'Dragon Tattoo' Controversy Flares Up

If David Fincher had his way, David Denby wouldn't have even had the opportunity to break the embargo on his "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" review.

"Embargoes ... look, if it were up to me, I wouldn't show movies to anybody before they were released," Fincher, the film's director, told the Miami Herald. "I wouldn't give clips to talk shows. I would do one trailer and three television spots and let the chips fall where they may."

Denby, the critic for the New Yorker, is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle, and thusly saw Fincher's hotly anticipated film in late November. While he agreed to hold his review until December 13th, he ended up publishing it in this week's issue of the New Yorker, drawing the ire of the film's producer, Scott Rudin. In a series of emails made public, Rudin banned Denby from attending screenings of any of his films again.

Fincher agreed with that move.

"This is not about controlling the media. If people realized how much thought goes into deciding at what point can we allow our movie to be seen, they would understand," he said. "We have been working really hard to make this release date. And when you're trying to orchestrate a build-up of anticipation, it is extremely frustrating to have someone agree to something and then upturn the apple cart and change the rules - for everybody."

Still, though he agreed with Rudin in this case, they have a larger disagreement. Rudin likes to roll out his movies to the press, while Fincher would prefer no one saw it at all before going to the theater.

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