|David Fincher director||previously directed The Social Network|
David Fincher's adaptation of the hugely successful Swedish mystery novel of the same name. A disgraced journalist and a hostile-but-prodigious young hacker team up to investigate an unsolved mystery 40 years in the making.
The taglines used for the film, "Evil Shall With Evil be Expelled" and "What is Hidden in Snow Comes Forth in the Thaw", are both based on traditional Swedish proverbs.6 More Trivia
|Rooney Mara||Lisbeth Salander|
|Daniel Craig||Mikael Blomkvist|
|Christopher Plummer||Henrik Vanger|
|Robin Wright||Erika Berger|
|Embeth Davidtz||Annika Blomkvist|
|Joely Richardson||Anita Vanger|
|Stellan Skarsgård||Martin Vanger|
|Goran Visnjic||Dragan Armansky|
|Geraldine James||Cecilia Vanger|
|Steven Berkoff||Dirch Frode|
|See Full Credits|
Investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist has made a name for himself exposing corruption and malfeasance in the public giants of Sweden. He runs a modest independent magazine called Millennium alongside his long-time partner Erika Berger, and in it he publishes the biggest blowout of his career, pegging multimillion dollar industrialist Hans-Erik Wennerström for serious federal crimes. His biggest story turns into his biggest disgrace when Wennerström wins a libel case against Blomkvist, where it is ruled that the evidence he used was falsified. It seems that somewhere in his extensive research he was mislead and set up to take a fall. With all credibility gone and the media jeering in his face, Blomkvist decides it would be best to step down from the Millennium staff and drop off the map for a while.
Meanwhile, an altogether different kind of investigator is at work. Lisbeth Salander is an antisocial ward of the state who lives alone. She uses her world-class hacking skills in her investigative job at Milton Security. One particular assignment tasks her with researching Mikael Blomkvist's background, a job she completes without much difficulty. However, Blomkvist's catastrophe with the Wennerström affair catches her interest, and she does further research on her own time.
Wondering how he is going to pay his libel fines, Mikael is suddenly contacted by a man named Dirch Frode, who introduces himself as the personal lawyer and assistant to Henrik Vanger. This is a strange and intriguing call for Blomkvist--Henrik Vanger is the retired head of the Vanger Corporation, which was once one of the largest corporations in Sweden. Invited to come visit, Mikael travels to Hedeby Island where he meets Henrik Vanger, who has an unusual request. He wants Blomkvist to stay on the island for a year to research a 40-year-old missing-persons case which could very well have been a murder.
The person in question is Henrik's grand-niece Harriet Vanger, who vanished from the island on the day of a family reunion in 1966. She was 16. On that day there was a motor accident which rendered the only bridge connecting the island to the mainland impassable, effectively making Harriet's disappearance a locked-room mystery. This alone does not prove she was murdered, but something else convinces Henrik that this must be the case: Harriet was very close to her grand-uncle, and used to send him a different type of framed plant each year on his birthday. Although Harriet vanished over 40 years ago, Henrik has still been getting framed plants of the exact same kind every birthday. They never come with a note or identifying marks. This terrifies Henrik and makes him sure that someone in the family did away with Harriet, someone close enough to know what she gave him each year. It's not a stretch for him to imagine one of his family members as a criminal, because he despises most of them and tells Blomkvist of their corrupt and bigoted past.
Though fascinated by the strange story, Blomkvist is unsure of the idea of taking the job. Henrik masterfully manipulates the situation, however, offering the journalist a staggering sum of money and the promise of some real incriminating evidence agains Wennerström, who once worked for the Vanger Corporation. Blomkvist agrees and summarily moves to an icy cabin on Hedeby to begin his research.
When the amount of information becomes too staggering for him to handle on his own, he asks for a research assistant and Dirch Frode refers him to Lisbeth Salander. An unlikely partnership forms, and Lisbeth and Mikael begin to unmask a raft of dark secrets within the Vanger's past.
