Watch: The Opening Title Sequence Of ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ Hits The Internets

PLUS, Sony Plans to Film the Sequel Films Later This Year

Those of you who have seen the David Fincher version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo very likely recall the slick opening title sequence at the start of the film. Those of you who have yet to see the film (um, what are you waiting for, go see this film NOW, people) are in for a treat because right now we not only get to learn some info on how the opening title sequence was made but we get to see the opening title sequence video in full below. AND, as a bit of bonus GREAT NEWS, it is also with great pleasure that I pass along the news that Sony has announced that the sequel film The Girl Who Played with Fire will go into production later this year. Woot!!

The oil-drenched title sequence that opens David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo includes mesmerizing details from all three of Stieg Larsson’s books about hacker heroine Lisbeth Salander, not just the one upon which the movie is based. That might seem like an odd choice, but it was intentional. Blur Studio, the creator of the vivid opening, was given a mandate by Fincher to make the two-and-a-half-minute sequence a conceptual re-creation of Larsson’s full Millennium trilogy — and to completely turn the idea of title sequences on its head. “I got a call from him, it was the middle of the night in Sweden and he was on some shoot that was going really bad,” Tim Miller, Blur’s co-founder and the creative director behind the sequence, said in a phone interview with Wired.com. “And he calls me and he says, ‘Look, you’re going to do this thing and it’s going to redefine titles for our generation the way Se7en did and that’s all there is to it.’” So, as happened with Se7en’s title sequence, a song produced by Trent Reznor (in this case a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” with Karen O and Atticus Ross) became an eerie opening soundtrack, and Blur set about bringing Fincher’s primordial-ooze fever dream to life. To get what Fincher wanted, Blur worked with the director to pick out general and specific moments in the trilogy that could be demonstrated visually — a pressed flower, wasps, the instruments of hacking, Lisbeth Salander’s father being set on fire, and, of course, the dragon alluded to in the title. Blur ended up with 26 moments approved by Fincher, then composed them into 252 shots of 24 frames or fewer …


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an amazing film to watch visually … and this opening title sequence not only sets the tone of Dragon Tattoo, but its allusions to the coming sequels (The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) also set the tone for the overall trilogy of films. There is a “cool factor” that, from the start, really informs the audience as to what kind of film(s) they are about to see. I really love this title sequence … I’ve already rewatched the video I posted above over and over and over again.

AND AS FOR THOSE SEQUEL FILMS, Sony has announced today that YES, the sequel films are going into production … The Girl Who Played with Fire is set to begin filming later this year:

Despite the weak box-office performance of the U.S. remake of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” so far, the sequel, “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” is moving forward, a Sony spokesperson has confirmed to TheWrap. Steven Zaillian, who also wrote and executive produced “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” is writing the screenplay for the next U.S. film based on Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” series. Stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara are contractually obligated for the two sequels. While David Fincher has not signed on for “Fire,” the Sony representative said the company wants him to direct the sequel. Fincher previously said that he would want to shoot the sequels — “Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” — back to back, if he were to sign on for the final two installments. A representative for Anonymous Content, the management company that represents Fincher, did not respond to a request for comment. Ole Søndberg, one of the producers of “Dragon Tattoo,” declined comment on the project.

I really hate all the emphasis on the “poor” box office performance of Dragon Tattoo … but I cannot see how Sony can’t not make the sequel films. I would LOVE for David Fincher to direct the next two films but I don’t think I’d be too opposed to having different directors for the sequels. Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig will remain as Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist … and that is the best news of all.

So … what do y’all think of all of this? Don’t you love this opening tile sequence? Aren’t you excited that the sequel films are on the way? Am I asking too many questions??

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  1. PHIL

    I was disappointed by this film. I think the title sequence is the most interesting thing about it, even though it has nothing to do with the film and feels like a complete disconnect. It’s the only time I felt any edginess in the movie. Except for Ben Buttons, David Fincher’s films have no emotion. They play out like overly mannered documentaries. The only time in Dragon Tattoo where anyone shows any emotion whatsoever is when they are being raped. The film never builds any tension and has a Scooby Doo villian reveal. Ugh.

