David Fincher hasn't publicly responded yet to trenchant criticism of his remake of Swedish thriller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo from the director of the original film, Niels Arden Oplev.
If he does care to comment, the director could marshal plenty of counter-arguments which would make Oplev's outburst look, well, foolish and ill-considered.
Oplev slammed the decision to replace Swedish actress Noomi Rapace as the tattooed, bisexual Goth femme fatale Lisbeth Salander, claimed there was a “kind of anger” about the remake in Hollywood, and compared the two films to asking whether audiences preferred the French version of La Femme Nikita or the American one.
Here's what Fincher could say to demolish Oplev's case:
Niels, you wanted to know 'Why would they remake something when they can just go see the original? Everybody who loves film will go see the original.' Here's the answer: Your film was seen by a tiny percentage of US cinemagoers, reflected in its gross of $10 million. At its peak, it played on about 200 screens. Others may have heard about it but for whatever reason didn't buy tickets. My movie will be released on several thousand screens in the US. If it's a hit, that will hopefully encourage a lot of people who didn't see your film and don't normally watch sub-titled fare to seek it out on DVD or pay-TV. That can't be bad, can it?
You say Noomi “has captured this part and it should always be all her” and you hope she gets nominated for an Oscar. I agree that Noomi is terrific. However we've casting very talented actors whom we think will resonate with US and international audiences: Rooney Mara (who was in my film The Social Network) as Lisbeth and Daniel Craig as the journalist, plus Christopher Plummer, Robin Wright and Stellan Skarsgård.
You've directed several movies and TV series which I'm sure were popular in your native Denmark and Sweden. At the risk of big-noting myself, I've made eight films (including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Zodiac, Panic Room and Seven), which collectively have raked in more than $580 million in the US. I know how to make movies that please audiences worldwide and score Oscar nominations.
You haven't seen any footage of the remake, which is shooting now. The screenplay was written by Steve Zaillian. His credits are pretty impressive: American Gangster, Gangs of New York, Hannibal and Schindler's List, to name a few. Why not wait until our film is released in December 2011 in the US and make an informed opinion?