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IT'S THE BOOZE TALKIN': Wait for David Fincher before doing the rest of the Dragon Tattoo series

Jan. 17, 2012by: Ammon Gilbert

I’m a big fan of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as well as the rest of the Millennium series (The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) as they’re entertaining reads, mostly well-written, and feverishly paced thrillers that knows how to keep the pages turning at break-neck speeds. That said, I’ve never seen the Swedish film adaptations, making my only taste of Larsson’s story hitting the big screen is David Fincher’s vision of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, and boy what a vision it is, nailing the adaptation in all the right places. While it wasn’t a huge success at the box office, word on the street is that Sony has greenlit the other two films to be made back-to-back (they’re essentially the same story broken into two books, so that makes sense) with all cast members returning, except official confirmation that Fincher will be back. WTF?

Why oh why would they make the rest of the series without Fincher at the helm is behind me, but according to the latest news (HERE), Fincher hasn’t been confirmed (nor denied) that he’ll be returning to the world Larsson created and that he so masterfully put on the big screen. Having another director on board can’t happen. I mean, yeah, it could happen, and since Sony is eager as all get-out to get the damn films made ASAP, it probably will happen, but holy hell, it sure as shite shouldn’t happen! Throwing in another director certainly won’t do the world, tone, and visual style that Fincher already established to the series any good, but most importantly, they won’t do the film’s cast any good either.

I’m not saying that Daniel Craig isn’t a good actor, but… his performance in DREAM HOUSE is atrocious. He single-handedly killed his acting career (in my book, anyway), and if it wasn’t for DRAGON TATTOO, I’d probably write his ass off completely. Bond or no Bond, he sucked heated buttholes in DREAM HOUSE, so much so that he shouldn’t have been allowed to act again. But Fincher saw something else in Craig and Craig seemed to respond to Fincher’s directions, knocking his portrayal of Mikael Blomkvist out of the park and then some. Sure, it’s not an Oscar-worthy performance by any stretch, but it was perfect for the role and for the context for the film. I’d hate to think what Craig would do if Fincher wasn’t there to guide him as Blomkvist—what if whoever they decide could replace Fincher is the same cornhole who managed to get Craig’s worst performance ever? Then where would we be? We’d be f*cked, that’s where.

Then there’s Rooney Mara. In 2010, Mara portrayed Nancy in the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET remake, and while there were plenty of things wrong with that movie, Mara was the worst part of it. Her performance as Nancy was horrendous. She was boring, she lacked emotion, she lacked anything and everything that would have made her a believable heroine, and most of all, she seemed to have left what little acting chops she had at the door. Honestly, if she never acted again after NIGHTMARE, I thought the world would have been a better place. But then… Fincher cast her in THE SOCIAL NETWORK and she brought her A game, delivering a fine performance—but not nearly as fine as her take of Lisbeth Salander in DRAGON TATTOO. Fincher somehow squeezed the performance of a lifetime out of her—a performance that made me forget that this is the chick that sucked so much ass as Nancy in NOES. She transformed herself into the complicated hacker and revealed to the world that not only is she a good actor—but maybe one of the best working today.

And who’s to thank for that performance. Some would say, thank Mara herself. F*ck that. I’m thanking Fincher and his ability to direct the shit out of actors and make them realize their full potential. And this is why he needs to come back to the series and direct the final two films. With Craig and Mara both returning, I’d hate to see what some other director, no matter how talented, will be able to get out of those two. Sure, they have the ground work in the characters as laid by Fincher, but after a few years, that shit will fade. And then what? The stars of DREAM HOUSE and NOES will return together again and make a two-part film that everyone will wish they never did in the first place. But you throw Fincher in the mix and you have a two-part film that will likely not only rock, but may even contribute to one of the best trilogies of all time, right up there with LORD OF THE RINGS.

Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but Sony needs to do all they can to get David Fincher back on board for THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE and THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST. I don’t care if that means waiting a year or two after Fincher’s other obligations are done and over with, or if that means throwing the guy an extra couple million to make the project seem all that more appealing. But it needs to happen. Craig needs him, Mara needs him, and goddamnit, we need him! As a fan of the books, I can tell you that Fincher has the talent to bring Larsson’s vision to the big screen like no other director can. He can make it dark, make it gritty, and provide a style that might be imitated—but never duplicated. Fincher’s the shit, yo. Bring him back and let him show us how it’s done.

