Star role for Sweden in Stieg Larsson film: Director

Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:46pm EST
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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden is the only place the new Hollywood version of best-selling crime novel "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" could have been shot, director David Fincher said on Monday.

The film, which premieres on December 21, stars Daniel Craig as middle-aged journalist Mikael Blomkvist searching for a missing woman with the aid of troubled, young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). The movie follows the Swedish version of novelist Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" trilogy.

Fincher told reporters at a news conference in Stockholm that he might consider directing a sequel, but that the ambience of Larsson's novels could not be replicated on the silver screen unless the film was shot in Sweden's unique mix of remote countryside and cosmopolitan capital.

"This is where the fiction sprang from, this is the world that he was talking about and it made sense that that's what it should look like," he said.

The film is based on, and carries the name of, the first book in Larsson's trilogy which has sold 60 million copies in 48 countries, becoming Sweden's best-selling book series and the star of the "Swedish noir" crime genre.

Fincher said he'd thought of Sweden as very pastoral with beautiful farmlands and had not realized how tough an environment it could be for those cut off from society by misfortune or in the cold recesses of the deep countryside.

"If you think of Sweden you think everything there must be so wonderful, and you realize, my God, they have the same problems here as everywhere," he said.

At the unveiling of new film trailers to journalists, Fincher said he was also fascinated by the unusual pairing of the two main characters.

"The thing that interested me was a middle-aged man and a girl who has been emotionally stunted since 13 -- I felt they were such an unusual pair."

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, editing by Paul Casciato)