RED BAND TRAILER: 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' teaser -- nudity, bloodshed, and self-mockery

Lisbeth Salander, the anti-heroine of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling books, is nobody’s idea of a sweetheart, but the new David Fincher-directed adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo clearly has a sense of humor about that.

A new teaser trailer (apparently pirated, though the shaky camera adds to the surreptitious vibe) actually teases itself — identifying the Dec. 21 film as the “feel bad movie of Christmas.”

See it after the jump …

Though the teaser plays out with rapid-fire imagery set to Trent Reznor and Karen O’s cover of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song, we get our first major glimpses of star Rooney Mara (remember her, looking much more preppy and dumping Mark Zuckerberg hard in the opening of The Social Network?) as the gothic, damaged super-sleuth. There seems to be less of Daniel Craig, and his sullied journalist Mikael Blomkvist appears to be far more vulnerable — or at least far more easily wounded — than Salander, which is as it should be. He’s kind of the damsel in distress in this tale, no?

The footage in the teaser surprisingly plays out in near chronological order, practically the entire story with each scene reduced to a single fraction-of-a-second shot. It could almost be a black-and-white film, with such stark contrast between the snow and so much use of shadow and silhouette (including a little side-nudity that probably earns this clip its “red band” NSFW status.)

Another interesting note: the trailer doesn’t say “from the best-selling book” it says “from the international best-selling trilogy,” which suggests Columbia’s extreme confidence in this one. Plans are already in place to shoot the sequels, though it’s unclear if Fincher is on board for them. His participation will be a must, since he clearly gives the Larsson story the cold, gritty menace he previously demonstrated so well in Se7en and Zodiac. No one can beat him at modern noir.

So fans of the books — how do you feel about what you see?

For more on movies, follow EW’s Anthony Breznican on Twitter: @Breznican.

Comments (233 total) Add your comment
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  • andrew

    Strange. This looks like it was shot from a monitor showing the trailer. It has that generational-loss quality. Is this Fincher’s homage to the age of piracy, as well?

    • julian

      shot in a movie theater

      • comestain

        Shot a load in your face.

      • wantanabe

        Rooney Mara looks pretty disgusting. Is lizbeth Salander just as ugly looking in the books? I will check out the Swedish version first and see if this is any good. The trailer is kind of all over the place and a hot mess.

      • Kim E

        I love Karen O!

      • Joe

        @Wantanabe — Yeah, she’s described to be pretty freaky looking in the books. The Swedish film version of her is actually a little too attractive, in my opinion.

        I was pretty skeptical of this because the Swedish versions are pretty good, but all fears are now washed away. This is going to be pretty damn good!

      • Dave

        Aren’t trailers supposed to give an idea of what the movie is about / lure the audiences in? I see none of that in this trailer. I don’t know a thing about the books or this movie so I guess they don’t care/want ppl like me to see this movie?

      • BG 17

        It’s just a teaser; meant to provoke interest / intrigue. The next trailer will likely reveal more plot.

      • Tarc

        And after watching that, I have no idea what it’s about or why should see it. It was kind of a turn off.

      • Tom

        Dragon Tattoo 2: Return of the Tramp Stamp

      • E

        @Joe — Lisbeth is described as freaky looking but by choice. Early in the first book, her boss at the security agency thinks she has a face that could be beautiful enough to be on a billboard. But Lisbeth has the tattoos, the clothes, and the attitude to create an intimidating, freaky exterior that say “stay away from me.” She

      • Tom

        She.. She was forever alone.

      • Bouli

        So who are you to decide who’s life is more lavuable? A life is a life and if you’re going to preach for the safety of a pedestrian but then go and say you hope that he dies, you’re just contradicting yourself. Even if what he’s doing is dangerous I don’t think wishing any person dead for any reason would do humanity a favor. People die all the time from being hit by cars, it’s not just Ghost Rider that can hit someone.

    • John

      “No one can beat [David Fincher] at modern noir.”

      I would say there’s more than a couple of people that are actually better at modern noir than Fincher:
      Stephen Frears, Christopher Nolan, Darren Aronofsky, Brian Helgeland, The Coen Bros.

      • will j

        You are wrong. Fincher is the greatest filmmaker of all time.

      • Europa

        So Lisbeth has gone from a cool strong Amazon in Swedish version to a scrawny ET looking creature who couldn’t lift up a motorcycle, let alone drive it. At least we were spared the Swedish meatball accents.

