No one would mistake the Lisbeth Salander movies for upbeat, crowd-pleasing rays of sunshine. This isn't Pixar, it's Stieg Larsson, and the world created by the bestselling author. Even the films adapted from this dark corner of the literary world have a coat of bleak, steely defiance to them, though they very much are dictated both by the actress in the lead role, and the director behind the camera.
As Sony prepares to unleash its latest chapter in the Lisbeth Salander saga, with Claire Foy (The Crown) assuming the lead, CinemaBlend traveled to Berlin to visit the set of The Girl in the Spider's Web, the first novel not penned by Larsson in the series. Fede Alvarez (Don't Breathe, Evil Dead) has been hired to leave his stamp on the material, and it's his approach, we learned, that promises a dark adaptation to David Lagercrantz's 2015 novel. While visiting with us on set, Alvarez reflected:
I'm on my third movie. That's the time when, as a director, you look back a little bit at the themes you repeat over and over. I've been the writer on all of my movies. It becomes evident. You go, 'Well, you kind of have an issue with this or that, because you go back there all of the time.' I definitely have an issue with guilt. All of my stories are about guilt. And at the same time, I'm obsessed with this idea that, we all have this door. And with this door, there's the assumption that there's something horrible beyond that door. We'd rather not go through it. We know it's there. We look at it all of the time. There's something dreadful on the other side, and you never know when you are going to have to go there.
So some movies, more optimistic movies, they say if you open that door, it's not going to be as bad as you think. My movies, on the other hand [laughs], they say what's on the other side is way worse than you had imagined. But it says that if you go through that, and you face that, then what's beyond that will always be for a better life. That's the constant theme of all of my movies, and you have seen that here, as well. It definitely has a tone that is, there's a little bit of a dread that something bad is coming. In the story, that's what Lisbeth is going through. But she's going to go through that door, right? She's going to face that dread.
This insight, gained on the set of The Girl in the Spider's Web, mirrors the "Angel of Vengeance" approach that Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) displayed in the debut trailer for Fede Alvarez's thriller. The new mission for Lisbeth will put her in the path of a missing relative (played by Sylvia Hoeks) and a young boy named August (Christopher Convery) who might be the key to a far-reaching conspiracy.
We will be able to see just how dark The Girl in the Spider's Web gets when the movie reaches theaters on November 9. And we will have plenty more from our time on the movie's Berlin set in the coming days, including interviews with Claire Foy and several members of the crew, so keep it here on CinemaBlend.