Millennium series

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Millennium series
Author Stieg Larsson
Language Swedish
Genre Crime / Mystery novel
Publisher Norstedts Förlag (Swedish)
Published 2005–2007
Media type Print (paperback, hardback)

The Millennium series consists of three bestselling novels, originally written in Swedish, by the late Stieg Larsson (1954–2004). The two primary characters in the saga are Lisbeth Salander, a woman in her twenties with a photographic memory and poor social skills, and Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative journalist and publisher of a magazine called Millennium. Blomkvist, the character, has a history similar to Larsson, the author. Larsson planned the series as having ten installments, but due to his sudden death, only three were completed and published.[1] They are:

Origins and publication[edit]

Larsson, when he was 15 years old, witnessed the gang rape of a girl, which led to his lifelong abhorrence of violence and abuse against women. The author never forgave himself for failing to help the girl, which inspired the themes of sexual violence against women in his books.[2][3]

In writing the series, Larsson was also influenced by two murders: Melissa Nordell, a model killed by her boyfriend, and Fadime Şahindal, a Swedish-Kurdish woman killed by her father.[4] Both women were killed at the hands of men or as victims of honor crime. To Larsson, there was no difference, and the "systematic violence" against women highly affected and inspired him to take action against these crimes through his writing. Eva Gabrielsson, Larsson's longtime partner, wrote that "the trilogy allowed Stieg to denounce everyone he loathed for their cowardice, their irresponsibility, and their opportunism: couch-potato activists, sunny-day warriors, fair-weather skippers who pick and choose their causes; false friends who used him to advance their own careers; unscrupulous company heads and shareholders who wrangle themselves huge bonuses.... Seen in this light, Stieg couldn't have had any better therapy for what ailed his soul than writing his novels." [5]

Larsson submitted the manuscripts for all three volumes in the series to two Swedish publishers, with Norstedts Förlag accepting the manuscripts for publication. Norstedts commissioned Steve Murray, under the pen-name of Reg Keeland, to undertake the English translation.[6] Larsson tried to get British publishers to accept his book, but was turned down until Christopher Maclehose bought the global English-language rights of the book for Quercus, a small London publisher.[7][8] Alfred A. Knopf bought the U.S. rights to the books after Larsson's death in 2004.[9]

By May 2010, 27 million copies had been sold worldwide,[10] a number that would grow to more than 46 million over the next five months,[11] and reach 65 million in December 2011.[12] In July 2010 the series made Larsson the first author to sell a million electronic copies of his work on the Amazon Kindle. Sales reached 73 million copies worldwide by the end of 2012, and the books continue to sell well today.[13][14]

Unfinished material[edit]

Larsson wrote about three-quarters of a fourth novel before his sudden death in November 2004. His partner, Eva Gabrielsson, is in possession of the notebook computer with the manuscript, but does not own the rights to Larsson's work. In an attempt to protect Gabrielsson from the people he was investigating in real life (Swedish Neo-Nazis and racists), Larsson never married. He wrote a will but it was not witnessed, making it invalid according to Swedish law. Thus, it is his family who have succession.[15] Outlines or manuscripts for one or two more books may exist.[10][16]

Fourth novel[edit]

In December 2013, the Swedish publishing company Norstedts announced that the fourth Millennium book would be written by David Lagercrantz, a Swedish author known as Zlatan Ibrahimović's biographer, to be published in August 2015.[17][18] Larsson's partner Eva Gabrielsson has voiced criticism against this project, which will not use the unpublished material which is still in her possession.[19] The English language translation will be published by Quercus Publishing.[20]


Swedish films[edit]

The Swedish film production company Yellow Bird has produced film versions of the Millennium Trilogy, co-produced with The Danish film production company Nordisk Film and television company,[21] which were released in Scandinavia in 2009. In 2010, the extending all three films to approximately 180 minutes led to their being shown on Swedish television as a six-part series. Each film was divided into two parts of 90 minutes. This version was released on July 14, 2010 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in three separate sets and on November 24, 2010 as a Complete Millennium Trilogy box set with an extra disc.

