Apr. 17th, 2017

tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
I've been a big fan of the Steig Larsson books, the Millennium trilogy (Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo....that series). The author died but a couple of years ago, another Swedish writer took up the mantle. David Lagercrantz released The Girl in the Spider's Web. I read it. I thought it was not *quite* as good or gripping but... not bad either. A Worthy successor and it was popular enough to become a legitimate best seller. Why did they even bother, some might ask? Leave well enough alone. Maybe yes. But why not? There are a lot of books and series that take up the characters in Star Wars, Star Trek etc. Not quite the same thing since they weren't books to start with but authors are still creating new works about well known characters.

There was a sequel written many decades after Gone With the Wind, approved by the estate of Margaret Mitchell called Scarlett. It wasn't bad but it was more of a bodice ripper type historical romance than the original which was very, very good and while did centre on Scarlett O'Hara's loves, was also set in the Civil War and the lives of people in the South during and after. The sequel was more about Scarlett's campaign to get Rhett Butler back. The mini series they made from it was appalling. Even though the author of the sequel wrote the mini series, she still changed the ending which made no sense to me. Why have a different ending from the book you wrote if you figured you'd be selling the filming rights to it anyway? (without looking it up. perhaps she even got the contract to write the book with the knowledge that she'd be writing a filmed version, for all i know).

Never mind that. The Spider's Web book was quite good even if not quite the same treatment of the characters that Larsson created. There's a new sequel coming out this fall called The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye. Oh dear. Not too keen on that title. They tend not to have the same English titles as the Swedish ones. Sure enough, the book is titled in Swedish as Mannen som jagade sin skugga and translates to ”The Man who Chased his Shadow”. Why couldn't they have gone with that? Probably because it's not as identifiable as "The Girl With...." titles. The plot according to this Swedish site (though it's in English) says that Lisbeth is in a harsh women's prison and gets new information about her past. It's about Lisbeth taking revenge. Nothing new about that. That's been a common thread in all of these books. I think the more I look at it, the more I intensely dislike the English title they've chosen for it.

Entertainment Weekly has a short interview with Lagercrantz. He says that the plot will revolve around the history behind the massive dragon tattoo on Lisbeth's back. The author is also contracted for another book after this one.

The next news on this same subject is the films. I saw the original three Swedish films with Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth. They were excellent. Sony made an American version of the first book starring Rooney Mara and it did ok I think. I liked it well enough but the Swedish version had a bit more atmosphere, I think. Sony is going to make another American movie but they're skipping over books 2 and 3 and jumping into Spider's Web but not using the same cast as the first American version. It will be interesting to see who they end up casting. The IMDB placeholder is here but they only have credits for the director and writers so far. The trivia on the IMDB page speaks about the possibility of casting either Natalie Portman or Scarlett Johansson but I wouldn't like either of them in the role. Far too "Hollywood". The first Hollywood version used an actor who was less known and I think it worked better. Another name that's been mentioned is Alicia Vikander who is Swedish and was the robot in Ex Machina. Might have possibilities there. She appears to be filming a new version of Tomb Raider so she will likely have the chops to do action.

I'll be following this with interest and I am pretty sure I'll be buying the book when it comes out in the fall.

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