Tuesday, July 13, 2010

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Casting Coup Tuesdays: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

When a book becomes a worldwide bestseller, it's only natural that Hollywood comes sniffing around to see what all the fuss is about. When the same book becomes a hit foreign film, Hollywood knows it can have better results without subtitles. And when David Fincher takes an interest, greenlight that baby, man, greenlight that!

I've never read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It's 600-plus page count is a little daunting, and I only tackle tomes like that once in a while (it's been four years since Atlas Shrugged, though that's admittedly longer). I have seen the highly-acclaimed Swedish film starring Noomi Rapace and directed by Niels Arden Oplev. There's much to admire about the film, like the story -- though that comes from the novel. And the lead actor, Michael Nyqvist, is pretty good. But otherwise, this is a film that needs a remake by a director as talented and amazing as David Fincher. It's pretty murky, it jumps around a lot, and it's almost irritatingly on the nose sometimes -- the original title in Sweden is Men Who Hate Women. So, yeah, I'd welcome a remake by someone dependable, subtle and clear-headed.

But I started hearing rumors of Brad Pitt, Kristen Stewart, Ellen Page, Natalie Portman...and all I could think was, "No, no, no, no, no!" Mr. Fincher, if I may interject here: I have some ideas of my own. One of these has been heavily rumored as well, but I want to point out that I had the idea first (my cousin and my roommate can confirm). Let my other brainstorms be known:


Who is He: Lisbeth's boss. He assigns her to get info on Mikael for the Vangers. So it's really his fault that she gets involved in the muckedy-muck.

Originally played by:
Michalis Koutsogiannakis (All It Takes is a Miracle, The Girl Who Played with Fire)

My Choice:
Peter Friedman (I Shot Andy Warhol, Someone Like You...)
Dragan only has one scene in the movie, but he's in the full trilogy. With a regular, you want someone dependable, one who could believably play a middle-aged bossman/father figure. Oh, hey-hey-hey, if it ain't Mr. Friedman, one of the best character actors working today!

Who is She: Mikael's editor and sometimes lover.

Originally played by:
Lena Endre (Jerusalem, Day and Night)

My Choice: Indie Spirit Winner for Best Supporting Actress (Lovely & Amazing)
Emily Mortimer (Shutter Island, Harry Brown)
Very awesome, talented actress, one I've watched with great interest since Scream 3. She looks great in a pants-suit, and I don't mean that like, "ooh, sexy", I mean that she seems smart and looks like a pro. So, if you need to cast someone as an attractive newspaper editor, why not get the great Mortimer?

Who is He: I think he's the parole officer in charge of Lisbeth Salander, though I guess in Sweden they call them "guardians". Nils is the new guy, one is not as understanding of Lisbeth as his predecessor. He is a grasping, corrupt, evil man who takes power over women through abuse and rape.

Originally played by:
Peter Andersson (Zero Tolerance, Mouth to Mouth)

My Choice:
Harry Enfield ("Harry Enfield and Chums", "Skins")
Though a comedian, in Marple: The Moving Finger, he showed a skeezier side. I guess that's all the reasoning I have. It feels right.

Who is He: A tech wiz who helps Lisbeth with her computer hackery. I'm pretty sure. He's also fat.

Originally played by:
Tomas Kohler (The Love Life of a Fat Thief, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest)

My Choice:
Jorge Garcia (The Good Humor Man, Deck the Halls)
He's large and a good actor. And, come on, he's going to need the work now that "Lost" is over. Could do worse than a Fincher-directed remake of a hit series.

Who is He: A corrupt businessman Michael investigates. Nothing to do with the main story, but gives the investigation a "ticking clock" to work against after Wennerstrom manages to get Mikael convicted of something or other.

Originally played by:
Stefan Sauk (At Point Blank, Dear Alice)

My Choice:
Zeljko Ivanek (Dogville, Live Free or Die Hard)
Have you seen "Damages"? He's AWESOME on that show.

Who is She: The one who can provide the most important clue of all.

Originally played by:
 Ewa Froling (Sally and Freedom, Fanny and Alexander)

My Choice: Academy Award Nominee for Best Actress (The Contender) and Best Supporting Actress (Nixon, The Crucible), BAFTA Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actress (The Crucible), Golden Globe Nominee for Best Actress in a Drama (The Contender) and Best Supporting Actress (The Crucible), Indie Spirit/SAG Award Nominee for Best Actress (The Contender), SAG Award Nominee for Best Actress and Best Ensemble (Nixon)
Joan Allen (Pleasantville, Bonneville)
It's a small but important role, so it needs an actress par excellence. An actress with great gravitas. An actress who can deliver a solid performance without vanity. Joan Allen.


