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The Girl in the Spider's Web (film)

The Girl in the Spider's Web is a 2018 action thriller film[7][8] directed by Fede Álvarez and written by Álvarez, Steven Knight, and Jay Basu, and based on the novel of the same name by David Lagercrantz, which in turn is based on characters in the book series by Stieg Larsson. The film acts as both a soft-reboot[dubious ] and a sequel to David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as the second installment in the American-produced Millennium film series. It stars Claire Foy, taking over the role of Lisbeth Salander from Rooney Mara, and follows Salander as she battles against a mysterious organization, The Spiders, who are seeking world anarchy. Sverrir Gudnason, LaKeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, and Stephen Merchant also appear in the film.

The Girl in the Spider's Web
The Girl in the Spider's Web poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFede Álvarez
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onThe Girl in the Spider's Web
by David Lagercrantz
Characters by
Stieg Larsson
Music byRoque Baños
CinematographyPedro Luque
Edited byTatiana S. Riegel
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing[1]
Release date
  • October 24, 2018 (2018-10-24) (Rome)
  • November 9, 2018 (2018-11-09) (United States and Canada)
  • November 21, 2018 (2018-11-21) (United Kingdom)
Running time
117 minutes[3]
Budget$43 million[5]
Box office$35.2 million[6]

The Girl in the Spider's Web had its world premiere at the Rome Film Festival on October 24, 2018, and was theatrically released by Sony Pictures Releasing in Sweden on October 26, 2018, and in the United States on November 9, 2018. The film grossed $35 million bombing worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics, although Foy's performance was praised.[9]



In Stockholm, Sweden, vigilante hacker Lisbeth Salander is hired by computer programmer Frans Balder to retrieve Firefall, a program capable of accessing the world's nuclear codes that he developed for the National Security Agency, as Balder believes it is too dangerous to exist. Lisbeth successfully retrieves Firefall from the NSA's servers, attracting the attention of agent Edwin Needham, but is unable to unlock it, and the program is later stolen from her by mercenaries led by Jan Holtser, who also attempt to kill Lisbeth. When she does not attend their scheduled rendezvous, Balder mistakenly believes Lisbeth decided to keep Firefall for herself and contacts Gabrielle Grane, the deputy director of the Swedish Security Service (Säpo), who moves Balder and his young son August to a safehouse. Meanwhile, Needham tracks the unauthorized login to Stockholm and arrives to seek Lisbeth and Firefall.

Lisbeth asks her hacker friend Plague for help and they contact Lisbeth's former lover, investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist, for help identifying her assailants. Blomkvist learns Holtser previously worked for Lisbeth's late father, crime lord Alexander Zalachenko, and is now affiliated with an elusive international crime syndicate known as "The Spiders". Lisbeth puts surveillance on Balder's safehouse, and when it is attacked, intervenes to protect Balder and his son. She is intercepted by Holtser, who kills Balder, frames Lisbeth, and kidnaps August. Lisbeth pursues them in a stolen police car and is able to rescue August and take him to another safe house, where she confirms that he is the only one capable of unlocking Firefall.

Elsewhere, Needham locates Lisbeth's girlfriend Sofia and persuades her to arrange a meeting between them, intending to lure Lisbeth into a trap, but Lisbeth manages to evade him, and Needham is later arrested by Grane. Lisbeth helps him escape in exchange for Needham safely escorting August back to the United States to be reunited with his mother, and begrudgingly agrees to give him Firefall as well. The Spiders later attack Lisbeth's safe house and kidnap August once again. Lisbeth and Blomkvist manage to escape, and Lisbeth learns that their leader is her twin sister Camilla Salander, whom Lisbeth believed to be dead. When they were children, Lisbeth decided to run away from their abusive father, and when Camilla hesitated, Lisbeth left her behind. After years of torture, Camilla faked her suicide and went underground to form the Spiders.

Camilla and the Spiders take August to her base of operations at the sisters' childhood home. Grane had hired the Spiders to retrieve Firefall for her and informed them of Balder's location, but Camilla kills Grane instead. Lisbeth, Blomkvist, Plague and Needham track August to the building, and Lisbeth breaks in to give Plague access to the building's surveillance system, but is caught and taken to the room where August is being held, where she learns that Blomkvist has also been captured. When Camilla threatens to torture him. Lisbeth tells August to trust her and reveal the password to Firefall. Camilla then tries to suffocate Lisbeth by wrapping her in a rubber coating and suctioning out all the air, while describing the abuse she suffered at the hands of their father.

