The Girl In The Spider’s Web - Five Reasons You’ll Love It
Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander has become one of the most iconic characters of the 21st century, both on screen and in print, but she has endured a strange genesis to get there.
First conceived by Larsson in 1997, his trilogy The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest followed Salander, a genius hacker and social misfit, who teamed up with investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist to uncover a series of terrible crimes.
The books were released in the author’s native Sweden successive years in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Sadly, the first of those arrived a year after Larsson himself had died and two years before the books would become international bestsellers.
Currently, it has sales of over 80 million copies, so it was no surprise when publishers asked writer David Lagercrantz to continue Larsson’s work and revive Salander with both the crime writer’s style and his characters in mind. So far two new novels have been produced, The Girl In The Spider’s Web and last year’s The Girl Who Takes An Eye For An Eye.
Larsson’s work has also enjoyed a complicated journey to the big screen. Initially, they were made for Swedish television in a six-part series with Michael Nyqvist playing Blomkvist and Noomi Rapace as Salander. It was a series that proved so successful that they were then released outside Sweden as three films and took over $200 million in box office receipts.
Naturally, Hollywood came calling, in the shape of director David Fincher and star Daniel Craig. Fincher's version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was a brutal, uncompromising take on the story, which starred Rooney Mara as Salander. It was a modest box office hit, but despite that, no sequel was confirmed.
Now, seven years later, the series has been rebooted with Lagercrantz’s first novel The Girl In The Spider’s Web. This time, The Crown's Claire Foy is in the lead role of Salander and Fede Alvarez, direct of Don't Breathe, in the director's chair. He works from a script from Peaky Blinders' creator Steven Knight.
The Girl In The Spider's Web follows Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist on a dark new adventure as the pair find themselves caught in a criminal conspiracy that runs to the top of government in both Sweden and the US as well as involving a dark secret from Salander’s childhood.
Sverrir Gudnason, Sylvia Hoeks, Claes Bang, LaKeith Stanfield, Cameron Britton and Stephen Merchant co-star alongside Foy.
The film will be released into cinemas on November 21st and will be available to pre-order from hmv’s online on the same day.
But, before that, we caught an early screening of the film and have rounded up five reasons why you’ll love it...
It’s a total thrill ride…
From the word go, this movie zips along at a frenetic pace. Whereas the Swedish adaptations are slow-burning, gentler movies, focused more on Salander and Blomkvist’s investigative powers, this is Salander the action heroine.
Claire Foy is an excellent Lisbeth Salander…
Foy’s Salander is older and less forgiving than the versions we’ve seen before. She’s more ruthless and ready for action. But Foy nails her, she’s cold, driven and very engaging.
There are some incredible action sequences…
This is much more physical take on Salander’s story. The fights are brutal, the deaths, of which there are quite a few, are gory, and there’s even a great car chase.
Sylvia Hoeks is a great villain…
Hoeks, who wowed us all in Blade Runner 2049, is on similarly brilliant form in this. She plays Camilla Salander, Lisbeth's estranged sister, who has taken a very different path from her. It builds to one hell of a final reckoning.
The pace is relentless…
At 115 minutes, this isn’t a short, snappy watch, but there’s no downtime. It’s all go from the moment the credits roll and you’ll be gripped from the same moment.
The Girl In The Spider’s Web is released into cinemas on November 21st and will be available to pre-order from hmv’s online on the same day.