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12:21AM on 01/17/2012
While the swedish films of the books are very good they change so much of the plot of the books. I was surprised how much was changed yet even more surrised how faithful Fincher's version was to the book. That being said I can't see another director taking over the task of making the rest of the trilogy. I believe another director would dumb it down & buy into studio demands, something Fincher has never done, he fights for what he wants. One final point, check the latest grosses, DRagon
While the swedish films of the books are very good they change so much of the plot of the books. I was surprised how much was changed yet even more surrised how faithful Fincher's version was to the book. That being said I can't see another director taking over the task of making the rest of the trilogy. I believe another director would dumb it down & buy into studio demands, something Fincher has never done, he fights for what he wants. One final point, check the latest grosses, DRagon Tattoo is about 12 mil away from a solid $100 mil gross, i hardly would call that not disappointing.
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1:40AM on 01/17/2012
Couldn't have said it better myself. I don't care how many extra years it's gonna take, Fincher NEEDS to be there to complete the story he has started.
Couldn't have said it better myself. I don't care how many extra years it's gonna take, Fincher NEEDS to be there to complete the story he has started.
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6:03AM on 01/17/2012
**SPOILER ALERT**
I agree. Fincher started Dragon Tattoo series in an awesome fashion. But I'm going to defend Craig in Dream House here. I'd say the movie was mis-marketed. **SPOILER ALERT** I felt like I got slapped in the face when the twist was revealed. But given what the script had for him, I believe he did his best.
**SPOILER ALERT**
I agree. Fincher started Dragon Tattoo series in an awesome fashion. But I'm going to defend Craig in Dream House here. I'd say the movie was mis-marketed. **SPOILER ALERT** I felt like I got slapped in the face when the twist was revealed. But given what the script had for him, I believe he did his best.
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6:12AM on 01/17/2012

Note...

Daniel Craig did not single handedly kill off his acting career with one lousy film... it was a bad film, no more, no more less, every single actor ever has made a bad film and I think what you wrote about him was WAY too harsh. He's always been a solid actor, Bond or no Bond, with films like Layer Cake and Defiance backing that up.
Daniel Craig did not single handedly kill off his acting career with one lousy film... it was a bad film, no more, no more less, every single actor ever has made a bad film and I think what you wrote about him was WAY too harsh. He's always been a solid actor, Bond or no Bond, with films like Layer Cake and Defiance backing that up.
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6:57AM on 01/17/2012

Agreed that Fincher needs to do the rest of the series but...

...don't go over the top about Daniel Craig and Dreamhouse. Jim Sheridan, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts are all very talented people that did mediocre work in that film, in all respect from what I've read that whole production was a miserable mess and an unpleasent time for all involved, so its not really fair to write Craig off as an actor who needs Fincher to steer him. Just look at Craig's pre-Bond work like "Road to Perdition", "Layer Cake"or his bit part in "The Jacket" to see proof the
...don't go over the top about Daniel Craig and Dreamhouse. Jim Sheridan, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts are all very talented people that did mediocre work in that film, in all respect from what I've read that whole production was a miserable mess and an unpleasent time for all involved, so its not really fair to write Craig off as an actor who needs Fincher to steer him. Just look at Craig's pre-Bond work like "Road to Perdition", "Layer Cake"or his bit part in "The Jacket" to see proof the dude is a strong actor on all fronts. Then again maybe i shouldn't take you so seriously, its just the booze talking after all.
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11:36AM on 01/17/2012
I'm gonna play Devil's advocate a little here. The world of Stieg Larsson's books is well-documented to the point where I think there are a handful of directors who could work wonders in adapting it properly. Having said that, Fincher does have a definite way, particularly with camera movements and editing, of keeping the momentum up where some directors might let a scene stew for too long. Daniel Craig is a fine actor I have yet to see give a bad performance (I missed, or rather, didn't miss
I'm gonna play Devil's advocate a little here. The world of Stieg Larsson's books is well-documented to the point where I think there are a handful of directors who could work wonders in adapting it properly. Having said that, Fincher does have a definite way, particularly with camera movements and editing, of keeping the momentum up where some directors might let a scene stew for too long. Daniel Craig is a fine actor I have yet to see give a bad performance (I missed, or rather, didn't miss "Dream House"). I still think Michael Nyqvist was a better Blomqvist, but, shockingly enough, Rooney Mara embodied Lisbeth in a way Noomi Rapace didn't, I give much credit to her slight figure, as well as being one of the few actors not to drop her accent. I believe Mara needs Fincher more than anyone, as he's really the reason her career has shown a hint of longevity. She's even beginning to eclipse her sister, which is as surprising as anything. But I think they need to move quickly because she won't look so young much longer. But yeah, having David Fincher onboard is definitely ideal.
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2:47AM on 01/18/2012
was with you all the way to eclipsing [link]
was with you all the way to eclipsing [link]
+2
3:11PM on 01/17/2012

Totally agree to wait for Fincher...

