Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trailer—Leak or Viral Stunt?

Slate's Culture Blog
May 31 2011 10:36 AM

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trailer—Leak or Viral Stunt?

On Saturday, a leaked trailer for the David Fincher-directedremake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was posted to YouTube and quickly started bouncing around the Internet. Thehyperkinetic minute-and-a-half clip set to a propulsive, industrial cover of Led Zeppelin's "ImmigrantSong" by Trent Reznor and Karen O was enough to get this Millennium trilogyfan stoked for the film's release in December. The YouTube video appears to havebeen shot surreptitiously in a movie theater, and when it was first releasedviewers figured it had been shot in Europe, where thered-band trailer started screening last week .

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The promise of a contraband teaser might have beenexcitement enough, but the buzz grew even louder as people started speculatingthat the "leaked" video might be a clever viral marketing ploy, a la the Dark Knight Rises campaign thatkicked off a few weeks ago. T he Hollywood Reporter 's Gregg Kilday cited the fact that t he trailerplayed with an American MPAA red band (denoting mature content), despite thefact that it supposedly played in Europe, as well as the highquality of the image and audio.

A Sony spokesperson later told THR that thetrailer was showing in a few theatersin the U.S. , and that the studio believes the leaked copy was shot here. (Thoughif you're still conspiracy-minded, you might ask: If it's not official, why hasn'tthe video been taken down yet?)

If Sony did plan this, the tactic played out brilliantly fansare even more excited now that we've all gotten a chance to feel a bit like super hacker sleuth Lisbeth Salander .And if it didn't, it should thank the buzz gods for a brilliant stroke of luck.

Follow  Brow Beat on Twitter . Formore culture coverage, like  Slate  Culture  onFacebook.

Nina Shen Rastogi is a writer and editor, and is also the vice president for content at Figment.

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