I'm honestly a little surprised it has taken this long for an American studio to buy the rights to Stieg Larrson's thriller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It's hard to walk into most book stores - and impossible if it happens to be an airport bookstore you've strolled into - and not notice the yellow cover shouting at you in its vibrant ways. I guess someone at Sony finally got tired of having friends recommend the book to them, as they've begun locking down the legal that will allow them to move forward with an English-language film adaptation.
That last bit of qualification is important to pay attention to, as the Swedish studio Yellow Bird has already produced and released film adaptations of Larrson's the Millennium trilogy; The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (or as it is known in its homeland, The Men Who Hate Women), The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. All three were released this year in Sweden and other European territories to considerable acclaim. And though it looks like this initial Sony deal is only for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I am willing to bet they end up making all three. The Swedish trilogy are three of the most popular films to ever be released in the region, Dragon Tattoo being the most popular, and it's easy to see why. It's got both a great, very adult premise about an activist-journalist who, aided by a mysterious hacker, is hired to investigate the disappearance of a girl who went missing decades prior, and a great cast. Noomi Rapace, who plays the titular tattooed girl Lisbeth Salander, looks like a Suicide Girl version of Kristen Bell and absolutely kills it in a role I feel safe saying will soon become one of the most sought after gigs in Hollywood, as strong, complicated, taken-no-prisoners roles for women are practically one-in-a-million in the studio system.
Personally, I wish the producers would hand the role to Bell, as Lisbeth Salander is essentially Veronica Mars if she had an even rougher time growing up, but only time will tell who they cast. No writers or directors have been tapped yet, but if the two producers from Yellow Bird responsible for the three Swedish films carrying over to the English-language adaptation get their say, I think audiences will be in for a treat.
And if you'd like to catch the original films before they get all Americanized, the DVDs and Blu-rays are easily imported here, though only the first two films are currently available for purchase. Might not have time to ship them stateside before Christmas, but they'll be a pleasant surprise for any unsuspecting Dragon Tattoo fans.