Jump to: Spoilers (5)
Stieg Larsson had planned to write ten books about Lizbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, and the notes are in the possession of his partner, Eva Gabrielson. However, since they were not married, his father and brother inherited the rights to his literary estate upon his death, and the two parties never came to terms about the direction of the series. The family then hired another writer to create new stories. This film is based on the novel of the same name, the fourth book in the series and the first one not to be written by Stieg Larsson as he had died before he could write anymore entries.
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It was announced in November 2015 that David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara would not be returning for this film. Mara and Craig were particularly upset about this as they were fully committed to a sequel, but due to the box office disappointment of their film, the planned sequels never happened.
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For this film, the infamous Dragon Tattoo on Lisbeth's back was based on mythological Norse and Scandinavian dragons.
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In keeping with the broad strokes this shares with the first film, Lisbeth has an addiction to junk food and soda, as shown by the Coca Cola cans and McDonald's Happy Meal boxes littering her hideout. Later in the film, she can be seen chowing down on a Big Mac burger from the famous chain. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) infamously featured this exact product placement.
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The film's budget is only $43 million, in stark contrast to the budget of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) which was $90 million, and grossed $230 million. One of the reasons cited for the latter film's financial disappointment was the overblown budget, which is what led to the reduction of budget for this film. This film still bombed, even with a smaller production budget, only bringing in $35 million dollars at the box office.
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With the story taking place in Stockholm, Claire Foy adopted a Swedish accent for the film with the help of linguistic coach William Conacher, who had already helped her create her royal accent for The Crown (2016).
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The director wanted to turn most of the stunts on the set, without resorting to visual effects or green backgrounds. For a stunt in a snow-covered car, the team used a "top rider", that is to say a fully functional car where the driver is sitting on the roof and the actor behind the wheel pretends to drive.
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While Fede Alvarez admits that he does not usually care about the appearance of his characters, the look of Lisbeth Salander was crucial in the film, especially her tattoo.
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Sylvia Hoeks was given a wardrobe of bright clothing by the costume designers, to make her stand out against the grey and snowy backdrop of Sweden, and also as a symbolic reference to blood.
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Before Claire Foy was attached to the film, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, originally considered for the title role in the previous film, were once again in talks to play Lisbeth Salander. Sony also considered Felicity Jones and Alicia Vikander for the titular role.
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Just like with the rest of the films based on the book series, this was filmed in Stockholm, Sweden as the location was a crucial part of the story and the production according to Fede Álvarez.
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The infamous scene where Lisbeth's motorcycle races across a frozen lake was created with CGI, having her drive across a ramp while the unfrozen water surrounding her was digitally edited.
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The hairstylists intentionally styled Lisbeth's hair to look jagged and uneven, to imply that the character actually cuts her own hair.
Claire Foy had read the Millennium series years before she appeared in this film, and jumped at the chance to play the series protagonist.
It was Claire Foy's idea for each of her piercings to look different from each other to show that she got them at different points in her life. They were fake piercings this time around.
Although none of the tattoos Claire Foy sports in the film as Lisbeth Salander are real, appearing in the film inspired the actress to get a few real tattoos of her own.
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It is based on the novel of the same name by David Lagercrantz and its two sequels - "The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye" and "The Girl Who Lived Twice", and continues on the "Millenium" series created by Stieg Larsson, who passed away in 2004.
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First project directed by Fede Álvarez not to be a horror film.
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The director admits to being an admirer of Claire Foy ever since he he saw her in the series The Crown (2016).
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Follow up from David Fincher's 2011 film: 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. This jumps to the fourth story in the book series.
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Fede Álvarez wanted to cast an actress who would be counterintuitive, and he was eager to cast Claire Foy so that she could play against type.
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Lisbeth Salander's motorcycle tracksuit was inspired by the tracksuit worn by Uma Thurman in Kill Bill.
