The movies based on the novels of Stieg Larsson were produced in 2009 in Sweden, e.g. "Män som hatar kvinnor" by Niels Arden Oplev. It was published in many countries with new voices (e.g. German).

Only 2 years later in 2011 a remake was produced: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by David Fincher. Sometimes between an original and a remake there even lie decades.

What was the reason for a remake only 2 years afterwards? I heard rumors that they needed an English version (without subtitles and any translations), but that doesn't seem to make quite much sense to me.

  • 8
    You answered your own question. Most Americans don't like to read their movies. They stumble over the words, losing track of the visual.
    – wbogacz
    Oct 1, 2013 at 13:18
  • 1
    @wbogacz Yet they could have easily dubbed it into English.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Oct 1, 2013 at 13:20
  • 1
    Related more general question: movies.stackexchange.com/q/118/49
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Oct 1, 2013 at 14:39
  • 1
    If you look at the list of film remakes in Wikipedia, two or three-year lapses between the original and the remake are not that uncommon. Oct 1, 2013 at 15:02
  • 1
    @ChristianRau Americans aren't fans of dubbing either; most anime (the biggest genre in the US I'm aware of that's mostly not produced in English) fans I know consider it the greater evil and prefer subtitling. Live action is even harder to do it without being obvious than in animated films because it's all but impossible to get translated text that is capable of syncing up with the casts recorded lip movements. Oct 1, 2013 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


This BBC News report states that there was actual room for making a big business with an English language film trilogy. Quote:

Telling a story of murder, corruption and family secrets, the late author's Millennium Trilogy has sold more than 65 million copies worldwide and spawned a series of Swedish films made in 2009.

Although a hit in Larsson's native country taking 110m Swedish krona (£10.3m, $16m) within three months of release, it had a muted reception in the US and UK, taking just $10m (£6.4m) and £1.5m respectively.

Now the book has had a Hollywood makeover with a $100m (£64m) budget and Oscar-nominated director David Fincher and Schindler's List scribe Steve Zaillian at the helm.

The prediction was correct. The first Swedish film had a box office of $104,384,415 (for a budget of $13 million), while the first American film had $232,617,430 (for a budget of $90 million).

As I said in a comment above, a remake only two or three years after the original is not that uncommon - see the Wikipedia List of film remakes for several examples.

  • 2
    Further, the Swedish film was in Swedish, which means it would have to be subtitled for release in major US cinemas. Unfortunately movies where ALL the dialog has to be subtitled typically don't perform as well at the box office for a US release.
    – MattD
    Oct 1, 2013 at 13:28
  • 1
    @MattD Yes, and having well known Hollywood stars as actors helps, too. Naomi Watts helped The Ring a lot. The film made a box office of $249,348,933, compared to the $13,005,000 of the original Japanese Ring (リング). Oct 1, 2013 at 13:32
  • @MattD Do the U.S. really lack a working dubbing industry?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Oct 1, 2013 at 14:27
  • @ChristianRau "In the United States and most of Canada outside of Quebec, foreign films shown in theaters (...) are usually subtitled. The exceptions are tokusatsu and daikaiju films, which are dubbed when imported into the U.S. However, the poor quality of the dubbing of these films has become the subject of mockery. A small number of British films have been dubbed when released in America due to dialects used with which Americans are not familiar." See Wikipedia. Oct 1, 2013 at 14:45
  • @ChristianRau There's lots of dub work going on, but it can be really hit or miss with how good it is. As Daniel noted, most films that feature dubbed audio tend to be mocked in the US. I know at various anime cons I've been to with voice actors and ADA directors, they really emphasize how much effort they put into matching "lip flaps" with the words being spoken. Evidently lost of people don't like when the words being spoken don't match with the number of times the character's lips "flap".
    – MattD
    Oct 1, 2013 at 15:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .