Claire Foy and Fede Alvarez reveal footage of The Girl in the Spider's Web

Do you remember the first time you saw THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO? For me, I was fascinated by director Niels Arden Oplev’s dark and mysterious Millennium trilogy - based on the books by Stieg Larsson. As well, Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander was a revelation. Her performance and that character stayed with me long after. In fact, when the Americanized version featuring Rooney Mara arrived with David Fincher at the helm, I was thrilled to see a return. After that of course, many fans were disappointed to see that the characters did not return for the scheduled remake of THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE and THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST.  Especially for those like myself who thoroughly enjoyed the original trilogy.

Now, in 2018, we are finally getting another feature about the mysterious computer hacker named Lisbeth Salander. This time, we have Fede Alvarez, the man behind DON’T BREATH, at the helm. His leading lady happens to be the incredibly talented, and current Emmy winner, Claire Foy [The Crown]. THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB is essentially a reboot, one that takes Lisbeth Salander and gives her a new story involving a twin played by Sylvia Hoeks. With the new trailer, I’ve once again found myself looking forward to following her into that haunting and vengeful world. And recently, a few journalists had the opportunity to get a sneak preview of the latest feature.

From the very first scene, it was clear that this is Fede’s work. The filmmaker's style is unmistakable, and it works especially well with this material. In the opening of the twenty minute presentation, there was an incredible sequence where we meet a man that seems to have an issue when it comes to hurting his wife. The opening shot is absolutely inventive, and the reveals to come work beautifully. The first time we see his battered wife on the floor of the kitchen is after one long shot moving atop the counter, one that ultimately pulls down to the floor where she is cowering. However, things get really tasty with the reveal of Lisbeth waiting to teach this man a lesson.

The twenty minutes of footage we were shown took place early on the the film, so it's safe to say that the trailer revealed more of the main plot. However, what we did see is the offer of a job for Lisbeth and the ultimate attack on her once she accepts it. In yet another brilliant sequence, a group of men break into her flat in an attempt to do her harm. Narrowly, she is able to lock herself away in a safe room. Once the thugs leave and she steps out, she realizes that the danger is far from over. In an effort to get rid of her for good, they set off an explosion with her still inside. Her survival in the scene by jumping into a tub filled with water, and her ultimate escape is phenomenal. It is a gorgeous sequence which leads to a fantastic motorcycle chase after she seemingly has been framed. You can see part of it in the trailer as she is driving her bike across an ice covered body of water. Now that was something to see!

Fede has a way of creating something that is visually enticing inside a dark and grim world. While we weren’t shown much in the way of the main plot, which according to the recent trailer has something to do with her twin, we were shown a thrilling twenty minutes of action and intrigue and yes, that twenty minute presentation moved at a lightning pace. Afterwards, both Claire Foy and Fede Alvarez stopped by to discuss why they chose to be involved in the return of Lisbeth, taking on such an iconic role and even how this story fits in todays world. Here are a few highlights…

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On why he chose to take on this project.

Fede Alvarez: I was a big fan of the Swedish movies and the Fincher movie, and it was like, I’d love to play in that playground. At the end of the day, for me at least, that is what this is all about, if there are characters and a playground I want to spend a lot of time in. That’s why I was interested. And they allowed me to be a writer on it which usually allows me to take it to a little more of the themes that were more personal to me. The books usually have many, many themes. When you condense them down to two hours you pick the ones that are relevant to you, and then you obviously have to find someone that would agree that the themes were interesting. That was kind of the first conversation we had with Claire [Foy] and there would be no movie without her.

The intensity of playing a role like Lisbeth Salander.

Claire Foy: I was never really worried about the intensity of it. Or the kind of inherent energy of that character and how she is, and the aggression or rage that she appears to have and that really never bothered me. Here’s the thing, I’m a very rage-ful and vengeful person [Laughing]. No, that’s just something I got, I understood what she was fighting against, both in herself and outside. That was the thing that I understood about the character that made me want to play it and made me want to have my own go at portraying that. But for me it was making a film like this, which required me to do things as an actor that I had never been asked to do before.

On her characters sexuality.

CF: I think the thing that I love about her so much is her unwillingness to be identified in any particular way. She rejects any labeling, anything that society wants to put on her, or anyone else wants to put on her. She lives entirely as herself. Therefore she will seek pleasure where she seeks pleasure, whether that’s with a man or a woman, or on her own. She has absolutely no judgement or ability to identify with other people in that way. And therefore she treats other people like that as well, which means that she is incredibly open. Somebody who you’d think looks a particular way would be a particular type of person, she just is not at all. And I think we could do with more people who are up and open to absolutely everything and therefore accept that in other people as well. I do find what was so important about that - and me and Fede spoke on it as well - that it doesn’t become like a cliche or a sort of tool by which to say this person has sex with women - she’s a woman - and therefore that tells you something about her. And I don’t think that that’s true.

How the story ended up placing the focus on Lisbeth instead of Blomkvist.

FA: The first conversations we had with the producers about this movie were who is she in this movie. The main thing you’ll notice is in this twenty minutes is that this is the first movie that is about her. All the other movies were Mikael Blomkvist story. He’s the guy you can relate to. It’s harder to relate to her, naturally because she is so different from you. She’s always the character that you follow, and Blomkvist is always trying to chase behind her. Then you cut to her to find out what she is doing. In all the books and the movies that have been made it is that character, and she is the unicorn. She is the magic character that you follow, but in the meantime everything is connected with Blomkvist. This is the first time that we dared to tell the story about her. He’s still a main character in the movie but it’s all about her.

When asked if they feel like they may become a face of the Me Too movement, Claire answered emphatically, “No. My God." She continued...

CF: It’s really interesting actually, because we were doing the prep while that was all going on. And I took great solace in the fact that this movie and the idea of it wasn’t jumping on  what would be seen as a bandwagon. The interest in Lisbeth has always been there, I think everyone has been able to identify with her. And like the Me Too movement, it’s not because its timely or its kind of suddenly in the zeitgeist and newsworthy, it’s always been there, it’s a reality. The difference is people are now listening and talking about it openly as opposed to just ignoring it. That’s the same with Lisbeth. And that is the interesting thing that I’d never even thought about now that she is the center of the film. Now you can trust an audience loving a difficult character. She’s not lovable. She’s not polite. She’s not pretty. She’s not everything that you think a female protagonist is supposed to be. She’s hard, and she makes really terrible, terrible decisions. And you don’t know if you can get behind a lot of them. And I think that is the interesting thing about it. And obviously she has survived abuse, and that’s just how I see her as a survivor. And if that means that represents a certain movement then that’s amazing, but she’s not a poster girl for it.

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THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB opens on November 9th at a theatre near you and I for one cannot wait. Are you looking forward to the return of Lisbeth Salander?

Source: JoBlo.com



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