    • @PHIL — Did you read the book?

    • Meghan

      @Phil- I agree with Trent’s question. Did you read the book? This version is, in my opinion, much closer to the book than the Swedish version. The film plays out as the book did. As for there being little emotion, if you read the book you would know that Lisbeth Salander displays very little in the way of emotion. I thought this film was spot on in it’s delivery and portrayal of Salander.

    • @Meghan — “This version is, in my opinion, much closer to the book than the Swedish version.” Totally agree.

    • PHIL

      I haven’t read the book. It doesn’t appeal to me. I feel that a film should stand on it’s own, regardless of the source material. I think it’s great that people who read the books enjoy it and want to see it represented in other media, but it seems to me that this same contingent is also the group that most adores the film. As a stand alone, I don’t find it compelling. The title sequence, Mara’s performance, and the score are the strongest elements for me. However, these things are not enough to carry the film. The box office is respectable, but a bit of a disappointment for Sony. It wouldn’t surprise me if they went with a different director for the sequels.

    • @PHIL — I understand. I was asking because the film is an excellent adaptation of the book. You refer to the “emotionless” nature of the story but in the books, that same “emotionless” is one of the story’s hallmarks. The story is very European. The film, unlike big American action films, takes its time to unfold and grow … not just over the course of the first film but over the course of all three films. You refer to “The title sequence, Mara’s performance, and the score” as the strongest elements of the film … and yet, those are the Americanized updates to the story/film. I can understand how it might not appeal to a lot of folks here in the US … just like the original Swedish films, which were released here in the US in 2010, didn’t really appeal to the US audience as a whole. If they go with a different director for the sequels, it’ll likely be because they can’t afford to hire Fincher back — not because he did a poor job with the film.

    • Meghan

      Also, the title sequence gives us Lisbeth’s backstory if you pay attention.

    • @Meghan — Yep, there are allusions to the entire film trilogy.

    • PHIL

      But the tone, look, and feel are a complete break from the film, which would be fine if the movie were as strong. As for it being a European (or, Swedish) film, that’s fine withe me–I adore European films, especially other Swedish films like the original Let The Right One In, or Bergman’s The Magician, The Virgin Spring, or The Seventh Seal–all miraculous!

  2. I thought the film was awesome. First, the title sequence was AMAZING!! I loved it and knew I was in for a thrill. The movie was like 3 hours long and it didn’t feel any longer than an hour and a half. That is how good it was. Everyone I was with loved it. I can’t wait for the sequels!

  3. TrentFan

    Trent, I just want to say I love your enthusiasm and your blog. I think you are one of the few intelligent bloggers out there and I do come here before I check out movies or music. But enough about you. :) I also don’t like the emphasis on poor box office. It is an R-rated movie with a graphic sexual themes. When is the last time an R movie debuted number one that wasn’t a comedy or a horror movie? I think the movie followed the book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can not wait to see the sequels and for all those mentioning the weak box office please look at all the accolades the movie is receiving. Also, I want Fincher (& Trent) back. The man is a great story teller and the music was superb. Also-it’s your blog ask as many questions as you want!!!

  4. Marcus_Em

    I read the books and saw all three Sweedish films at the Angelica in NYC and IMHO the American film was STELLAR! the casting was perfect .. I am not wierdly attracted to danielle craig ( hello black bikini briefs… let me find out) Rooney Mara was Lisbeth.. there is no other way to put it she embodied exactly who I know from reading the books.. I really loved Noomi’s Lisbeth as well , however I felt Rooney really gave depth behind the absense of emotion. This opening sequence blew me away. I told everyone who would listen about it and no one really understood how awesome it was.. Except for you Trent lol I am so glad that you get it! And seriously the zepplin remix ! honestly! ughhh I am so obsessed I have now watched this twice in the past 20 minutes. CAN NOT WAIT to meet ZALA !

    • Meghan

      @Marcus_Em- Agree! Rooney IS Lisbeth! This film is just awesome! No other way to describe it! And I was one of those people that was mad that an American remake was being done! I feel stupid now!

