Steven Zaillian Explains Why He Changed 'Dragon Tattoo' Story
Fans of Stieg Larsson's thriller trilogy "The Millennium Series" might have noticed that there are some significant differences in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)" story compared to the original book. Admitting that he did make several changes in the film's storyline, screenwriter Steven Zaillian explained that he had to give a little streamline to make the movie "watchable" because the book is too long.
"I think there were probably about a hundred pages setting everything up, in terms of Blomkvist and his situation," he told Entertainment Weekly. "There's probably another 50 or 60 pages of [Larsson] doing the same thing with Salander. Those things obviously had to go."
Zaillian said that one part that has to be omitted in the movie is Mikael Blomkvist's romantic linkage with Cecilia Vanger. "Mikael had a relationship with her that went on for a lot of pages," he went on explaining.
"I'm a fan of the book, I like it very much, but when I was reading it at a certain point I thought, am I reading a Shampoo? Is this Warren Beatty or is this Mikael Blomkvist? I didn't drop those things in order to make him more sympathetic," he added. "It was really just that they were unnecessary to the story."
The most noticeable change in the movie is in the ending, in which two strands of narratives have been blended into one. On the different take of the ending, Zaillian said, "I wasn't trying to do something different or trying to fix something. I just thought it was a good idea."
He continued, "When I read the book, I thought, 'Why are we going so far afield for this mystery to be resolved? Might it be a little more interesting if it's solved a little closer to home?' That's all there was to it. I kind of felt it was right for the character."
Directed by David Fincher, "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" has been released in the U.S. on December 20. It follows the mystery surrounding the long-unsolved disappearance of an heiress as a journalist recently dinged by a libel case and a young female hacker team up to resolve it, stirring up bundles of personal and industrial corruption along the way. Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara play Blomkvist and Salander respectively.
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