An 8-minute "sizzle reel" of David Fincher's adaptation of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" was shown to critics and audiences at various screenings throughout the U.S. this past week. I was at one of them, here's what I saw:
It's already a given that this movie is going to be the stuff of a three-way public spat between film geeks for whom David Fincher can do no wrong, fans of the book who will resent any changes and OTHER film geeks annoyed that this is being made at all when it was already turned into a wholly-decent movie in it's native country. Now, as before, I remain comfortably in Fincher's camp - everything about this material is comfortably in his wheelhouse, and he's assembled a hell of a team.
The footage itself wasn't "in order," it was more of a very long trailer explaining the basic plot and who the two main characters are. From the looks of things, it appears a certain amount of tinkering has gone on with the structure of the story in terms of streamlining the complicated process of events it takes for the two heroes' stories to intersect; but people who were worried things are going to be "toned down" should chill - the 'iffy' stuff (Salander's bisexuality, the 'payback' sequence, the murders) seems to have made the transition more than intact.
The interesting thing will be to see how Fincher chooses to "play" the material. The odd thing about the series (book and film) is that they're that strange mix of very-silly and very-serious that often informs pop-phenomenon bestsellers, "The DaVinci Code" being the best recent example. Storywise it's a giant grab-bag of lurid pulp: A crusading activist/journalist teams up with sexy goth/punk/biker/computer-hacker girl to root out the culprit in a decades-spanning series of unsolved Biblically-themed murders from among a wealthy family of decadent ex-Nazis; but all that kitchen-sink oddness is actually there as lead-in to mini-polemics about misogyny and political-corruption.
So... how does he play it? Do you trim down on the "silly" and aim for the 'serious' movie that it's bestselller-stature would be assumed to demand, or do you keep all the wacky business and go for broke? The footage shown seems to be looking at the second option, which strikes me as the better option.