      • Josh

        To Europa, if you had read the books you would realize that’s her exact physique. Very short, very scrawny and not exactly ann outerly strong girl. She keeps it all in and waits to strike. I didn’t like how pretty she was in the swedish ones. She’s described as not very striking at all.

      • Lifeafterlost

        I don’t think Christopher Nolan has done a bout since insomnia or actually memento which is a true noir. aronofsky a favorite of mine has never done a noir unless u count pi as one. not sure bout frears but finchers bouts are better than helgeland. I’d say only the coen bros but they do every genre while finches I would say is one of the best of his kind he’s got edging amazing visuals and he has this quote “in film I don’t give an eff about why. I care about the how.” and I think that’s why hes such a talented guy. Ive also heard he does multiple (more than 50) takes of every scene not sure if that adds talent but it sure does add a desire for perfection like kubrick. Craig said that because of his recent nomination and his whole film resume the studio gave him as much time as he wanted to shoot the film haha. they know.

      • Lifeafterlost

        *change bout to noir sorry autocorrect did it

      • VA

        @ Europa — are you comparing the look of Salander to the Swedish movies or the book? Because Josh is correct. In the book Salander is not describe as some waif like beauty. She’s edgy, goth, skinny and almost slight. That is what makes her actions so striking and, in some cases, shocking.

      • MCS

        Nolan hasnt done noir since Memento, or maybe Insomnia. I agree with Lifeafterlost that none of Aronofsky’s films are noir, and the Coens are all over the place. I dont really care that much for Fincher’s films, but I can admit he is the best at what he does.

      • Jess

        Europa – if you had read the books, you would know that she in fact CAN’T pick up a motorcycle

      • John

        If you guys think that “noir” only means having the tired story of a detective embroiled in the machination of a femme fatale, you guys need to broaden your film horizons. Both Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream are beautiful noirs in essence. Heck, Sam Raimi also did a gorgeous noir in The Gift.

      • Meg

        Agree. And The Dark Knight was a uperb combo of superhero tropes and a film noir aesthetic.

      • Jeff

        Europa is off on both bases. In the book, Lisbeth is described as slight and not physically strong. But I would hardly describe the actress that portrayed her in the Swedish version as “Amazon”.

      • RyanK

        Europa, Lisbeth, from the book, is a very scrawny tiny woman, and many people confuse her for being a teenager, rather than someone in their 20’s. This is look is actually closer to the book than Noomi Rapace. (who’s acting I loved by the way)

      • MCS

        I am looking at the broader spectrum of noir films John, and I just dont see how those two Aronofsky films could be considered noir films. They contain a few individual noir elements, but it is only film noir if it all comes together. (Just for future reference, being pretentious and talking down to people rarely gets you anywhere).

      • liquidrawhide

        @anyone addressing Salander’s build – According to the books she’s 4’11” and around 90 lbs. Slight and skinny, to say the least, with a genetic problem that prevented her breasts from developing properly (which she addresses at the start of The Girl Who Played With Fire). So yeah, the appeal is in her mysterious darkness (apparently), not any form of traditional beauty.

        She’d probably be a great fit in Gaga’s “Born this Way” video…

      • Ben

        All of you are stupid. I have watched this “leaked” trailer numerous times, and it has only heightened my anticipation for this move. Well done David!

      • FincherFreaks

        Right, you love Fincher. He can do no wrong. You already love this movie and you haven’t even seen it. We get it. Your slavish devotion to all things Fincher isn’t turning the rest of us off at all. We will all now see this movie because you have convinced us through your hysterical Fincher freakout. Please pass the Kool-Aid.

    • lilian

      It looks very good – and it does seem faithful to the book. But until I hear one of the characters actually speak, I won’t rest at ease. Fincher’s idea, to have the characters speak English with a Swedish accent was just a terrible, terrible idea.

      • CHMcGrady

        Did Schindler’s List bother you when they were speaking English with German accents?

      • lilian

        Yes, it is ridiculous! There is no dramatic explanation for it. Unless they’re German immigrants in the US, or Americans living for years in Germany and just caught the accent. Viewers are perfectly capable of suspending disbelief and imagining that the English speaking characters are in fact German. The ridiculousness of speaking any language with an accent to denote that they are in fact strangers is simply absurd!

