Did Sony pull a Lisbeth Salander with its leaked trailer?


Over the weekend, Twitter was abuzz with news of a new red-band (mature audience) trailer for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo that had popped up on YouTube. Within a few hours, the video had more than 400,000 views. By early this week, the number will reach a million.

Give the trailer a look here and then come on back to find out more about it. (NSFW for brief nudity.)

In case you can’t watch right now, the trailer opens on the film’s icy setting and proceeds with an intense series of quick cuts of the story of journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) searching for a missing woman with the help of computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). The trailer’s driving soundtrack is Led Zepplin‘s “Immigrant Song” arranged by Trent Reznor with vocals by Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Perfect.

Since the trailer starts out shaky, initial word was that it was a bootlegged copy of the film’s international trailer. But then Web viewers started questioning things like the MPAA rating notice, which wouldn’t be on a European trailer. And if the video was bootlegged, why is the sound perfect and free of audience noise?

The Hollywood Reporter was among the first to wonder if perhaps Sony itself “leaked” the Dragon Tattoo trailer in a clever viral marketing campaign.

“The YouTube version that is getting a lot of clicks belongs to a user who is identified as being in the Netherlands and who joined YouTube May 28, the same day the trailer was uploaded. And so far, it doesn’t look as if Sony has moved quickly to have it removed.”


You have to admit that if Sony did this, it’s some damn fine marketing. Giving us an “illegal” look at a much-anticipated film only makes the trailer more appealing. And leaking the mature version means that Sony doesn’t have to age-restrict viewing on its own site.

Best of all, a viral Internet campaign is very much in tune with Lisbeth herself — a genius at using the web to get what she wants.

Legit or not, the trailer is amazing and makes me more excited than ever to see Rooney Mara as Lisbeth. My initial skepticism over the U.S. remake of Dragon Tattoo is fading fast.

The green-band trailer (all audiences) is scheduled for release Thursday afternoon and we’ll show it to you as soon as we have it. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will open December 22, billed as “The feel-bad movie of Christmas.”

What do you think of the first look at the U.S. version of Dragon Tattoo? Do you think the trailer is a bootleg or has Sony pulled a Lisbeth Salander?