ZDF, ZDF Enterprises and NFP*/Warner Bros Pictures present a European Blockbuster
Second Stieg Larsson Film also Exceeds All Expectations
Mainz, 25th September 2009
Since last weekend cinemagoers in Sweden, Denmark and Norway have been able to see "The Girl who Played with Fire", the second film in the Millennium trilogy, and box-office figures have exceeded the record set for the first film, surpassing all expectations.
In Germany Stieg Larsson mania is due to begin on 1st October, when "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" (directed by Niels Arden Oplev), the film version of the first part of the Millennium trilogy by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, is finally released. The premiere will be on 29th September 2009 at the Hamburg Film Festival. Within a short period the film has become one of the most successful European productions of the decade: in Scandinavia, France, Spain and Italy over 6 million people have watched this thriller so far.
They make a curious team, the two characters who take up arms against society in this trilogy and find themselves confronted by the depths of human behaviour. Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) is a brilliant, uncompromising computer hacker with a dark secret - and she does not shrink from employing violence or taking the law into her own hands. Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), is a well-known investigative journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, which campaigns against social injustices. He is a good listener with a quick wit, and he tends to make use of all his masculine charms. Together the two heroes of this trilogy challenge society and battle for justice. At first it seems that their quest is hopeless as they wage war against the powerful forces of commercial interests, political opportunism and the gruesome legacy of the Cold War. Their aim is to shake society to its very core, and they only have three weapons at their disposal: mobile phones, computers and pens. During the course of the trilogy they manage to win this battle, using their intelligence, huge reserves of willpower and sheer courage. In the process Lisbeth's dark secret is increasingly exposed, but in the end she gains not only a modicum of justice but also, in the shape of Mikael, a genuine friend - somebody who believes in her and is prepared to fight for her.
Around the globe these unconventional thrillers by a Swedish author who died at such a tragically early age are topping the bestseller lists. To date over 15 million Stieg Larsson books have been sold worldwide. He himself did not live long enough to see the sales which have made him one of the most successful authors in recent years: Stieg Larsson died in 2004 as a consequence of a heart attack, aged just 50 ... a year before the publication of "The Girl Who Played with Fire". In the 1990s Larsson, who was considered an expert on extremism, founded the magazine Expo, which campaigned against racism. In fact, alongside rightwing extremism Expo also tackled issues such as violence against women and the struggle against totalitarian systems. As the publisher, Stieg Larsson received death threats for the rest of his life and lived with strict security provisions.
The story in the Millennium trilogy is also the story of Stieg Larsson himself. The investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist appears to be the author's alter ego. Lisbeth Salander represents a strong and unconventional femininity - something which the author was committed to promoting throughout his life. The success of these socially critical stories about the struggle for justice has created a memorial to Stieg Larsson the individual.
The films have been produced by Henning Mankell's Swedish company Yellowbird in coproduction with ZDF and ZDF Enterprises. On the German side of the project are producer Peter Nadermann and program executives Klaus Bassiner and Wolfgang Feindt. The Millennium trilogy stands squarely in the tradition of successful film versions of works such as Henning Mankell's Wallander novels and the series "The Eagle" and "The Killing", constituting an outstanding continuation of the trend for international thrillers on ZDF. The film is distributed by NFP* in association with Warner Bros Pictures. After "The Girl Who Played with Fire" the second and third films in the trilogy, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest", will be on general release in Germany in spring 2010. For the Millennium trilogy NFP* is co-operating with the distribution company drei-freunde Filmverleih.
**About ZDF Enterprises**
Founded in 1993, ZDF Enterprises GmbH is the wholly-owned subsidiary and commercial arm of ZDF German Television Network, one of Europe's largest and most respected broadcasters. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for the development, production and global distribution of quality original programming. The company is also responsible for all program acquisitions and international co-productions on behalf of the network, and acquires programming for world-wide distribution. Its vast program library ranks as the largest in the German language. The extensive catalogue includes television movies and mini-series, drama series and comedies, documentaries, family entertainment and children's programming. ZDF Enterprises also oversees all licensing and merchandising activities based on its high-profile programs, including book and music publishing and the licensing of its program properties in all key product categories. Committed to the future, ZDF Enterprises has embarked on numerous New Media initiatives, ranging from opportunities within the burgeoning e-commerce industry to the creation of themed edutainment dimensions featuring the recognized program brands with which ZDF has become synonymous.
**Contact ZDF Enterprises**
Christine Denilauler (Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications), ZDF Enterprises GmbH, Lise-Meitner-Str. 9, D-55129 Mainz/Germany, tel. 0049 6131-991228, fax 0049 6131-991229, e-mail: [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com], [http://www.zdf-enterprises.de www.zdf-enterprises.de].