Maybe “raped” is a bit too strong of a word to use as a description, though if you’ve actually read the book you’d know why I chose it.
Did you ever play the game “Telephone” as a kid?
It’s where a bunch of people sit in a circle and one person comes up with a phrase or message and whispers it to the person next to them. That person then whispers it to the person next to them, and so on and it gets passed along the circle until the last person says the phrase out loud. By comparing the difference between the original and the way it ended up you see how things are lost in translation. One person makes these words into a contraction, someone puts it in past-tense; a bunch of little changes along the line all add up until what you’ve got is nothing at all like what you started with.
I feel like there’s a big game of Telephone being played with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
DC Entertainment’s Vertigo has announced that they are producing a graphic novel interpretation of the book that’s due out in November of 2012.
I use “interpretation” rather than “adaptation” deliberately because there is no possible way the book can be made into a graphic novel and retain any of the actual value of the story. The book is so layered and psychologically tumultuous that I don’t think even the movie was able to properly capture it. Not to mention that there are a lot of sections in the book that are just too damn…well, graphic to be a graphic novel.
I don’t doubt that there are extremely talented people working on this project:
The beautiful (though inaccurate) cover art is by Lee Bermejo while the main artists are Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti. Crime novelist and Vertigo author Denise Mina is supposedly working very closely with “the estate of Stieg Larsson and Hedlund Literary Agency” and will be doing the writing.
What does that even mean, “working closely with the estate of Steig Larsson”??
It means that in an attempt to give the project more credibility, they use some bullshit phrasing to make it sound like they’re working with the author.
I find myself asking; do we really need this anyway?
It’s already a best-selling novel-novel that was then made into a movie twice; once as a Swedish major motion picture and then, more recently, once as an American motion picture, so do we really need a graphic novel version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo just because it’s popular and possible?
Plus it’s going to be the f#$ked up Telephone-version of it: a book translated from Swedish to English, then condensed into a film, then condensed even further into a graphic novel.
I’ll give you an example through the Telephone evolution of the character Lizbeth Salander-
In the book she’s described as being very tiny- under 100lbs to be sure- and extremely skinny with an almost “boyish” body. She has no breasts or hips to speak of (in fact in another book in the trilogy a doctor tells her there was a disruption in her physical development & her body stopped maturing too soon) and never smiles. Her first appearance in the book was described as the following:
“a pale, skinny young woman who had hair as short as a fuse, and a pierced nose and eyebrows. She had a wasp tattoo about an inch long on her neck, a tattooed loop around the biceps of her left arm and another around her left ankle. On those occasions when she had been wearing a tank top, a dragon tattoo can be seen on her left shoulder blade.” She frequently changes her hair color- starting off red, then dying it black, then later a bright lemon-yellow. She also had a lip and nipple piercing and often wore outrageous things: “Salander was dressed for the day in a black T-shirt with a picture on it of E.T. with fangs, and the words I AM ALSO AN ALIEN. She had on a black skirt that was frayed at the hem, a worn-out black, mid-length leather jacket, rivet belt, heavy Doc Martin boots, and a horizontally striped, green-and-red knee socks. She had put on make-up in a color scheme that indicated she might be colorblind. In other words, she was exceptionally decked out.”
Personally, I think the outfit is the author’s way of paying homage to the inspiration for Lisbeth and who he based her off of- Pippi Longstocking.
There was nothing seductive or sexual about her appearance or her manner and she was terrible at forming relationships with people. She was very stand-offish and didn’t like being touched with a suspicious attitude in general and a highly suspicious attitude towards men and authority.
Now keep that description in mind while you look at these: photos from the 2009 Swedish version of the film:
And then these are the promotional photos for the American version:
“I think today I’ll run around topless in the freezing temperatures of winter in Sweden for no particular reason!”
“Please ignore my dumb bloody hands and stupid fake tattoo and just look at the oh-so-sexy bones of my sternum & my hot photo-shopped boobs.”
“Don’t forget- it has to look exactly like Britney’s!”
This is the official international movie poster.
They came out with this more modest one a bit later:
Do I even have to say how completely not like the actual character all of the promo images are? Overly sexualized showing her as submissive, needing Daniel Craig’s arm around her to protect her while she’s shirtless why…? Does she not own tops? Just to show the nipple piercing?
These stills show that the actual movie was slightly more in line with the novel-
until you scroll up and read the description of her from the book again.
And now we have this gorgeous cover of a graphic novel showing the same character.
For some reason she needs to be naked- or at least shirtless- again with sexy made-up eyes, a long, arched back showing down to what would have to be the very limit of the lowest low-rise jeans ever made, and a seductive open mouth with curls of smoke trailing out (wait, isn’t smoking bad for you?)
Something tells me this version isn’t going to be like the book, either. So the story can’t be the same, the characters will all look different, it’s based off something that’s already a book & two movies– DC says “lets go for it!”
Of course that means that they will also need to do the other two books in the series, right? It’s a trilogy so that’s two more entire graphic novels to produce over the next two years! It’s perfect for DC: “Big projects” to generate hype and distract everyone from noticing that they aren’t coming up with any new ideas of their own these days that don’t totally suck!
You’re brilliant DC Comics-
it’s why I love you as much as I do.
Tills nästa gång,
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