Apple Product Placement Showdown: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


Already done in Swedish, the late Stieg Larsen’s publishing phenom Millennium Trilogy is set to get the Hollywood blockbuster treatment starting in 2011. Famed director of The Social Network and Fight Club, David Fincher, will helm the remakes.

But when it comes to product placement, will Fincher remain loyal to the text? Or will Sony Studio’s involvement turn all those MacBooks Larsen mentions into Vaios?[more]

The Millennium Trilogy is heavy with online plotting. Indeed, its main characters do their sleuthing and communicating in cyberspace throughout the books. This means a lot of references to computers. Larsen was no slouch on the details of these scenes. Below, a couple of excerpts from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:

“The rucksack contained her white Apple iBook 600 with a 25-gig hard drive and 420 megs of RAM, manufactured in January 2002 and equipped with a 14-inch screen. At the time she bought it, it was Apple’s state-of-the-art laptop… computer equipment was the only extravagant entry on her list of expenses.”


“Unsurprisingly she set her sights on the best available alternative: the new Apple PowerBook G4/1.0 GHz in an aluminum case with a PowerPC 7451 processor with an AltiVec Velocity Engine, 960 MB RAM and a 60 GB hard drive. It had BlueTooth and built-in CD and DVD burners.

Best of all, it had the first 17-inch screen in the laptop world with NVIDIA graphics and a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels, which shook the PC advocates and outranked everything else on the market.

In terms of hardware, it was the Rolls-Royce of portable computers, but what really triggered Salander’s need to have it was the simple feature that the keyboard was equipped with backlighting, so that she could see the letters even if it was pitch dark. So simple. Why had no-one thought of that before?

It was love at first sight.”

Later in the series, Larsen is less detailed about particular computers; yet, in The Girl Who Played with Fire, a character orders parts from “MacJesus”:

“The extra batteries she had ordered for her Apple PowerBook (G4 titanium with a seventeen-inch-screen) had finally arrives.”


“He had a secondhand Mac iBook 500, white, with a fourteen-inch screen.”

(By the way, and domains are still available.)

With Hollywood already soaked with Apple product placement, will Fincher choose to ignore the original text and cut a deal with Alienware or Dell. The tech-heavy plot will certainly have computer brands eager to be featured. More likely, Dragon Tattoo will see Sony Vaios replace the bevy of Apple products.

Sony Studios is credited with the Hollywood remakes of the Larsen books and, as we’ve noted, studios are increasingly filling their films with products that fall under their respective cooperate umbrellas. In fact, Fincher’s last film for Sony Studios, The Social Network, featured a huge Sony Vaio placement.

It’s noteworthy that the first trilogy of Swedish films stuck closely to Larsen’s Apple-centric world. In fact, they may have overdone it. Below, just a selection of the scenes from the Swedish set of films featuring Apples, Apples, Macs and more Apples. 

Of course, fans of the books know that MacBooks were’t the only Macs strewn throughout the text.

Time and time again, Larsen places his action at or near the “McDonald’s on Hornsgatan” and the “McDonald’s in Hedestad” where characters meet, sit waiting, or “refuel” with “a Big Mac” and “a large Coke.”