‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ DVD packaging confuses purchasers


This is why we can't have nice things! Although incredibly clever and a good fit for the film in question, the disc art for David Fincher's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" has been causing mass confusion among buyers due to its resemblance to a hastily written-on burned DVD.

The disc's appearance led many people who bought the film to believe that they had received a pirated copy of the film instead.

Released on home video last week, the dark thriller centres on a troubled hacker named Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) as she helps an investigative journalist (Daniel Craig) solve a decades-old crime. Given the particular skill set of the protagonist, the burned disc aesthetic for the DVD makes perfect sense.

The confusion has even prompted several retailers, including Amazon, to post warnings about the appearance of the disc. "It has come to our attention that there has been some confusion on the DVD disc art as it appears to look like a bootlegged copy," stated Amazon on its product page for the film. "Please note that the disc art is in fact the final approved disc art provided to us by the filmmakers."

Despite the mass mix-up, the DVD is yet another awesome example of designer Neil Kellerhouse's work. Kellerhouse created the slick posters and typography for the film and worked with Fincher previously on poster designs for "The Social Network."

Fincher's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is not the first movie to ever have fun with disc art or packaging for a home video release. The director pulled a similar stunt for the DVD release of his "Zodiac" director's cut in 2007. The film's box art was designed to resemble a package from the Zodiac serial killer depicted in the film.

That same year "Borat" used a similar handcrafted look for comedic effect, since pirated films on burned DVDs are apparently all that is available in the film's fictionalized version of Kazakhstan. Films released by the Criterion Collection usually feature custom-designed box and disc art, reflecting the themes or characters featured in the film contained within.

The sad result of this silly debacle is that many studios will now be hesitant to take risks on interesting packaging or disc art designed to complement their films. And all because a few people were momentarily confused.

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