Trent Reznor set to score Fincher’s ‘Dragon Tattoo’

01.07.11 7 years ago 12 Comments

Trent Reznor

This is one of those stories where no one’s going to act terribly surprised by the news, but it’s nice to get it confirmed and official.

Trent Reznor will be scoring David Fincher’s next film, “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.”

That’s one of those sentences that just plain makes sense.  I was surprised when they hired him for “The Social Network,” but his score for that film is great, and a real confirmation of Reznor as someone who should be working on films.  If he knocked an unlikely fit like the story of a bunch of Harvard kids inventing Facebook out of the park, imagine what he’s going to do with a story about criminal conspiracy and missing persons and old mysteries and murder and blackmail and rape and darkness.  Trent Reznor composing the Lisbeth Salander theme is one of the reasons to look forward to a movie theater this year.  I look at Lisbeth, and I imagine that she’s always hearing something in her head that sounds like a Trent Reznor album anyway.  It’s perfect.

Right now, I think film composition is one of those arts where new blood is incredibly important.  The guys who are the most vital and interesting right now are guys who haven’t been doing for decades and decades and decades, but who are still fairly new to it.  The work that Clint Mansell did on “Black Swan” last year, for example, is a remarkable piece of deconstruction as well as arrangement and composition, and it’s impressive as a piece of scholarly work on “Swan Lake” even removed from how well it works as complement to Darren Aronofsky’s film.

With Reznor’s work, in collaboration with Atticus Ross, I feel like David Fincher unlocked something that’s brewing in Reznor’s work as long as I’ve been a fan.  I still remember the first time my buddy Keven played me “Pretty Hate Machine.”  It was one of the most extreme industrial sounds I’d ever heard, and my first reaction was almost complete rejection.  And yet I was compelled to play it again.  And again.  And eventually heard past the noise and the almost abrasive physically assaultive qualities of it to the composition, and that’s what won me over.  Reznor’s always written film music… it’s just that no one was making the movies to go along with it.  “Se7en” feels like a movie that could have been scored by Reznor.  So does “Fight Club.”  Each of those movies have great work in them already, by Howard Shore and the Dust Brothers respectively, but you look at the visual palette and the subject matter, and absolutely I can imagine the sounds of Nine Inch Nails playing under all of that imagery.

I’m in the same camp as many people in that I don’t think it’s the most artistically challenging moment of Fincher’s career for him to adapt this book to the screen when the Swedish version with Noomi Rapace is still so fresh and the books are still on the charts.  But the film’s being made, and since that’s the case, I am interested in the choices they’re making for this version, and everything so far is pretty compelling.  Fincher thinks the world of Rooney Mara.  It was obvious both times we’ve spoken about her this past year.  And Daniel Craig is a great choice for Mikael Blomkvist, the male lead.  Smart.  Weathered.  Visually, the pair of them are so striking that I can understand what Fincher is planning.  And with Reznor onboard as well now, I think it’s safe to say that I’m equally interested in hearing the film as seeing it.

“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” arrives in theaters December 21, 2011.

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