You’ve probably seen the first official photos from W magazine of Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander that went around the internet earlier this week. Well, attached to those photos is an eight page article about the career of director David Fincher, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at his upcoming adaptation of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”. Even if you think you’ve read everything you can stomach about “The Social Network” at this point, Fincher still offers up a few choice, provocative quotes about his Oscar contending film, saying that basically, critics who have fawned over his movie have gotten it wrong and that even in his own estimation it's just a "movie" not a "film."
"....on 'Social Network,' I didn’t really agree with the critics’ praise. It interested me that 'Social Network' was about friendships that dissolved through this thing that promised friendships, but I didn’t think we were ripping the lid off anything. The movie is true to a time and a kind of person, but I was never trying to turn a mirror on a generation,” Fincher said about the film. Assessing where the picture stands within his own canon of work, Fincher feels that "Zodiac" was thematically richer.
“It’s a little glib to be a film,” Fincher says. “Let’s hope we strove to get at something interesting, but 'Social Network' is not earth-shattering. 'Zodiac' was about murders that changed America. After the Zodiac killings in California, the Summer of Love was over. Suddenly, there was no more weed or pussy. People were hog-tied and died. No one died during the creation of Facebook. By my estimation, the person who made out the worst in the creation of Facebook still made more than 30 million dollars. And no one was killed.” Certainly, Fincher is being slightly facetious or humble in his own unique way, but it does back up what some of us around the site have been saying about the film. It's grand entertainment, not necessarily great cinema.
The article also brings a particularly interesting bit of news for “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” -- the film’s ending has been changed from the book. It states, “the script, which captures the novel’s bleak tone (its original Swedish title was 'Men Who Hate Women'), was written by Academy Award winner Steven Zaillian, who wrote 'Schindler’s List,' and it departs rather dramatically from the book. Blomkvist is less promiscuous, Salander is more aggressive, and, most notably, the ending—the resolution of the drama—has been completely changed. This may be sacrilege to some, but Zaillian has improved on Larsson—the script’s ending is more interesting.”
That’s certainly good news for anyone who wasn’t a fan of the original film (or book), though there’s no telling whether this might upset the 50 million people who have read, re-read and suggested the book to friends. It's a fairly big gamble to mess with the ending of a book that has become a worldwide sensation, but before Stieg Larsson fans cry foul it shouldn't really need to be said that film is a different medium and what plays out well in a book, doesn't necessarily work on screen. We think Zaillian and Fincher know enough to still do justice to the characters and story, while making it come together for what promises to be the first hard-R, adult drama blockbuster to be released in a while. Guess we'll see how it all plays out.
If you didn’t know already, “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” will hit theaters December 21, 2011. -Cory Everett