By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 11, 2009 at 11:13AM
As I speed through the second installment of the late Swedish author Steig Larsson's global bestseller, the Millenium Trilogy, Music Box Films is considering a U.S. release of the Swedish crime thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which has grossed almost $100 million worldwide to date. (Here's Variety's review. The trailer is on the jump.)
While interest is high in an English-language remake, because Larsson left no will when he died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 2004 at age 50, his family has tussled with his common-law wife of 30 years, who hung onto the laptop holding his unfinished sequel to the trilogy. They have accused her of blocking the sale of remake rights.
While I am eager to see the Swedish film, I want to watch the subtitled version, not an English-language dub.
Most Americans are too sophisticated to put up with dubbed foreign films. High Tension and Pinocchio are two examples of dubbed foreign films that flopped at the box office. When Miramax planned to release an dubbed version of Shaolin Soccer in the U.S., the English-dubbed version didn't test well, so Miramax finally released Shaolin Soccer with its original Cantonese dialogue.
There's plenty of evidence to show that American audiences are willing to put up with subtitles when they want to see a movie badly enough, from Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto to La Vie en Rose, Pan's Labyrinth and Inglourious Basterds, which despite its French, German, and Italian dialogue, still grossed more than $100 million stateside. (While Quentin Tarantino had been rumored to be interested in an American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, his reps denied it.)