An investigative journalist know for his scathingly clear-headed exposés of powerful magnates. Co-founder and editor of the independent magazine Millennium alongside Erika Berger, the libel suite threatens to destroy the small magazine and Blomkvist decides it best to vanish from sight for a time.
He is given the perfect opportunity to do so when he is called on to move to the remote island of Hedeby to investigate the disappearance of Harriet Vanger. Skeptical that he will unearth anything the police could not in forty years, he nevertheless begins the exhaustive task of digging into the sordid past of the Vanger family. What he finds is less than pleasant.
Co-founder of Millennium, Erika has known Mikael since their college days. The two seem to have a magnetic attraction and work incredibly well together--both professionally and in bed. Erika is married to an artist, who doesn't seem to mind that his wife sleeps with Blomkvist on occasion. Together, he and Erika have built Millennium up from nothing into a valid source of independent news.
Coming from a wealthy family, Erika is charming and seems to often get what she wants. She is less than happy, however, when Mikael leaves her and the magazine behind to stay on a remote frozen island for a year.
Once head of the powerful Vanger Corporation, Henrik has grown old and stepped out of the public spotlight for well over a decade now. He loathes the majority of his family, and is not on speaking terms with many of them.
He was close to his grandniece Harriet, and her disappearance forty years ago has eaten at him every day since. With the police long having given up the case, Henrik decides to hire a fresh set of eyes with a different perspective. Shrewdly, he takes advantage of Blomkvist's weakened reputation in the wake of his libel suite, and makes him an offer to stay on the island, his last attempt to gain closure on Harriet's fate before he passes.
Dirch Frode is the longtime attorney and confidante to Henrik Vanger. It is he who initiates a background check into Mikael Blomkvist, and demands that his researcher meet him in person. Thus he meets Lisbeth Salander, and can't help but be impressed by her investigative prowess.
Frode was once head counsel back in the Vanger Corporation's better days. Now he acts as Henrik's eyes into the world, making arrangements and traveling on his behalf. When Blomkvist asks for a research assistant, Frode is the one who refers him to Lisbeth.
Lisbeth Salander is labeled a 'ward of the state'; she has been in and out of several foster homes and care centers, never able to settle into a "normal" life. She now has to report to a legal guardian who controls various aspects of her life.
Skinny and anemic, Lisbeth is not one for making fast friends. Her wardrobe and heavy black eye shadow radiate a certain hostility that keeps people at a distance, and she seems to prefer it that way. Somewhat of a prodigious investigator, she works on special cases for the security firm, Milton Security. This is how she first comes to research Mikael Blomkvist, but her interaction with him does not end with his background check. Far from it...
Lisbeth's boss and head of Milton Security, Armansky has taken a certain liking to Salander. He forgives her habit of showing up to work at odd hours and only when she feels like it, because she is a valuable investigator who can dig up information with astonishing speed and efficiency. He's not sure of her methods, and knows better than to ask; he has long since learned that Lisbeth will answer only when she wants to, and when it comes to her past her lips seem tightly sealed.
Armansky usually doesn't let Lisbeth meet with her actual clients, instead opting to deliver the reports himself. At Dirch Frode's insistence, however, he concedes to let the two meet.
Lisbeth's former legal guardian, he allowed her personal autonomy and showed her a kindness which she was not accustomed to. Palmgren had years of experience with "troubled youth", which was perhaps partly why he seemed to understand Lisbeth more than most other authority figures who tried to box her into a society which did not suit her. Palmgren's connections at Milton Security are what got Lisbeth her job as investigator.
After Palmgren suffers a sudden heart attack, Lisbeth is carted off to a new legal guardian. She has no say in the matter whatsoever.
Nils Bjurman is Lisbeth's current legal guardian. On the surface he seems to have a spotless record, with no disreputable acts to be found in his past. When it comes to Lisbeth, however, he reveals himself to be misogynistic and domineering in the worst way possible.
