Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy Ripe for Cinematic Exploitation

girl-with-the-dragon-tattooWhen he wasn’t infiltrating and uncovering fascist tendencies in Sweden, investigative journalist Stieg Larsson was working on a series of mysteries. In 2004, the 50-year-old writer died of a heart attack. In his first novel, Män som hatar kvinnor/Men Who Hate Women, a young anarchic hacker and political journalist teamed up to uncover the really horrid secrets of a Swedish banking dynasty. As The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the page-turner became an international bestseller and its two sequels in the so-called “Millennium” trilogy (named after the writer’s scrappy magazine) look set to follow. Now Variety is reporting that following the success of the cinematic version of Män som hatar kvinnor/Men Who Hate Women in Scandinavia, all three novels are coming to the big screen.

Here’s a trailer certain to warm the cockles of any fan of girls on motorcycles and Swedish dynasties with skeletons in the closet. More info after the beauteous jump!

Originally, Swedish Television planned to turn the trilogy into a miniseries. The theatrical version of Män som hatar kvinnor/Men Who Hate Women took in $21 million following its Scandinavian release. That changed their minds. Now Flickan som lekte med elden/The Girl Who Played With Fire will be released in September 2009, followed by Luftslottet som sprangdes/The Air Castle That Was Blown Up in November. The final novel in the trilogy will be published in England as The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest in October 2009. So fans have a lot of waiting to do.

noomi-rapaceThe role of Lisbeth Salander, who uses her prodigious investigative powers to wreak havoc, is played by Noomi Rapace, a 30-year-old actress familiar to Swedish audiences from her part in the TV series Labyrint. Look, there she is!

mikael-nyqvistMikael Blomkvist, the world-weary journalist searching for a tycoon’s missing neice and trying to clear his name, is played by Michael Nyqvist. Nyqvist has some experience with mysteries. He became a star when he took the role of Martin Beck, a Swedish police detective, in a series of televised mysteries based on the work of Sjowall and Wahloo. But international audiences may recall him from Lukas Moodysson’s 2000 charmer Tilssammans/Together, where he played the protagonist Anna’s abusive husband.

The first film in the Millennium trilogy was directed by Niels Arden Opley, whose 2006 Drømmen won the Crystal Bear in Berlin. The other two have been directed by Daniel Alfredson. His 1997 film Tic Tac won a Guldbagge in 1998, but it’s been pretty quiet kudos-wise for Alfredson since then.

It’s likely that we’ll see a Hollywood take on Larsson’s mysteries (the Swedes apparently really, really want Kenneth Branagh (?) to direct) before the entire trilogy is released in the U.S., but there will be a DVD of the six hour, nine-part miniseries that will be screened in Sweden in March 2010. Is your interest piqued? Who would be your choices to play Lisbeth and Mikael? Did you read to the end?


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