Lisbeth Salander and Millennium by Hollywood – So Why am I Not Excited?

by Peter

The news about the supposedly great Hollywood remake of The Girl With the Dragoon Tattoo keep pouring in. And I have to admit that I am interested. I actually seek them out. But don’t get me wrong – I am interested but not the least excited.

Yesterday I read in PopcornBiz (how appropriate) that David Fincher would sacrifice “Pawn” for “Dragon Tattoo”. That is, instead of his planned movie about the mad chess genius Bobby Fischer he will first make the movie about That Girl With the Dragoon Tattoo. I am not able to see how Fight Club and Benjamin Button, or for that matter Bobby Fischer-plans should make me feel confident he can make a Scandinavian thriller? Rather the opposite!

Repace and Stewart

Then, today, I read in VG that Kristen Stewart is a distinct possibility for the role of Lisbeth Salander (see picture). Do you already understand why I am interested by not excited? Does she look like a Goth? A hacker?

Well. A couple of weeks ago I watched another Hollywood movie about another superb Scandinavian crime fiction book. One of the best ever, The Laughing Policeman, by Sjowall and Wahloo in my opinion. The wonderful and Edgar-winning novel The Laughing Policeman, by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. And the movie I watched was the Hollywood movie with the same name – The Laughing Policeman. An old movie, from the 70s – 1973. Featuring Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern, and Louis Gossett Jr. And it was so bad! And so totally wrong!

There was nothing Sjöwall and Wahlöö at all. Filmed in San Francisco, with American houses and streets, and big American cars. And with Walther Matthau chewing gum as only Matthau can, instead of Martin Beck. Made by producers with no sense of Sweden, directed by a guy with seemingly no sense of cultural differences, played by actors looking American and probably having not a single clue about how Swedes behave, dress and speak. All sense of time and place was completely gone. And the movie totally violated the book!

The Laughing Policeman

So, I am interested but not at all excited. Rather the opposite. I feel more or less as I would have felt if it had been Bollywood that had bought the rights and would make the movie in New Dehli starring a local Indian-version Goth.

I assume that I will continue to read the news. And wait for the Hollywood destruction of yet another foreign book. But I will not be excited. While we all wait, I recommend that you go and watch the Swedish version. It is Swedish. It feels right.

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