Using the ample evidence he has of Lisbeth's troubled past, he takes full advantage of his position of power; restricting her bank account is just the first step as he exerts his control over her. But Lisbeth is not one to be controlled for long, nor is she quick to forgive those who have wronged her...
Cecilia is the cousin of Harriet and Martin.
Like Henrik, she has a disdain for much of the Vanger family. She has experienced the ugliness first hand; her father Harald was a Nazi doctor and rampant misogynist. She is no longer on speaking terms with him.
Cecilia lives alone on Hedeby Island.
When Blomkvist arrives and begins asking questions about the Vanger family, she is wary and suspicious. It doesn't take long for her to guess that there is more to his visit than a simple biography.
Anita is Cecilia's younger sister.
Growing up, Anita was perhaps closer to Harriet than anyone else in the family. They used to play with and confide in one another.
Anita, fed up with the Vanger family, left the island at age 18 and has never returned home since.
Even Cecilia has no idea where she is today, though she has a vague notion that Anita might be somewhere in the U.K.
Martin is the current CEO of the Vanger Corporation.
Although the Vanger Corporation in present day has taken a huge fall from it's former glory, Henrik states that this can't really be blamed on Martin because his colleagues are so selfish and incompetent.
Brother to Harriet, Martin is just as confused by the mystery of her disappearance as Henrik.
Martin lives alone on Hedeby island.
Isabella Vanger is Martin's mother. Widowed when her husband, Gottfried, drowned in a drunken stupor, she now lives by herself on the island.
An angry and callous woman, she spends most of her time indoors. Martin has little to do with her.
Isabella does get along with Harald, her late husband's uncle and an ex-Nazi physician.
Blomkvist's arrival on Hedeby is less than pleasing to her, a fact she makes clear to him several times over.
Harald Vanger is Cecilia's father, whom she is not on speaking terms with.
As a Nazi physician with the Swedish National Socialist Party, Harald advocated for the genocide of inferior races. He even wrote a book which, in scientific terms, justified the euthanasia of these "undesirables".
Harald's house on the island seems to constantly have it's blinds drawn, and one may wonder if anyone lives there at all. But the occasional flutter of a curtain or a light coming on late at night suggest that someone is indeed there, watching the outside world silently from within.
The detective assigned to the case of Harriet Vanger forty years ago. Though retired, Morell is still haunted by the unsolved mystery and keeps in regular contact with Henrik Vanger, though all their leads have long since dried up.
Morell meticulously researched the case, keeping extensive notes and following up even the most obscure and improbable leads. His interviews with the Vanger clan turned up nothing but more questions, and a comb of the island proved fruitless.
Blomkvist's own investigations begin with Morell's detailed notes, but it soon becomes clear that the detective left no stone unturned. If the case is to be solved, a different approach must be taken...is it possible that anything was overlooked?
Gottfried Vanger - Martin and Harriet's father. Gottried was an unhappy man and an alcoholic, often retreating into his cabin in the woods where he would drink himself to sleep. He died one night when, in a drunken daze, he fell and drowned in the water near the cabin's pier.
Alexander Vanger - Son of Gregor and Gerda Vanger and cousin to Cecilia. He shares a house on the island with his elderly mother, but according to Henrik he has long been away to the West Indies, where he whiles away the time with pleasure sailing.
Birger Vanger - Cecilia and Anita's older brother. He once worked for the Vanger Corporation, but quickly abandoned his duties to pursue politics. He now lives alone on the island.
Harriet Vanger - Harriet was only 16 years old when she vanished from Hedeby island that day of the family reunion. Somewhat of a troubled child, she managed to grow away from the negative influence of her father to some extent by staying with Henrik, her great uncle. The two grew close, but Henrik was busy as CEO and didn't always have time for Harriet. The mystery of her disappearance still looms over Hedeby to this day.
