With Lisbeth Salander heading to theaters in a soft reboot of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo franchise, there’s something different about the titular character in The Girl in the Spider’s Web. This time around, Lisbeth Salander is empowered and she’s righting wrongs at every turn she can. In fact, she has quite a bit in common with another vigilante that dresses in black: Batman.
In the movie, Lisbeth, played this time around by Claire Foy, is very reminiscent of the Dark Knight. From her penchant for dressing in black and hiding in the shadows, to her use of high tech gadgets, it’s easy to draw a line between the two–Lisbeth even gets her own Batmobile, sort of. Even director Fede Álvarez sees a potential connection to the Caped Crusader. “It does probably go back to Batman,” he said. “Maybe also because in that first scene they ask her, ‘Who are you?’ which takes me back to the first trailer of Tim Burton’s Batman.”
It’s not just surface level traits that might remind you of the DC Comics vigilante, though. Like Bruce Wayne and his caped alter ego, she’s also a tortured soul.
For Álvarez, showing this version of Lisbeth, as an incredibly flawed human being trying her best to make the world better, is what mattered most. “It was important because I don’t like heroes usually,” he told GameSpot. “I don’t do heroes in my movies. I might introduce them like one but then part of the story is always going to show the human being behind that. I’m interested in seeing the real human being behind the flawed human being. That’s what the movie does, in a way. It starts there, but then, as you know, it just starts going deeper and deeper to who they truly are.”
He’s not wrong. The Girl in the Spider’s Web delves deep into Lisbeth in an attempt to explain the person she’s become and why she fights the battles she does. As with Batman, it’s childhood trauma that has largely contributed to the person she’s grown to be, a lot of which is explored in The Girl in the Spider’s Web. More than that, though, as fans of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, there’s far more to Lisbeth than her childhood.
It’s this kind of flawed humanity that, for Foy, makes the character so interesting to play. “I don’t think she’s a superhero because she bleeds when you cut her,” the actress said. “It’s very obvious that she’s a human and that the only superpower she has, in a way, I suppose, is her brain. She knows she’s not strong enough to fight all of these men but she’s able to think faster than them and act quicker. She will always fight to the absolute bitter end. She will be clawing her way out.”
While it may be more action-oriented than previous installments of the franchise, The Girl in the Spider’s Web is by no means a superhero film. Instead, for Álvarez, this is the story of a flawed woman who is still learning about the world, even as she tries to save it. “I like to relate to characters through their mistakes, rather than through heroic acts,” he said.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web is in theaters on November 9.