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‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ Trailer: Leak or Viral Marketing?

Over the weekend, a trailer for David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, appeared on the internet. (If you haven’t seen it already, watch it after the jump.) Judging by the skewed framing and the fact that it’s been showing in European theaters, most have assumed that the video is a pirated leak. But Slate’s Brow Beat blog points us to an interesting theory — that due to the high-quality audio (yup, that’s Trent Reznor and Karen O covering Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”) and video, and the fact that it opens with an American MPAA red band, some now suspect the clip actually came straight from the studio. Based on our memory of a bootlegged The Tree of Life trailer that popped up shortly before that preview made it to the internet, those points seem valid. Sony has, of course, denied that they’re the source of the leak, pointing out that the trailer did screen in select US theaters this week — although, as Brow Beat notes, it’s interesting that the company knows the video is out there and hasn’t asked YouTube to take it down.

Meanwhile, we have some other observations about the trailer: First of all, that Led Zep cover is all kinds of right — sexy, violent, and intense. Secondly, we’re a bit worried that the American Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is going to be a nearly shot-for-shot copy of the Swedish version. Daniel Craig, who already resembles Michael Nyqvist, seems to have gone out of his way to look exactly like him. And some of the shots seem familiar, too. Then again, we have to imagine a director like Fincher would have taken on the film if he didn’t intend to put his own spin on it.

As the folks who translated Let the Right One In into English to make last year’s surprisingly good (but also needlessly similar) Let Me In now know, not differentiating your movie enough from the original can hurt you at the box office.

Finally, we noticed that, although we spend a lot of time staring into Craig’s face, the fast-paced trailer only gives us a few quick head-on glances of Rooney Mara as Lizbeth Salander. Is this about building suspense, or it because she doesn’t look nearly as hard and strong in the role as Noomi Rapace?

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