Award-winning director Niels Arden Oplev (the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) has signed on to direct the pilot for TNT’s The Deep Mad Dark – a propulsive, layered mystery about an intoxicating friendship and how it leads to a brutal act of violence that drives two women in radically different ways.
Set against the landscape of modern Detroit, it explores the power certain friendships have to shape who we are – in ways both beautiful and dangerous.
USA Network’s Mr. Robot (Wednesdays, 10/9C) is, to quote the network’s blurb, ‘a techno thriller that follows Elliot, a young programmer, who works as a cyber-security engineer by day and as a vigilante hacker by night. Elliot finds himself at a crossroad when the mysterious leader of an underground hacker group recruits him to destroy the firm he is paid to protect. Compelled by his personal beliefs, Elliot struggles to resist the chance to take down the multinational CEOs he believes are running (and ruining) the world.’
As all blurbs are, this one is a simplification – for one thing, Elliot is substantially more than merely a cyber-security tech/vigilante. He is both a troubled soul – possibly at the highly functional end of the autism spectrum – who is almost clinically aware of his flaws. As such, he is one of the most relateable protagonists on TV right now.
Niels Arden Oplev received near unanimous raves for his original take on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo so it makes sense that his first film in English would be a complicated tale of vengeance. Dead Man Down, written by Fringe’s J.H. Wyman focuses on Viktor, right-hand man of crime boss Alphonse and Beatrice, the scarred victim of a drunk driver who lives with her nearly deaf mother. Viktor and Beatrice’s is the central relationship and a most unorthodox courtship.
It hasn’t taken Poppy Montgomery [Without a Trace] too terribly long to return to series television. Unforgettable [CBS, Tuesdays, 10/9C] finds Montgomery playing Carrie Wells, former detective with a medical condition that makes it impossible for her to forget anything – except for the details that might solve her sister’s murder.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a two-and-a-half-hour movie that feels much shorter. The multi-layered thriller is based on the Stieg Larsson best seller Män som hatar kvinnor [Men Who Hate Women], itself a richly complex work that runs over eight hundred pages [none of it unnecessary].
The plot revolves around a disgraced financial journalist, Mikael Blomkvist [Michael Nyqvist] found guilty of libel; Lisbeth Salander [Noomi Rapace], a researcher with a photographic memory and amazing computer skills – but equally few social skills; a fourteen-year old girl named Harriet, who disappeared forty years ago; her uncle, who never gave up trying to find her killer; a family composed of mostly disagreeable and even reprehensible members, and what happens when Blomkvist is hired to find out who killed Harriet.