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Lisbeth Salander - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Updated on July 15, 2011
Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander
Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander

The Hollywood film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo novel and remake of the Swedish film adaptation is in production and set to be released in December 2011.

The heroine of the Millennium Trilogy created by Swedish author Stieg Larrson is a 24 year old tattoed hacker with a photographic memory named Lisbeth Salander.

If you haven't read the books and you're curious about the media buzz surrounding The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie, then this hub will tell you a bit more about who Lisbeth Salander is as well as information on the books and movies.

Who is Lisbeth Salander?

Early life

Lisbeth Salander was born with a twin sister, Camilla on April 30, 1978 to Sophia Agneta Sjölander and a former Soviet spy, Alexander Zalachenko.

Her father was abusive to her mother who at one point was beaten so badly that she ended up being institutionalized for the rest of her life.

Lisbeth herself ended up being sent to the St. Stefan's Children's Psychiatric Hospital at the age of 12 when she set her father on fire after filling a milk carton with gasoline and throwing it into his car with a match.


Lisbeth at the age of 24, is a computer hacker with a photographic memory. She is able to bypass computer security systems without needing a password or authorization.

Lisbeth is somewhat antisocial and is determined to be mentally incompetent. She is placed in the care of her legal guardian, Erik Bjurman.


Although she doesn't readily express her love for Mikael Blomkvist, the divorced journalist who helps clear her name of several murders, they do get involved in a sexual relationship.

Mikael & Lisbeth
Mikael & Lisbeth

The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

In the crime trilogy, Millennium, which was created by Swedish author Stieg Larrson, Lisbeth Salander is the title character. She is the main character along with Mikael Blomkvist, publisher of the magazine Millennium.

Larrson wrote the trilogy before his death in 2004 and the books were published posthumously and gained worldwide attention.

The character of Lisbeth Salander, who was often abused and suffered sexual violence as a child, was partially inspired by a real life Lisbeth who Larrson had witnessed being gang-raped when he was only 15.

The main character of Blomkvist was modeled after the author himself who was also a publisher for a magazine called Expo.

The Millennium Trilogy in order of when they were published is

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (published 2005)
  • The Girl who Played with Fire (published 2006)
  • The Girl who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (published 2007)

Larrson before his death had also drafted a 4th novel featuring Salander and outlined a couple of others.

Swedish Film Adaptation

The Millennium trilogy was adapted as Swedish movies and released in 2009. All three movies starred Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander and Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist.

The first two movies were released to a wider audience in UK and the United States in 2010 and the third is scheduled for a November 2010 released.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Originally titled Män Som Hatar Kvinnor, which means Men Who Hate Women, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was released to Swedish audiences in February 2009. It was a huge success and prompted the producers to release the other two for the big screen instead of planned television movies.

The Girl Who Played with Fire

The second in the Millennium Trilogy was released to Swedish audiences in September 2009. It was also released in the United States in 2010.

In this film, Lisbeth is framed for the murder of a journalist and his girlfriend, and her legal guardian. Mikael tries to prove her innocence while Lisbeth is on the run. They both suspect a sex-trafficking ring may be behind the murders.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest

Lisbeth ends up in the hospital after being shot and framed for three murders. She awaits a trial after she recovers and Mikael tries to prove that she is innocent.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest was released in Sweden in November 2009 and will have an October release in the United States. The Swedish title for the film Luftslottet som sprängdes means The Air Castle That Exploded.

Lisbeth Salander goes to Hollywood

The Swedish film versions of Stieg Larrson's book are very good but Hollywood wants to make Lisbeth Salander a household name.

Sony bought the rights to develop Hollywood versions of the Millennium trilogy and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is now in production.

There are plans to release The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in December 2011 and do the other two sequels.

Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara?

Rooney Mara has been cast to take on the role as Lisbeth Salander although many who have been following the series feel that Noomi Rapace is the perfect person for the role since she plays Lisbeth so well on screen.

It's the first time I'm hearing about Rooney Mara but you can see her in the recent remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. If she (and the whole production team) pulls this off well, this should be her breakout role.

Daniel Craig, the current James Bond, will play Mikael Blomkvist and Robin Wright is also in the movie.

David Fincher who did Panic Roon, Fight Club and Se7en will direct The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.


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      coriwbaker 5 years ago

      Great job.