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Lisbeth Salander: Next Generation Bond or Holmes?

by Anne Thompson
August 15, 2010 10:05 AM
6 Comments
  • |
Thompson on Hollywood

Amid all the hubbub over the casting of Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander in the Hollywood film version of the Millenium Trilogy, David Chute delivers a compelling argument for why Salander is a defining character for the ages. We shouldn't fuss over the different movies, Swedish or American, he asserts, because there will be more versions to come, ala James Bond, or yes, Sherlock Holmes:

Fans should not be too quick to denounce as greed-heads Hollywood producers who envision the "Girl" series as a potential mystery/action franchise, one that could carry on telling new stories indefinitely -- not when their inspiration could turn out to be the drafts and outlines for seven additional books left behind on the legendary laptop. That it was Larsson's plan, in the first instance to write a long series about Blomkvist and Salander isn't necessarily the best argument in its favor. A jaded author might not be the best judge of the richness of his own creations; more likely than his readers to regard them simply as puppets. Perhaps we should feel grateful in a way, that it hasn't yet come to that. It may seem morbid to say so, but like an actor or singer who dies young, with his or her legend untarnished, who never gets fat or loses his hair, the Millennium Trilogy stands now as an origin story that has not been diminished for us in retrospect by "going to series" and being boiled down to a formula.

In short, Salander is a keeper.

6 Comments

  • DChute | August 16, 2010 12:55 PMReply

    The point I thought I was making in the essay was that some roles are rich enough to produce interesting results even when they are "miscast." That South African punk rocker was the only named cnadidate who looked anything like my mental image of Salander -- but it isn't my mental image that will shape the film, it's Fincher's. If it was an act of miscasting that brought Noomi Rapace into our lives, more power to it. All movies should so well miscast.

  • Anne Thompson | August 16, 2010 11:26 AMReply

    Johansson was so not right for the role; too obviously luscious.

  • NY Post story was a Plant | August 16, 2010 8:24 AMReply

    That NYP story was just a stroke for Scarlett so she wouldn't hate the studio or Fincher. I laughed when I read it, it was so obviously a lie, driven by Fox, through a lapdog Murdoch organ.

  • The Pope | August 16, 2010 5:48 AMReply

    And now I can heave a sigh of relief. According to some sites, Rooney Mara has landed the role of Lisbeth Salander.

  • The Pope | August 16, 2010 4:51 AMReply

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scarlett Johansson may be very close to landing the role. They write that she auditioned last week and Fincher was very impressed. I think she is an actress of limited (but enjoyable) ability, but more than that I have a lot of faith in Fincher. I don't think he has mis-cast a role in any one of his films since Sean Penn in The Game (and I think that was because of a rewrite changing the character from originally a daughter [Jodie Foster?] to a brother). Fingers crossed his instincts are still in tune.

  • Brian | August 16, 2010 3:00 AMReply

    From that header, I thought Katie Holmes was up for the role. Don't scare me like that.

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