      • lilian

        This is not Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choise where her accent was perfectly justified

      • Tom

        Did it bot

      • max

        I disagree. It drives me crazy when the actors in Amadeus dont even try to change their accents at all and just speek with american accents even if they are suposed to be Italian and Austrian.

      • Quirky

        Have you ever seen Kenneth Branaghs’s Wallander TV movies? He plays a swedish detective solving murders in a small swedish town. Despite the fact that all of the characters are swedish, they do all six movies in english with no accents and it still works becuase the characters and stories are done quite well. This movie can work too.

    • m.

      It’s more teaser than trailer.

  • Q.H.

    Already been made. Don’t care.

    • Marc

      yeah. made very terribly. I’m looking forward to see what Fincher will do with this.

      • stickittotheman

        Totally agree. Don’t “love” the originals unless you have actually seen them. They were poorly cast, amateurishly shot and edited by a ham-fisted and visually-impaired donkey. A snooze fest. Looking forward to a professional adaptation.

      • Kevin

        The Swedish movie also cut out the best aspect of the book, the extreme craziness of the Vanger family.

      • RyanK

        I was incredibly disappointed with the editing in the Sweedish movies, but I’d seriously have to disagree with stickittotheman when it comes to casting, at least for the leads.

    • LFMAO

      Don’t care? Why type 5 words then? Just passing through?

    • therealeverton

      Never seen Heston in Ben Hur Then? Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars? Bogart in The Maltease Falcon? Bryner in The Magnificent 7? Ran? Throne of blood? Lord of The Rings? The Wizard of Oz (Garland’s), Hamlet or Henry V (Both Branagh’s)? Cyrano De Bergerac (Depardieu)?, Bram Stoker’s Dracula?,The Muppet Christmas Carol even?! You’re saving yourself some of the best regarded films in movie history there; do you have a reason for this, noseless face for spite seeming ideology?

      • RyanK


    • Lily

      Noomi Rapace rocks! She is Lisbeth. Michale Nyqvist was awesome as Michael Bloomkvist. The Swedish films are amazing. Will pass on the “American” version.

      • may i

        i agree. read the books saw the movies. thought rapace was awesome. she exuded strength in her face. i have a feeling they will make lisbeth too vulnerable with craig as bloomkvist. mara looks pathetic not gritty.

      • Marc

        Rapace was nothing like the character in the book!

      • David

        entweder man mag den Ghostrider oder nicht,ist reine Geschmackssache.Aber in keinem von Motorre4dern gfnaenommeuem Videos erlebt man die Geschwindigkeit,oder kann diese so vermittel,wie es der wirklichkeit entspricht,dieses sollte auch ein Ralf Waldmann wissen.

    • Jesse

      Already been made. I wanna see it anyways. Just passing through.

  • julian

    I am very very ready to be floored by this movie. fincher + the rustic, broken title slates a la the glory days of se7en = surely the darkness we’ve been waiting for

  • Amy

    Anyone seen the Swedish version of this?

    • Liz Lemon

      Yes. They’re okay, but I’m really looking forward to Fincher’s version. The Swedish version lacked heart IMO.

    • jul

      Yeah…as Liz sez, they were pretty good. However, I’m not sure anyone could top Noomi Rapace, who kicked arse as Lisbeth. That said, I’m dying to see Daniel Craig’s Blomquist.

    • Ryan

      Yeah, and from a film maker’s perspective they were amazing and riveting. They won tons of awards in Europe. Fincher will do a great job too, but I don’t understand how all these commenters could bash the originals… way to show how stupid you are America…

      • Captain

        Translation “Everyone who doesn’t love the originals is stupid” wow, quality argument there. So hard to debate with such a brilliant, mature person.

      • Gina

        The “original” is NOT the first film adaptation. The “original” is the book. Everything else is interpretation, and there’s no reason to assume David Fincher isn’t going to do his own first-class interpretation of the original work.

      • thin

        Here’s what’s stupid; a film adaptation of a series that is supposed to be about strong and capable women gutted every single female character in the story besides Lisbeth, and people praise them as if they were awesome. Only an idiot would try to argue that Noomi Rapace wasn’t great as Lisbeth, but you have to turn a seriously blind eye to the rest of the films to put them up on a pedestal. I for one welcome a new and hopefully better version.

      • N

        I think the originals were okay at best. I read the books and then watched them and they left out so much. From this trailer I actually think they got it right. It looks like they are going to be more true to the source material.

      • Dave

        The only thing that was great about the Swedish films was Noomi Rapace. The films, as a whole, were mediocre at best. I’m looking forward to Fincher doing a better job.