Armed with a sniper rifle and guided by Plague, Needham eliminates Camilla's henchmen, saving August and Blomkvist, while Camilla escapes with the laptop containing Firefall. Lisbeth escapes. Holtser, having been injected with a poison that induces blindness, stumbles around in a forest and gets hit by Camilla's car, causing the vehicle to plunge into the woods. An injured Camilla escapes from the crash site. Lisbeth pursues her to a nearby cliff, where Camilla tearfully asks why she never returned for her; Lisbeth responds by telling her sister that she, Camilla, chose to remain with their family rather than escape with Lisbeth. It is then that Camilla realizes the error of her ways, but she ends up committing suicide by jumping off the cliff - despite her sister's objections; though she mourns Camilla's death, Lisbeth retrieves the laptop in the snow.

On his way back to the United States with August, Needham attempts to access Firefall, only to discover Lisbeth has already destroyed it, citing it is what Balder would have wanted, while Lisbeth later burns down her childhood home to destroy all traces of her father.


  • Claire Foy as Lisbeth Salander, a computer hacker who has survived severe emotional and sexual abuse.
    • Beau Gadsdon as Young Lisbeth Salander
  • Sverrir Gudnason as Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist for Millennium and lover/partner of Lisbeth.
  • Lakeith Stanfield as Edwin Needham, a National Security Agency (NSA) security expert who is tracking Salander.
  • Sylvia Hoeks as Camilla Salander, Lisbeth's estranged sister, who is the head of a major crime syndicate.
    • Carlotta von Falkenhayn as Young Camilla Salander
  • Stephen Merchant as Frans Balder, a terminated employee of the NSA who developed a program called Firefall, which accesses the world's nuclear codes. He requests Salander's help in destroying his program, which he believes to be too powerful for any player.
  • Vicky Krieps as Erika Berger, the publisher of Millennium.
  • Claes Bang as Jan Holtser, Camilla's accomplice.
  • Christopher Convery as August Balder, Frans' son.
  • Synnøve Macody Lund as Gabriella Grane, the deputy director of the Swedish Security Service (Säpo).
  • Cameron Britton as Plague, a close associate of Lisbeth—a computer expert to whom she reaches out when she needs assistance.
  • Andreja Pejić as Sofia, Lisbeth's lover/partner.
  • Mikael Persbrandt as Alexander Zalachenko, father to Lisbeth and Camilla Salander.
  • Volker Bruch as Peter Ahlgren


In November 2015, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Sony Pictures Entertainment was planning to develop a new film series based on the Millennium novels, starting from the book The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz.[10] Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig, who portrayed Salander and Blomkvist, respectively, in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, would not be back for the film. New actors would be cast, and David Fincher would also not return as director, though he later received an executive producer credit.[10] Steven Knight was announced to be in talks to adapt the novel, while the producers would be Scott Rudin, Amy Pascal, and Elizabeth Cantillon, along with Yellow Bird's Berna Levin, Søren Stærmose, and Ole Sondberg.[10] TheWrap reported that Alicia Vikander was being considered for the role of Salander.[11] However, while promoting Carol, Mara stated that she was still signed for the sequel: "As far as I know I'm doing it until someone tells me otherwise".[12]

In November 2016, Variety reported that Sony was in negotiations with Fede Álvarez to direct the film, with Eli Bush as an additional producer.[13] In March 2017, it was announced that the film would feature an entirely new cast, with production set to begin in September 2017.[14] In May 2017, it was reported that Claire Foy was the frontrunner to play Salander, and, in September 2017, Foy was officially cast in the film.[15][16] Sylvia Hoeks joined the cast in October 2017.[17] The rest of the cast was announced over the next five months.[18][19][20][21][22][23][24]

Principal photography began in January 2018 in Berlin;[18][25], Leipzig Airport then moved to Hamburg February 2–4, for filming at the Kattwyk Bridge;[26] and ended in April 2018, in Stockholm.[27][28]


The Girl in the Spider's Web was released in the United States on November 9, 2018 by Sony.[23] It was originally scheduled for October 5, 2018, but was moved in March 2017.[14] The first trailer was released on June 7, 2018.[29] The film premiered at the Rome Film Festival on October 24, 2018.[30]


Box officeEdit

The Girl in the Spider's Web has grossed $14.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $20.2 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $35 million, against a production budget of $43 million.[6] Having failed to recover its production budget, it emerged a box-office bomb.[31]

