversy.
Larsson’s long-time domestic partner, Eva Gabrielsson, has criticized the project and called Lagercrantz a “completely idiotic choice” to continue the Millennium series, according to Swedish newspapers.
She says she has an unfinished fourth manuscript of the Millennium series apart from Lagercrantz’s book. Check out the trailer below.
The film is due out Nov 9, during the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season.