As we wait for the December premiere of the David Fincher-directed Sony version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a battle of the visions between two artistic Hollywood directors is emerging.
Fincher, who filmed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo heavily on location in Stockholm and other parts of Sweden, even using Stockholm locations mentioned in the book that the original Scandinavian version of the film did not use, is quoted in a Reuters report as saying, “Sweden is the only place The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo could have been shot.” 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.
But while Fincher insists on the real physical Sweden being at the core of the movie (and presumably the next two in the trilogy), over in another corner of Scandinavia, Martin Scorsese may be less focused on Oslo having to be the backdrop for Norwegian author Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman, which Scorsese has just agreed to direct. Nesbo has been dubbed “the next Stieg Larsson” by many reviewers, although he rejects the compliment and quite rightly believes he is doing his own thing with his Harry Hole character and series of noir detective thrillers. Nesbo’s seventh novel in the series, The Snowman, has enjoyed phenomenal success in the U.S. and all over the world. According to one report, “Scorsese had been circling the project for some time now but Nesbo had to give final approval for the director. He has done so, confirming to a Swedish newspaper that Scorsese will direct the first English-language adaptation of his work. Nesbo added that he would not insist Snowman be shot on location in Oslo, where the book is set.”
So while Fincher may get deep inside the Swedish psyche and culture—as a metaphor for psyches and cultures all over the world—Scorsese may move Harry Hole out of Oslo and internationalize him for his own dramatic purposes.