In the United States and Canada, The Girl in the Spider's Web was released alongside The Grinch and Overlord, and was projected to gross $10–15 million from 2,929 theaters in its opening weekend.[32] It made $3 million on its first day, including $635,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $8 million, down from the $12.8 million opening of the first film and finishing fifth at the box office.[33] The film fell 68% in its second weekend to $2.8 million, finishing ninth.[34]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 40% based on 222 reviews, and an average rating of 5.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Girl in the Spider's Web distills the action elements of its source material for a less complex – and only sporadically effective – franchise reboot."[35] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 43 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[36] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it a 75% positive score.[33]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Film releases". Variety Insight. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  2. ^ McClintock, Pamela (October 2, 2018). "New Regency Teams With Sony on 'Girl in the Spider's Web,' 'Little Women'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  3. ^ "The Girl in the Spider's Web". Regal Entertainment Group. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e "The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018)". AllMovie. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  5. ^ Peele, Anna (October 17, 2018). "New 'Girl': Claire Foy Opens Up on Politics, Fears and Her Dark Journey From The Queen to Lisbeth Salander". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "The Girl in the Spider's Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  7. ^ "The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) - Fede Álvarez". AllMovie.
  8. ^ "'The Girl in the Spider's Web': Film Review - Rome 2018". Hollywood Reporter.
  9. ^ Geisinger, Gabriella (November 5, 2018). "The Girl in the Spider's Web reviews: What do critics say about new Dragon Tattoo film?". Daily Express. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c Siegel, Tatiana; Kit, Borys (November 4, 2015). "'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Follow-up in Works With Steven Knight in Talks to Adapt (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  11. ^ Sneider, Jeff (November 4, 2015). "Alicia Vikander Early Favorite to Replace Rooney Mara in 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Sequel (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  12. ^ "Rooney Mara: I'm Still Signed to Star in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Sequel". E! Online. November 13, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  13. ^ Kroll, Justin (November 2, 2016). "Sony's 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Sequel May Have Found Its Director (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  14. ^ a b Hipes, Patrick (March 13, 2017). "'The Girl In The Spider's Web' With New Cast Gets 2018 Release Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  15. ^ Kroll, Justin (May 15, 2017). "'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Sequel: 'The Crown's' Claire Foy Frontrunner for Lisbeth Salander". Variety. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  16. ^ McNary, Dave (September 15, 2017). "'Crown's' Claire Foy to Officially Star in 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Sequel". Variety. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  17. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 20, 2017). "Blade Runner Breakout Sylvia Hoeks Joins Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Sequel". Variety. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (November 17, 2017). "Dragon Tattoo Sequel Taps The Square Star Claes Bang as Villain". Variety. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  19. ^ Kroll, Justin (November 29, 2017). "Mindhunter's Cameron Britton Joins Dragon Tattoo Sequel". Variety. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  20. ^ Kroll, Justin (December 6, 2017). "Dragon Tattoo Sequel Casts Borg/McEnroe Star in Daniel Craig's Previous Role". Variety. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  21. ^ "'Get Out' Actor Lakeith Stanfield Joins 'Girl in the Spider's Web'".
  22. ^ Vlessing, Etan (February 6, 2018). "Stephen Merchant Joins 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'Girl in the Spider's Web'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  23. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (February 8, 2018). "'Phantom Thread' Star Vicky Krieps Joins 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  24. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (March 14, 2018). "Sope Aluko Cast In 'Venom'; Andreja Pejić Joins 'The Girl In The Spider's Web'; James Trevena-Brown In 'Charlie Says'".
  25. ^ "Claire Foy wins her second SAG Award for The Crown". The New Indian Express. January 22, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  26. ^
  27. ^ "THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB – Stockholm Photo Call". April 14, 2018. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  28. ^ Flint, Hanna (April 16, 2018). "Claire Foy reveals Lisbeth Salander hair transformation as 'The Girl in the Spider's Web' wraps". Yahoo!. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  29. ^ Evans, Greg; Evans, Greg (June 7, 2018). "'The Girl In The Spider's Web' Trailer: First Look At Claire Foy's Lisbeth Salander Of The Stieg Larsson Series".
  30. ^ "Rome Film Festival: 'Girl in the Spider's Web' World Premiere Among Full Lineup Highlights". The Hollywood Reporter.
  31. ^ Clark, Travis (December 29, 2018). "13 of the biggest movie flops of 2018 that failed dramatically at the box office". Business Insider. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  32. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (November 6, 2018). "'The Grinch' to Steal Box Office Crown With $55 Million-Plus Debut". Variety. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  33. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 11, 2018). "'The Grinch' Who Stole Business: Dr. Seuss Pic Opening To $66M As 'Overlord' & 'Spider's Web' Wither – Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  34. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 18, 2018). "'Crimes Of Grindelwald' Falls Short Stateside With $62M+ Debut, WB Celebrates Global Win As 'Fantastic Beasts' Series Hits $1B-Plus". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  35. ^ "The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  36. ^ "The Girl in the Spider's Web Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 30, 2018.

External linksEdit