      • Delon

        @Dave, i second that.

    • darthwilson

      Yes, I thought the Swedish version was one of best adaptations of a book into a movie I have seen.

      • tak sa mycket

        The Swedish movie was awesome — if you like foreign films. But today’s global blockbuster require a certain pacing to keep the audience on the edge of its seat.

        As much as I liked the Swedish version of the trilogy, I think this trailer shows this Christmas might be bad for certain members of the Vanger family, but awfully good for Columbia.

      • thin

        Yeah, it was an awesome adaptation of the book… if you don’t care about any of the characters besides Lisbeth.

  • Conaw

    I did enjoy the Swedish version, but this looks like it might be better. David Fincher is one of my favorite directors. Plus, what a bad ass teaser.

  • Dysthymia83


    • nancy

      What does mine say??

      • chuck

        lol nice one

    • Maite

      The Marie Claire thing is horrible, how can polpee be so mean? Well, it’s not really surprising coming from a fashion magazine. Aw, too bad there’s no Riddler, I was hoping to see David Tennant play him, it would’ve been awesome. However-if Catwoman does show up, I will be so happy (if she’s done right). Although it would be even better if a serious movie starring Catwoman gets made. Although Batman Returns has a great, very sad Catwoman story, and Catwoman is this close to being the lead; she takes down the human villian (who is EVIL and had to die). And it does seem that she survives, what with the cat watching the Bat signal at the end. Yay, they’re filming in New Zealand! Yay, Peter Jackson is directing! Yay, they have a plan! It’s kind of odd that they’re making two movies out of it, but there is a lot of material there.

  • Lincoln

    While Noomi Rapace was pretty darn fantastic in the original trilogy, she was about the only thing. This looks good. And I’m really glad Fincher and Reznor are working together again.

    • andrew75

      Totally agree with you. Noomi was amazing, the rest was a bit of a letdown.

    • Well

      Noomi was amazing, and totally embodied Lisbeth, but everyone else in the film were close to awful. I love the trailer – looking forward to this.

    • thin

      Agree on all counts.

  • Louise

    I have been watching the Swedish version of the trilogy. It is great. The Lisbeth actress is wonderful as are all the others.

    I hope the US version is just as good. I hope that Led Zeplin music is NOT in the movie. It doesn’t belong in it at all.

    • merleb

      Completely agree. I also am watching the Swedish trilogy. The Fincher version will have to go some to even match the originals, let alone better them.

    • Chris

      Well even if it doesn’t Trent Reznor is scoring the movie so you’ll be hearing some probably similiar

    • gina

      please look up the cast for Fincher’s version. absolutely impeccable casting and if that doesn’t make you excited for a film along with fincher directing them i dont know what will

      • Tubular

        Nothing will make me watch the Fincher version. But don’t take it personally, I just liked the Swedish version better.

      • Steve

        I just do not understand how you can like something you’ve seen better than something that has not even been released. At least let a movie come out before spouting off nonsensical reasons for why you don’t like it.

  • Levi

    I’m excited for this one. The book was great and the movie with Noomi Rapace was solid adaptation. And I’m hoping Fincher will make an exciting version for the American audience.