but some of your comments are a little harsh. To each their own but I just watched Dream House last night. Maybe it was the bad word of mouth and reviews that I expected very little but I ended up kinda liking it. It wasnt by any stretch a great film or memorable but it was an OK watch when i had nowt else to watch. You could tell a much better film was planned and ruined during production. A great cast really wasted (especially Watts in that nothing role and Koteas - why was he even cast?),
but some of your comments are a little harsh. To each their own but I just watched Dream House last night. Maybe it was the bad word of mouth and reviews that I expected very little but I ended up kinda liking it. It wasnt by any stretch a great film or memorable but it was an OK watch when i had nowt else to watch. You could tell a much better film was planned and ruined during production. A great cast really wasted (especially Watts in that nothing role and Koteas - why was he even cast?), but still an OK movie to kill the time. I agree with the comments below that it was completely mis-marketed though at the same time I don't think that would have helped. It certainly wasn't the movie I was expecting to watch - and that was without seeing the trailers as thankfully I heeded the warning that the big twist was revealed in it.
By all account it wasn't a pleasant experience filming due to studio interference I(will they ever learn?)and all involved disowned it and it whimpered out on release so it didnt bomb in the way that it could damage anyone's career. it wasn't a "risky movie" in that sense either.
Anyway apart from some rather harsh - and Im assuming booze influenced - comments, nice article.
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3:26PM on 01/17/2012

THANK YOU

Thank you, I couldn't agree more. I saw most of the Swedish film and it's great but this version is so much better. Craig as Blomkvist was so much better than the other guy. He needs to finish what he started, send this to him or his agency ASAP. I love you mentioned LOTR because I kept telling people this could be Fincher's LOTR. I have the exact same feeling with this that I had with TDK, if he wants to do the in between film by all means go ahead but confirm you're coming back, that's all I
Thank you, I couldn't agree more. I saw most of the Swedish film and it's great but this version is so much better. Craig as Blomkvist was so much better than the other guy. He needs to finish what he started, send this to him or his agency ASAP. I love you mentioned LOTR because I kept telling people this could be Fincher's LOTR. I have the exact same feeling with this that I had with TDK, if he wants to do the in between film by all means go ahead but confirm you're coming back, that's all I need for right now. I hate doing films back-to-back but this actually works because of the books. Please Fincher, don't be an idiot. Come back!
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+3
4:25PM on 01/17/2012
Well, this is smart sound thinking..

all thats left is for Sony to actually do it? will they? who knows? Always nice to speculate on what should happen.

Heres Hoping
Well, this is smart sound thinking..

all thats left is for Sony to actually do it? will they? who knows? Always nice to speculate on what should happen.

Heres Hoping
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+8
9:26PM on 01/17/2012

As others on here have been saying...

I think you're kind of out of line with your comments about Craig. "Dream House" was a bad movie, but he wasn't what was wrong with it. Have you not seen him in anything else? Like "Layer Cake"? Or "Munich"? Or "Infamous"? Or as James Bond? He's a terrific actor, and he doesn't "need Fincher" in order to give a good performance. That said, I would love to have Fincher come back and direct the rest of the trilogy.
I think you're kind of out of line with your comments about Craig. "Dream House" was a bad movie, but he wasn't what was wrong with it. Have you not seen him in anything else? Like "Layer Cake"? Or "Munich"? Or "Infamous"? Or as James Bond? He's a terrific actor, and he doesn't "need Fincher" in order to give a good performance. That said, I would love to have Fincher come back and direct the rest of the trilogy.
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2:42AM on 01/18/2012
feverishly fast paced thrillers? the second and third books? really? you havent read them have you?
feverishly fast paced thrillers? the second and third books? really? you havent read them have you?
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11:17PM on 01/18/2012
You don\'t think that the second book is fast paced? From murders, to biker gangs, to kidnapings, and more murder.. the second book is almost non stop? Its the 3rd instalment thats the slow, but intense court room drama.
You don\'t think that the second book is fast paced? From murders, to biker gangs, to kidnapings, and more murder.. the second book is almost non stop? Its the 3rd instalment thats the slow, but intense court room drama.
5:15PM on 01/24/2012

AGREE

You know, I've been begging my wife to go see this with me - finally this past weekend she did. That probably wasn't the smartest idea by me cause the two "scenes" alone cost me "plenty" for a few weeks I'm sure. I didn't really think I was a Fincher fan until that movie was over and realized what a genius he really just might be. Make the sequels, make them soon, but PLEASE make them with Fincher.
You know, I've been begging my wife to go see this with me - finally this past weekend she did. That probably wasn't the smartest idea by me cause the two "scenes" alone cost me "plenty" for a few weeks I'm sure. I didn't really think I was a Fincher fan until that movie was over and realized what a genius he really just might be. Make the sequels, make them soon, but PLEASE make them with Fincher.
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