While his Lisbeth Salander, played by Noomi Rapace, used her turn in the Swedish Millenium trilogy films to break into Hollywood with roles in “Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows” and “Prometheus,” original “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” director Niels Arden Oplev hasn’t fared quite as well. While he’s been attached to quite a few projects — “Game Theory,” “The Keep” and “The Last Photograph” (though Zack Snyder, who developed the movie has now decided to direct it himself) — none have really taken off, but it looks like his old leading lady is coming back with a much bigger star in tow get his next project moving.
On the floor at the American Film Market this week will be “Dead Man Down,” with Oplev to direct Rapace and Colin Farrell in the picture. Penned by J.H. Wyman (“The Mexican,” “Fringe“), it’s another tale of vengeance, with the thriller seeing Farrell play Victor, right hand man to an underground crime lord in New York City who is seduced and blackmailed by Beatrice (Rapace), a crime victim seeking retribution. Their intense chemistry leads them spiraling into payback delivered in violent catharsis. So, “The Girl With The New York Tattoo“? Okay, maybe that’s reductive, but hell, if Oplev and Rapace need to use that familiar thematic cachet to get a project moving, why not.
The film is being produced under “Fast Five” and “Total Recall” producer Neal H. Moritz’s Original Film banner along with Wyman’s Frequency Films, and IM Global will be wheeling and dealing the sales on this one. While we’ve made our feelings known on the Swedish trilogy of films, it’s clear that Oplev and Rapace share some chemistry, and if he managed to pull out that kind of attention-grabbing turn from the actress, we’re intrigued to see what he does here. As for Farrell, it continues his journey out of arthouse fare and into more steady paycheck stuff like the aforementioned “Total Recall,” and if he can bring the same charisma as he did in his slept on turn in “Fright Night” (in fact, the movie was unfairly dismissed, in this writer’s opinion anyway) “Dead Man Down” could be some genre-based fun.
Filming kicks off in early 2012.