Niels Arden Oplev says that Noomi Rapace, star of his original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,
should not be overlooked as Stieg Larsson's heroine
hacker Lisbeth Salander
The director of the original Swedish adaptation of the bestselling novel The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo has laid into the forthcoming Hollywood remake.
Niels Arden Oplev, who filmed the first film in the trilogy based on Stieg Larsson's hugely successful Millennium series, said he was angry that his lead actor, Noomi Rapace, faced being overlooked as the true face of the novels' protagonist, hacker Lisbeth Salander. Oplev also hinted that the Hollywood version, set to be directed by David Fincher, would be unlikely to hold a candle to his own film, comparing the still-in-production feature to 1993's poorly received The Assassin, a US remake of Luc Besson's French film La Femme Nikita from three years earlier.
"The only thing that's annoying to me is that the Sony PR machine
is trying to make their Lisbeth Salander the lead Lisbeth Salander,"
"That's highly unfair because Noomi has captured this part and
it should always be all her. That's her legacy in a way
I can't see anyone competing with.
"I hope she gets nominated for an Oscar. I know a lot of Academy members have seen the film and liked it because every time I go to LA I meet so many people who have seen my version of it. Even in Hollywood there seems to be a kind of anger about the remake, like, 'Why would they remake something when they can just go see the original?' Everybody who loves film will go see the original one.
"It's like, what do you want to see, the French version of La Femme Nikita or the American one? You can hope that Fincher does a better job."
Fincher has reportedly signed on to direct all three films in the Millennium trilogy, with The Social Network's Rooney Mara as his Salander. James Bond star Daniel Craig will play the other central role of crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist, with Hollywood luminaries such as Robin Wright, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, Joely Richardson and Steven Berkoff also joining the cast. Oscar-winning screenwriter Steve Zaillian has written the screenplay.
Intriguingly, Fincher's version is currently being shot in Sweden, and the film-maker does not seem to have anglicised the names of his main characters. The film is expected to be released on 21 December 2011. AMEN