Millenium trilogy set for cinemas

Yellow Bird, Swedish TV to release sequels

STOCKHOLM — In a unexpected decision, production company Yellow Bird and Swedish Television have agreed to release the two sequels to box office success “The Girl with Dragon Tattoo” theatrically worldwide.

Sequels “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” were originally conceived as a TV miniseries. But the commercial success of “Dragon Tattoo” in Scandinavia has prompted a change.

“Fire” will be released theatrically in Sweden in the beginning of September, “Hornest’s Nest” in November.

“We will now go directly to all foreign distributors who bought the first film for cinema release and start negotiations for films numbers two and three,” producer Soren Staermose told Variety. The TV deals are not affected.

The three books by author Stieg Larsson, who died before the first one had been released, are worldwide bestsellers. Production company Yellow Bird bought the rights before the books, known as the Millennium trilogy, had been published, and Swedish Television (SvT) signed on as one of the co-producers.

In just three weeks, “Dragon Tattoo” has totalled more than 1.5 million admissions in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, with a combined gross of $21 million.

Gunnar Carlsson, executive producer at SvT, said, “We at SvT support the development of Swedish cinema, and we realized that a cinema release of the sequels would bring enormous possibilities regarding box office.”

The theatrical version of “Fire” will be released in the beginnning of September and “Hornet’s Nest” likely in November.

The six-part miniseries, based on all three novels, will air in Sweden in March 2010, and will include additional material not contained in the theatrical releases.

The sequels were helmed by Daniel Alfredson, while “Dragon Tattoo” was helmed by Dane Niels Arden Oplev. The TV series, which in its complete version will be nine hours long, will be released on DVD in Scandinavia before it is aired on SvT.

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