Before Tim Miller fulfilled his longtime dream with Ryan Reynolds in making his Deadpool movie, he directed a small sequence that people are still talking about to this day: the title sequence for David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Blur Studio was the visual effects company behind the famous sequence and, as its co-founder, Miller acted as the opener’s creative director. As Deadpool is currently killing it at the box office, we remember this cinematic achievement.
In a 2012 interview with Wired, the filmmaker opened up about his role of creative director on the footage and collaborating with Fincher.
I got a call from him, it was the middle of the night in Sweden and he was on some shoot that was going really bad. And he calls me and he says, “Look, you’re going to do this thing and it’s going to redefine titles for our generation the way Se7en did and that’s all there is to it.”
Miller called the process “smooth-flowing” in light of the extensive back-and-forth. Blur and Fincher began by picking moments from the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book trilogy with potential for dynamic imagery, including wasps, the fiery fate of Lisbeth Salander’s father, a pressed flower, and the dragon of the title. Fincher approved 26 moments that were then made up as 252 shots of at most 24 frames. The sequence was completed by Blur in a few months.
In a separate interview with io9, Miller recalled:
I wrote a bunch of various vignettes that I threw in front of David. We were going to treat the keyboard like this giant city with massive fingers pressing down on the keys. Then we transitioned to the liquid going through the giant obelisks of the keys.
Watch the title sequence in full below: