By: Rohn Romulo
COLUMBIA Pictures celebrates the box office prowess and creative energy of rising director Fede Alvarez by choosing him to bring to the screen the new Lisbeth Salander thriller, The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
The studio identified Alvarez as a striking new filmmaking talent with right sensibilities for the project, as evidence by Alvarez’s 2013 remake of the horror classic Evil Dead and his original 2016 thriller Don’t Breathe. With the producers’ deep understanding of the material, Alvarez’s ambition to keep pushing the boundaries of genre movies, and the studio’s desire to continue working with a director who had become part of the studio’s family, it only seemed natural to bring Alvarez into the world of The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
For Alvarez, the chance to bring his skill with unnerving tension, and knack for charged character dynamics, to a story steeped in drama, suspense, and action, was a perfect fit. The feel of The Girl in The Spider’s Web, he realized, needed to be its own engrossing hybrid of the visceral and emotional.
“The main thing that describes it for me is just that it doesn’t look like anything else, and that’s what I’ve always been looking for as a filmmaker when it comes to choosing a project,” says the director.
“And there was something very particular with this one that just gave me the opportunity to make a film that I knew didn’t have to look like anything else. It’s a strange combination of an action movie, a powerful character drama, and a Nordic noir thriller. All these elements combine in a particular way and made it very, very different”
At the top of that list of compelling elements, for Alvarez, was of course Lisbeth Salander, who for the first time takes center stage in one of the Millennium stories as the plot’s chief protagonist, rather than a featured player.
“Lisbeth is the reason why I decided to make this film,” says Alvarez.
“She does something that is very relevant for these times, which is, she represents a woman saying: Enough is enough!”.
One of the strongest traits of Lisbeth as a character, says Alvarez, is her sense of fight, something he chose to explore fully and viscerally in Spider’s Web.
“Lisbeth does a great job not wanting to become a victim,” he says. “It doesn’t matter how much you throw at her, she will come through – she’ll put up a great fight, which is what you see in this story better than any of the other ones in the past. You will see an iron will. It doesn’t matter how much she gets beat up or thrown back or put on her knees. She will stand up again and keep fighting. And I think that’s a feeling that everybody taps into.”
Now showing in Philippine cinemas, The Girl in the Spider’s Web is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.