      Zala!! Can’t wait! Wonder who they will cast?

  5. Gevidge

    I am obsessed with these books – I’ve read them all and want to re-read again. (finally something to distract me from the emptiness of no more harry potter)

    I finally saw the movie last night and WOW! I loved it! I cannot wait to see it again. I actually thought it was a little tame on the violence from what I expected – though I was in no way disappointed. I saw the Swedish version as well, and while I really enjoyed it and the performances, there was just so much more chemistry b/t craig and mara – it was hot! I love the opening – thanks for posting this! Bring on the next movie!!!

  6. shannon

    As long as important cast members from “Dragon Tattoo” (Robin Wright, Yorick van Wageningen, Goran Visnic, etc.) are in the sequels, and as long as Reznor and Ross are the composers of the scores, I won’t protest. Also, I have heard that the screenplay for “Played with Fire” will deviate from the book, focusing more on Lisbeth than on Blomqvist.

  7. rubiejamie

    I agree with PHIL on this one. I have read all of the books and have seen all of the Swedish films. I was VERY disappointed by this version.

    I went with my Mom, who hadn’t read the books, and her first question after it was over was “what the hell was the deal with the framed flowers?!” This movie didn’t finish everything it started. The flowers played a role throughout the book and helping locate Harriet in the end!

    I also felt it really focused more on Mikael (Daniel Craig’s) character than on Lisbeth…the trilogy is about HER not Mikael. So I was very upset to see such a powerful female’s role downplayed. She came off as more of a nut job than the brilliant mind she was in the books.

    I didn’t like that they chaged the ending of the book…what the hell happened to the Australian parts!? Plus, as I recall the books didn’t talk much about Mikael’s daughter…and she didn’t help him solve the mystery. Mikael never even had the list of Bible codes until AFTER he visited Harriet’s Dad’s cabin.

    Miriam will play a large role in parts 2 and 3, yet in this movie the character was introduced like a one night stand for Lisbeth!

    So I definitely preffered the Swedish version to this.

    • Gevidge

      @rubiejamie – did we see the same movie? You seem to have all your facts wrong.

      I respectfully disagree with your comment that it focused more on Mikael than Lisbeth. It was sooo true to the book. And the Swedish version certainly did not give more focus on Lisbeth than this version.

      Further, the actual ending is the same with Lisbeth and the Christmas gift. You have a problem with the Australian part (didn’t bother me – the point was the same), yet you don’t even mention how the Swedish version completely butchered the actual ending and did not have Lisbeth go to Mikael only to be disappointed seeing him his lover. That sets up the next book – yet you fail to mention that it was completely left out of the Swedish version.

      Further, Mikael’s daughter was a big part (though minor character) of the first book with the parallels b/t her bible camp and Harriet’s bible and the religious undertones. And, more importantly, the book absolutely had Mikael’s daughter giving him the hint about the numbers being bible references when she stopped by to visit. It was the Swedish version that changed it to have Lisbeth figure it out.

      And I do not recall Miriam being a big part in the Swedish version of Dragon Tattoo at all.

      So while I have no problem with you preferring one version over the other (to each their own), your logic and reasoning is not based on fact.

    • rubiejamie

      @Gevidge – I did not say that the Swedish version had those elements, so sorry if I confused people by making it sound that way. I was comparing the Hollywood version to the book. The comments so far just seemed to imply that this version was perfect and that the Swedish version was crap. I just wanted to point out that this version too has some problems (like the unanswered flower thing).

      I guess for me the first book was about Harriet’s story, and I just felt that by changing the major elements of that (the flowers, which led to Oz, which led to Harriet) it took away form the movie for me. Harriet being an accomplished business woman in Oz set her up for her being included in the Vanger group in the later books.

      My comment about the Swedish film was just to say that I preferred it, not that it better portrayed everything from the book. For me personally, it represented Lisbeth as a strong woman, included the Miriam character who in the books was a big player (esp. book 2) and stayed truer to the Harriet story, which I liked.

  8. Gevidge

    Gotcha :) We r all fans and I respect your opinion! :)

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