Who is He: Vanger attorney and Henrik's friend. He's the one who gets Michael involved in the investigation of the forty-year-old disappearance of then-teenager Harriet Vanger.

Originally played by:
Ingvar Hirdwall (Let's Play House, Daybreak)

My Choice: Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (Chariots of Fire), BAFTA Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor (The Bofors Gun, Chariots of Fire), SAG Award Winner for Best Ensemble (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
Ian Holm (Henry V, Lord of War)
And now we get to the all-star aspect. Older gentleman, a real trustworthy type.

Who is She: Daughter of old hermit Harald Vanger, niece to Henrik, cousin of the missing Harriet.
Cecilia was close with Harriet, and the two of them briefly looked after Mikael. She seems to be attracted to Mikael, but he does not respond.

Originally played by:
Marika Lagercrantz (All Things Fair, I Wonder Who's Kissing You Now)

My Choice:
Kim Cattrall (Mannequin, The Bonfire of the Vanities)
I really liked her in The Ghost Writer. She's another well-known yet non-distracting actress. Right age and right talent.

Who is She: The sixteen-year-old favorite niece of Henrik who disappeared mysteriously forty years ago.

Originally played by:
Julia Sporre

My Choice: Indie Spirit Nominee for Best Supporting Actress (That Evening Sun)
Mia Wasikowksa (Defiance, Amelia)
Yeah, she'll do.

Who is He: The patriarch of the Vanger clan, he unofficially reopens the investigation behind the disappearance of his favorite niece. Henrik is a kind, old man, and the only one of his brothers not completely in love with Nazis. Now retired, he was the CEO of the Vanger Corporation.

Originally played by:
Sven-Bertil Taube (Jerusalem, London Voodoo)

My Choice: Academy Award/Golden Globe/Indie Spirit/SAG Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (The Last Station), SAG Award Nominee for Best Ensemble (A Beautiful Mind)
Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music, Dreamscape)
When I saw the movie, I immediately thought of Holm, my two leads, and Plummer. Plummer can play the controlled emotions. He can play the great grief in the private moments. He's an old pro, but he's in great shape.

Who is He: Current president of the Vanger Corporation. Harriet's brother. He and Mikael warm to each other, and he tries to get the other family members to cooperate.

Originally played by:
Peter Haber (Sommarmord, All It Takes is a Miracle)

My Choice: Golden Globe Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (Far From Heaven), Indie Spirit Winner for Best Actor (The Big Easy) and Best Supporting Actor (Far From Heaven), SAG Award Winner for Best Ensemble (Traffic)
Dennis Quaid (Dreamscape, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra)
A guy who always rocks when he stretches, and this role would put him through the wringer. And hell, I would see anything he's in.


Who is He: Journalist for, and publisher of, Millenium. He gets into trouble after investigating corrupt tycoon Hans-Erik Wennerstrom. Now he finds himself sleuthing alongside Lisbeth when Henrik asks him to find the truth behind a forty-year-old disappearance.

Originally played by:
Michael Nyqvist (Day and Night, London Voodoo)

My Choice: BAFTA Award Nominee for Best Actor (Casino Royale), Indie Spirit Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (Infamous)
Daniel Craig (The Mother, The Invasion)
He's got what Mikael needs: smart, middle-aged, and sexy. Not ridiculously sexy, but you can understand why ladies would go for him. He's an action star and a dramatic actor, meaning you're going to get a great performance no matter what he's doing.

Who is She: Bisexual computer hacker with a dark past. She helps Mikael find the truth behind Harriet's disappearance.

Originally played by:
Noomi Rapace (Bloodbrothers, Daisy Diamond)

My Choice:
Olivia Thirlby (Juno, Breaking Upwards)
Hear this. She's age-appropriate, but it wouldn't be creepy if she hooked up with Daniel Craig. She's beautiful, but you could totally see her doing the bad-ass thing without looking strange or acting mannered. And she's a phenomenal actress. She'd be my perfect Lisbeth Salander.


Unknown said...

I can attest to the fact that you called Daniel Craig, approximately 4 minutes after the movie was over and weeks before it was a news item. But you're officially my favorite casting director for appreciating Zelijko Ivanek. I absolutely loved him on Homicide, and I've been delighted to watch him turn up here and there since then. Also, I was pleasantly surprised by your evil Nazi psycho pick.

Walter L. Hollmann said...


I've never watched Homicide, but since Melissa Leo and Yaphet Kotto are also in it, I should def give it a look. Me, I know Zeljko from Dogville and Season One of Damages, and he is just soooo gooood on that show!