Danish director Niels Arden Oplev’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Men Who Hate Women or Män som hatar kvinnor at home) - part one of Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s Millennium thriller trilogy - could set box-office records with its hotly anticipated opening today in Sweden and Denmark.
Danish major Nordisk Filmis releasing the production by Sweden’sYellow Bird on 166 prints in Sweden, 102 inDenmark, to be followed by 86 in Norway (on March 13) and 15 in Finland (March 27).
‘The interest before the opening has been enormous, not even matched by Arn: The Knight Templar (Arn-Tempelriddaren), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,’ said managing director Pia Grünler, of Nordisk Film Distribution Sweden.
‘We are showing the film in 130 cities, and numerous theatres were simply sold out last night. The book has sold more than three million copies in Sweden, and cinema audiences seem to follow up on this,’ she added.
In Denmark the moviehas alredy registered more than 40,000 admissions at preview screenings. Itstars Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace as investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his partner, the dysfunctional IT hacker Lisbeth Salander.
However, whether it becomes a pan-Scandinavian blockbuster or not, the remaining parts of the trilogy, The Girl Who Played with the Fire (Flickan som lekte med elden) and The Air Castle That Blew Up (Loftslottet som sprängdes - The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest in English), both directed by Daniel Alfredsson, are not likely to reach the big screen.
When Yellow Bird producer Søren Stærmose packaged the production, the overwhelming success of the Larsson books was yet to fully break, so the deal with Swedish state television, SVT, and Germany’s ZDF Enterprises stated that only Men Who Hate Women should be theatrically distributed.
The following two parts will solely be released on DVD and aired on television. ‘SVT and ZDF paid for the production - this is the contract. We work for our viewers, and for our viewers’ money; cinema is not our role,’ SVT executive producer-head of drama Gunnar Carlsson told TT Spektra.
At 50, Stieg Larsson himself died from a cardiac arrest in November 2004, shortly after he had delivered the scripts for the Millennium Trilogy to Norstedt Publishing, and long before Volume One was issued. Chief editor of the Expo magazine, writing against right-wing radicalism and racism, Larsson had planned 10 books about the Blomkvist-Salander team.
Just prior to the launch of the first film from the series, Danish producers Helle Winther Remfeldt and Helle Ulsteen, of Kamoli Films, signed an exclusive deal with Larsson’s widow, Eva Gabrielsson, to produce an international biopic on the author, Stieg Larsson - Untitled.
‘His own life was full of drama, and it continued after his sudden and untimely death,’ said Remfeldt and Ulsteen, who have contracted Polish-Swedish editor and director Michal Leszczylowski to supervise the project. Editor of 50 films, including Lukas Moodysson titles, Leszczylowski made Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky (Regi Andrej Tarkovskij).