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At timestamp 19:40 Salander is wearing a t-shirt with the phrase "Gimme head till I'm dead." In the movie "Revenge of the Nerds" the character Booger wears a t-shirt with the same phrase.
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The CGI opening credits featuring a human figure being ensnared by cables and wiring is a reference to a spider trapping its prey in a web, in reference to the film's title. These style credits are a carryover from the first film.
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The color palette of the film is black (darkness), red (blood) and white (light and snow). In opposition to Claire Foy, who is black from head to toe, Sylvia Hoeks carry hair of an extremely light blonde, almost albino. The actress also faded up her eyebrows as much as possible.
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Due to the film's financial failure, Sony cancelled the planned 4K UHD release, and instead released the film on standard Blu-ray.
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Claire Foy is English, as a result she had to work with a linguistics coach to be able to speak in a Swedish accent.
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Principal photography began in January 2018 in Berlin, and ended in April 2018, in Stockholm.
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Fede Alvarez brought together director of photography Pedro Luque Briozzo, costume designer Carlos Rosario and composer Roque Baños with whom he had previously collaborated on his two previous films, Evil Dead (2013) and Don't Breathe (2016).
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[DIRECTOR TRADEMARK]: You can see a sticker of the Uruguayan football team 'Peñarol' in one of the scenes. Fede Álvarez is a well-known fan of this team.
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The Girl in the Spider's Web had its world premiere at the Rome Film Festival on October 24, 2018.
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Claire Foy was instructed to watch films by Al Pacino and Marlon Brando to prepare for her role.
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The undercover police car has the licence plate "MKQ 991". In Sweden, the letter "Q" is not used on licence plates since it is easily mistaken for the letter "O".
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Millenium: The Girl in the Spider's Web is the adaptation of the book by David Lagercrantz, who took over the Millenium saga after the death of Stieg Larsson. Fede Alvarez's film is not a reboot of the saga, nor the direct sequel to David Fincher's feature film released in 2011.
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The glitching sounds of computers and fax machines were incorporated into the score to reflect the themes of hacking and computer programming of the series.
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Although the Millenium saga is crude and dark, costume designer Carlos Rosario has designed a more accessible Lisbeth.
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Lisbeth Salander's taste for junk food is taken from the novels but she only ever ate frozen pizza in the novels, it's all she ate when at home. McDonald's wasn't in the original novels because there wasn't a McDonald's in Sweden during the time these books took place sometime in the mid to late 1970's. According to the series written by Steig Larson, Salander does not ever eat McDonald's or drink Coca Cola. Salander ate very little, she drank coffee/booze rather than soft drinks. Edit: in the first book of the Millennium trilogy, Lisbeth is 24 years old in 2002.
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The ending scene where Lisbeth and Camilla have one final confrontation on the cliff before Camilla commits suicide was the first scene the two actresses shot.
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The final scene where Camilla's car crashes and toppled into the forest was created with a self-driving automatic car, so that it could drive as fast as possible without posing a risk of harm to a stunt driver.
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The main plot has several similarities with Mercury Rising (1998): both movies are involving with computers and high-tech, a defense's secret program, a kid with special mental capacities, a professional assassin who several times tries to kill the protagonist, a government's agent who tries to save the kid and a corrupt government's agent who tries to keep the program.
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Several scenes are different from the book: originally the Salander's sisters never meet face-to-face, there is no explosion, there is no hanging by feet, there is no motorcycle ride over a frozen lake, and finally there is no black rubber vacuum device.
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Sylvia Hoeks plays Lisbeth's fraternal twin sister Camilla Salander, a character who did not appear in the previous installments of the Millennium saga, films or novels, as she did not appear until The Girl in the Spider's Web, the first novel not written by Stieg Larsson. Larsson does however, refer to her character in his original novels as he had planned to have her appear in a planned future installment before his death. The Dutch actress, discovered by the general public in Blade Runner 2049 (2017), could be guided by her imagination on the set.
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