Originally, only the first film was meant for a theatrical release, with the following ones conceived as TV films, but this was changed in the wake of the tremendous success of the first film. The first film was directed by Niels Arden Oplev and the next two by Daniel Alfredson, while the screenplays of the first two were adapted by Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg, and the last one by Ulf Rydberg and Jonas Frykberg. All three films feature Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist and Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander.

American films[edit]

Yellow Bird and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer partnered with Columbia Pictures to produce an English-language adaptation of the first novel. The film is written by Steven Zaillian, directed by David Fincher and produced by Scott Rudin, with Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist and Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander. Along with Dragon Tattoo, Fincher and Zaillian have signed a two-picture deal to adapt The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, which may be shot back to back. In January 2012, it was announced that Sony was "moving forward" with the adaptations of The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.[22][23] Zaillian wrote the original screenplays, but Sony brought in Andrew Kevin Walker to revise them. The studio hopes to have the same people involved in the sequels as in the first film, with Fincher directing and Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara starring, but scheduling has been difficult.[24]

Graphic novels[edit]

In October 2011, DC Comics announced that its Vertigo imprint had acquired the rights to the series, and would be adapted each novel into two graphic novels.[25] The graphic novels are adapted by Scottish crime novelist Denise Mina, with art by Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti.

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Book 1, released on November 13, 2012.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Book 2, released on May 7, 2013.
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire, released on June 3, 2014.
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, to be released on June 9, 2015.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The 4th Book - Stieg Larsson, the man behind Lisbeth Salander". 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  2. ^ James, Susan (August 5, 2010). "Stieg Larsson Silent as Real-Life Lisbeth Raped". ABS News. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  3. ^ Penny, Laurie (2010-09-05). "Girls, tattoos and men who hate women". New Statesman. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  4. ^ Baski, Kurdo (31 July 2010). "How a brutal rape and a lifelong burden of guilt fuelled Girl with the Dragon Tattoo writer Stieg Larsson". Daily Mail (London). 
  5. ^ Gabrielsson, Eva, Marie-Françoise Colombani, and Linda Coverdale. "There Are Things I Want You to Know" about Stieg Larsson and Me. New York: Seven Stories, 2011.
  6. ^ Acocella, Joan. "Man of Mystery". New Yorker (1/10/2011), Vol. 86, Issue 43.
  7. ^ Clark, Nick (2010) "The publishing house that Stieg Larsson built". The Independent, 6 August 2010, accessed 10 March 2010
  8. ^ Profile: Stieg Larsson: Even his early death became a big thriller. The Sunday Times, 27 September 2009, accessed 10 March 2010
  9. ^ "American Readers, Waiting Impatiently For 'The Girl'", NPR (April 5, 2010). Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  10. ^ a b McGrath, Charles (23 May 2010). "The Afterlife of Stieg Larsson". The New York Times Magazine. 
  11. ^ "The Continuing Mysteries of Stieg Larsson". CBS News. October 10, 2010. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  12. ^ Hassan, Genevieve (December 25, 2011). "Hollywood takes on Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  13. ^ The Local, 'Millennium' books keep making millions, 9 Nov 2012.
  14. ^ Hachman, Mark (July 28, 2010). "Stieg Larsson Sells a Million Books on Amazon's Kindle". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  15. ^ Gabrielsson, Eva. "Biography Eva Gabrielsson". Newest happenings in E.G.'s life. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  16. ^ "The Fourth Book". Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  17. ^ "Fjärde boken i Millenniumserien ges ut". Aftonbladet. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  18. ^ "Sequel announced to Stieg Larsson's Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy". The Guardian. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  19. ^ "Lagercrantz skriver "Millennium"-bok". Svenska Dagbladet. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  20. ^ "Quercus Publishing to publish fourth book in Stieg Larsson's Millennium series". Quercus Publishing plc. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  21. ^ "Yellow Bird Puts SEK 106m Millennium Project In Production". nordiskfilmogtvfond. 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  22. ^ "'Dragon Tattoo' sequel still on track, Sony says". January 3, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  23. ^ "‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ Sequel is Still Moving Forward". January 3, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  24. ^ Phil de Semlyen, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Sequel Gets A Writer, Empire Online, 18 July 2013.
  25. ^ "DC plans "Millennium Trilogy" graphic novel series". AfterEllen. October 12, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2013.