Daniel Craig Talks ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’

Published 3 years ago by

Daniel Craig talks The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Daniel Craig Talks Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

While he’s currently prepping to reprise his steely-faced turn as agent 007 in the next James Bond movie, Daniel Craig will be showing up no less than four times on the big screen before the year is out. Arguably, his most scrutinized upcoming role is that of crusading Swedish journalist Mikael Blomkvist in David Fincher’s new film version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Craig sat down recently with Esquire to chat about a variety of subjects, pertaining to both his personal and professional life. However, it was the actor’s comments about Fincher’s next dark work of cinematic art that were perhaps the most intriguing.

Fincher’s English-language take on Stieg Larsson’s best-selling murder mystery novel will be R-Rated, which has been a given since it was announced that the filmmaker responsible for titles like Se7en and Fight Club would be calling the shots on the highly-anticipated project.

However, even with that in mind, Craig admitted to Esquire that he was taken back by the “adult” tone of the early Dragon Tattoo footage Fincher showed him:

“… I grew up, as we f**king all did, watching ‘The Godfather’ and that, movies that were made for adults. And ['Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'] is a $100 million R-rated movie. Nobody makes those anymore. And Fincher, he’s not holding back. [The studio has] given him free reign. He showed me some scenes recently, and my hand was over my mouth, going, ‘Are you f**king serious?’”

Many a person likely had a similar reaction after they glimpsed the risque black-and-white promotional poster for Fincher’s Dragon Tattoo as well (for a full look at the NSFW one-sheet, go HERE).

Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Daniel Craig Talks Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Fans of Larsson’s book (and its well-renowned Swedish film adaptation) should be pleased to hear that Fincher isn’t going to be handling the author’s source material with kiddie gloves, but is instead diving headfirst into its dangerous world of murder, rape, and institutionalized corruption, among other things. As Craig’s costar, Rooney Mara, can attest, Fincher made it clear from the get-go that he is interested in delivering a chilling Noir thriller that was semi-jokingly referred to as “the feel-bad movie of Christmas” in the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo teaser trailer.

According to Craig, though, that doesn’t mean that Fincher and his Oscar-winning screenwriter Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List, Gangs of New York) are merely interested in making Dragon Tattoo as visually shocking and provocative as possible. It was apparently the overall unnerving and disturbing atmosphere of the early footage Fincher showed Craig that really got under the actor’s skin:

“It’s not that [David Fincher] simply showed me footage that was horribly graphic. It was stuff that was happening, or had happened. And somehow you don’t see it… There’s more than one way to sense violence… Much more powerful ways than seeing it step-by-step.”

In an age where a lot of filmmakers seemingly adhere to the rule that “more is always more,” the comparatively subtle approach to cinematic storytelling that Craig is referencing here just sounds all the more refreshing.

Daniel Craig The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Daniel Craig Talks Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Like Mara in role of Goth hacker Lisbeth Salander, Craig being cast as Blomkvist has already prompted comparisons to actor Michael Nyqvist’s incarnation of the character in director Niels Arden Oplev‘s Swedish-language Dragon Tattoo film. Both his turn and Noomi Rapace’s performance as Salander in that film are considered spot-on by many fans, which begs the question: How can Craig and Mara stand out in comparison?

Well, as demonstrated in early images of Mara as Salander, the Social Network actress has undergone a physical transformation that’s even more extreme than Rapace’s. Craig, by comparison, will have to show off his vulnerable side more so than he does as James Bond or seems to in this month’s Cowboys & Aliens. He’s done it before, though (see: Enduring Love), and there’s good reason to think his take on the Blomkvist character will work.

For more from Daniel Craig, check out the full interview over at Esquire.

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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo hits U.S. theaters on December 21st, 2011.

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TAGS: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

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  1. I personally didn`t care for the book, and I haven`t seen the swedish version in English yet(Original dialogue with Japanese subtitles…heheh I obviously missed a lot), BUT I am a huge Fincher fan and I am actually looking forward to this. I don`t know about everyone else, but I am tired of the typical summer months of nothing but CG effects, 3D, superheros, and popcorn storylines. They are fun sometimes and definately have their place, but I have a craving for something intelligent!

  2. I have seen the original film with an English Dub and I really don’t understand such an expensive treatment when the original isn’t but a couple of years old. They even made sequels to it, so it’s not like Fincher is doing this to boot Larsson’s sequels into film. Strange exercise of power to tread into such a risky enterprise…

    • English dubbed?, Old Man….WHYYYYYYYY LOL. I don’t get the budget for this american travesty either….

      • Lol Why.. Because I could… ;)

  3. Craig never really made much of an impression on me until I watched Layer Cake this past Saturday. It’s been on my watch list and in my Netflix Queue forever but I always found a excuse to bump something else ahead of it. But I thought he was great in it and my opinion of him has changed. Now that my rant is over I’ll get to my point in saying that I can’t wait for this film. It has already been decided that this will be our Christmas night film.

  4. Kevin, if you have not done so yet….do yourself a service and watch the Swedish films first, NOT dubbed though.

    • I have seen them and I really liked all 3. The 1st more than 2 & 3. Also read the books. But it seems like I’m in the minority when I say I’m ok with Fincher’s version coming this year. And that’s mainly because of Fincher. Not sure if you’re a fan but IMO he is the perfect choice for the American adaptation. I don’t think he would be involved with the film if it was just a carbon copy of the original or if there was no way to bring something new or even a different take on certain aspects. So I’m excited and hopeful, but not to the point that if it does turn out bad or it doesn’t bring something new that I will still blindly support it.

      • Fincher is great, I just personally like his darker movies more than any of his other films.

  5. The Swedish films were great, but they did change quite a lot from the books. They also look too much like TV. I’m looking forward to seeing the Fincher version in a nice glossy cinema experience. I think it will benefit from a good score and alluring (and grotesque) visuals.

    The originals looked a bit stark, which is fine for tv, but it’s nice to be seeing it with some richness. It’s kinda like the English version of Wallander vs the original. The UK version has great cinematography. Being filmed in a different way helps set it apart. It’s good to have different versions of the same thing as long as each is unique and of similar quality.

    • “They also look too much like TV”
      Well, apperantly while the first Swedish film was a threatrical release, the sequels were made for tv movies

  6. This looks too good. Fincher is a true artist and Ms. Mara looks absolutely stunning! Daniel Craig is one of the better leading males working today and the books (especially the first) were masterpieces. What’s not to like?

    I know it’s going to be compared to the originals but I, like some of you, think Fincher is talented enough and has such a unique vision for his films that I think this one will take things to a whole new level (both visually and emotionally).

    I just hope that it lives up to its promise and that enough people see it to make it profitable so he can give the other books his unique brand of cinematic treatment. Even the worst David Fincher film is better than 97% of the tripe out there today.

    I’ve loved every image released from this film so far (especially those of Mara WOW!).