Gunnar Nilsson - Caretaker of the Vanger estate, Nilsson has been with the family for years. He was only a teenager when Harriet disappeared. One of his favorite pastimes is hunting in the woods of Hedeby.
Anna Nygren - Henrik's housekeeper and maid. She has worked for him for years, and was there on the day of the family reunion--in fact, she may have been one of the last to see Harriet alive.
Hans-Erik Wennerström - One of the most powerful men in Sweden, his Wennerström empire has countless arms extending into all aspects of the Swedish economy. He does not take kindly to Blomkvist's accusations of fraud, and begins using his considerable influence to drive advertising revenue away from his magazine Millennium.
Pernilla Blomkvist - Mikael's daughter spends most of her time with her mother. In recent visits, he notices that Pernilla has begun to become religious. This causes him to reflect unhappily on the state of their relationship, wondering if she is not getting all the support she needs.
Actress Rooney Mara first worked with director David Fincher in The Social Network, playing the ex-girlfriend of computer whiz Mark Zuckerberg. Prior to auditioning for the role of Lisbeth Salander she had only seen the Swedish film, but once she caught wind of the casting crew's genuine interest in her, she read all three book by Stieg Larsson and became more invested in getting the part herself. The role of Lisbeth drew attention from many actresses, including Scarlett Johansson, Emma Watson, Ellen Page, and Carey Mulligan. After multiple screen tests Fincher became insistent on casting Mara, despite protests by the studio that she was too unassuming for the part.
In order to transform herself into Lisbeth Salander, Rooney chopped off most of her hair, got multiple piercings in her ears, lips, and nose, and also pierced and bleached her eyebrows. See her recount the process in this interview.
According to The Playlist, Fincher reportedly had a struggle with Sony over the length of the final theatrical cut. Fincher was adamant about releasing his three-hour cut of the film, while Sony wanted nothing over 2 hours and 20 minutes.
The film was shot in multiple locations around Sweden, Switzerland, and Los Angeles.
An extensive viral marketing campaign was run for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. On the film's official site, three other pages are linked to: Mouth Taped Shut,What is Hidden in Snow, and Comes Forth in the Thaw. These three sites were used in a world-wide scavenger hunt in which players could find exclusive one-of-a-kind props which were used in the shooting of the film.
New media would periodically be posted on mouth-taped-shut.com, most often an image which could range from a cryptic shot of a location related to the film to a behind-the-scenes production shot. Each of these posts contained a clue to a word or phrase. Once deciphered, this phrase revealed a domain name to add to whatishiddeninsnow.com. One example was a post which featured grainy super-8 video footage of the truck accident which is central to the film's plot. One of the cars in the video had a license plate which spelled "glance" backwards. This led players to the answer "backwards glance", which could be used to find the url (whatishiddeninsnow.com/backwardsglance).
Once the proper "/clue" was entered, players were taken to a page with GPS coordinates and a countdown timer. The first person to reach the specified location would find a package containing a unique item from the film, along with a card of authenticity signed by David Fincher. Packages were spread far and wide, in locations such as Canada, Sweden, Australia, and the United States. All items discovered have been recorded on the main What is Hidden in Snow webpage, along with their location and, in some cases, a photo of the person who made the discovery.
Items found included Lisbeth Salander's bike helmet, Harriet Vanger's diary, Lisbeth's leather jacket, a vhs tape containing simulated tabloid footage covering the disappearance of Harriet, and forty of the framed plants which, in the film, are sent to Henrik Vanger every year on his birthday.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross scored The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, following up their oscar-winning soundtrack for Fincher's previous film, The Social Network. Reznor and Ross collaborated with singer Karen O to create a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song", which is featured in the film's teaser trailer.
On December 1st the official track list for the soundtrack was revealed, and a six-song sampler was made available for free download here. The full album was released digitally on December 9th, 2011. The release consists of 39 tracks over three discs, clocking it at just under three hours in length.
Trailer 2: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Second, lengthy trailer for Fincher's new adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel.
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