    • Connie

      (Ok, this will be a long post, and English isn’t my first lgnguaae, so sorry in advance for any grammatical errors.)RLS, that was a truly disgusting reply. How dare you call me racist for pointing out that PC IS A FACTOR when it comes to awards ?If you think it is not, you are dellusional.If you think it is not, I would like you to explain all the recent whitest Oscar ever articles.If you think PC is not a factor, I would like you to tell me WHAT gave the edge to Denzel Washington in 2001 (no big precursor wins) over Russel Crowe (SAG-Golden Globe-BAFTA-BFCA WINS) ? Do you know who has ever lost the Best Actor race with those 4 precursor-wins ? NOBODY. WHAT gave the edge to Halle Berry (SAG win) who competed against acting giants like Sissy Spacek (Golden Globe-BFCA-LAFCA-NYFCA wins), Nicole Kidman (Golden Globe win) and Judi Dench (BAFTA win) ? Yes, Berry and Washington gave brilliant performances that year, but were those the best ones in their categories ??? Do you honestly think that’s the case ? If you do, just say so. I know it works unfortunately both ways (Eddie Murphy 2006), but the above mentioned examples prove, that even if the Academy makes questionable, arguably racist decisions (Brokeback Mountain, Eddie Murphy, Angela Bassett), on other occasions they are trying to make up for them by awarding artists based on politics and not strictly based on performances.I judge films and acting objectively, based on performances, not based on skin color : I genuinely think Kerry Washington should get a nomination for Mother and Child, I genuinely think NOBODY came even close to the brilliant performances of Jamie Foxx and Forest Whitaker in 2004 and 2006 respectively, AND I genuinely think that considering how many big names and great performances are ahead of her, Halle Berry’s case this year is helped by the fact that she is the only woman of color-contender in the Best Actress race. AND she knows it. I love her as an actress, she gave exceptionally great performances in Monsters Ball, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and Things we lost in fire, but don’t fool yourself thinking she is not aware of this factor, especially this year. If she weren’t, she probably would have waited another year instead of entering THE most competitive Best Actress race of recent years in the very last minute She obviously thought this through, so why do you think she decided to go up against already established top contenders who are also in strong bp-contenders (Bening, Portman, Kidman, Lawrence, Manville) ? Why do you think she thinks she has a shot at knocking out any of those ladies NOT TO MENTION other strong, critically acclaimed performances (Williams, Moore, Swank, Watts, Lane, Mulligan, Hathaway) ? And for the record, I don’t have a problem with that or that kind of campaigning, and I have been rooting for a second Berry-nod since Things we lost in fire, BUT I have a problem with YOU not ackowledging the existence of Awards Politics.I have never in my life been offended in such a hurtful way and let me tell you something, this kind of brainless, idiotic and unfortunately automatic response that oh you are racist, because you dared to say PC exists is EXACTLY the kind of behaviour that hurts your cause the most. I wrote my honest opinion about Halle Berry’s Oscar chances, but honesty is obviously not something you can appreciate.When you can’t prove your theory, it’s easy and very cheap to throw around big, hurtful words like racist , the hard part is explaining WHY you used it. So, if you CAN explain it, I’m listening. Although, I doubt you can..

  • angeljake

    Noomi Rapace was Lisbeth…will be hard to top

    • Lyn

      That’s for sure! And though I like Daniel Craig, the fact that this trailer is mostly about him makes it hard to get even a slight idea of how the new woman stacks up as Lisbeth.

  • Patchi

    I watched the Swedish version and it was very good, Noomi Rapace was amazing and looked like Lisbeyh should. This looks awesome I love David Fincher I’m sure this is going to be another amazing movie from him. Daniel Craig is just perfect to play Blomkvist just how I imagined. And Rooney Mara looks like she’s gonna pull this off just fine. Can’t wait to see the movie.

    • Putra

      He is not only playing with his own life, if the cops cut him off and he died, they would do hanumity a favor, sooner or later he will make a mistake and maybe injury someone or even kill a child crossing the road, or walking the path at night. I hope the cops will cut him off before he hits a lane changeing car, or somebodys child!

  • AS

    David Fincher is a genius, therefore, this will be brilliant.

  • Louise

    All the actors in the Swedish verion of the movie looked like I had imagined them too.

  • Louise

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the US version is a bit over the top which will ruin the movie adaptation.

    • Liz Lemon

      Fincher never does it over the top though. He knows how to keep it subtle. I think it will be great.
      I’m so excited!!! The Swedish versions left a lot of the story out and based on this trailer, it looks like Fincher has stayed more faithful to the books!!

      • sarCC

        Fincher never does “over the top?” What about Se7en, The Game, Panic Room, Fight Club, Benjamin Button?

      • therealeverton

        Panic Room maybe, although that’s the story more than the direction. The others aren’t OTT, they’re shot to match the match the material, not filmed over and above the material for pruience or shock’s sake. 7 is perfectly made and fits the story.

      • Woot

        @sarCC I think your focusing on the story over the direction. Fincher kept all the movies pretty grounded even in some of the more over the top aspects of the stories.

      • Liz Lemon

        @sarCC: All those movies are subtle when it comes to the story. He always takes his time to tell the story. There’s not a lot of jumping around and crazy action sequences and whatnot. That’s what I meant by over the top. That’s why a lot of people find his work boring.

  • Louise

    Ok, Fincher has made some great movies…

    • LOL

      I like Fincher, but this doesn’t do much for me.

      • Latifah

        I think the girl with the dragon tattoo is increible adn I really enjoyed watching the movie trailer I hope is like the book.

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