It looks as if The Social Network was the start of a beautiful friendship,* since news broke over the weekend that Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor is once again working for David Fincher, scoring The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Speaking at a public Q&A with the New York Times, Reznor revealed that the soundtrack process for Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist is already proceeding differently to that for Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevi. Where The Social Network was already entirely shot by the time Reznor came aboard, he revealed that this time he's already written and recorded two hours of spec music to create atmosphere while the production unfolds.
"I'd read the book but I'd not got the script yet," Reznor explains, "but I heard a few buzz words [from Fincher] like ‘ice’ and 'frozen’. We spent three weeks generating, blind, stuff that I thought would be helpful for them to have. His editors are always looking for temp music to put in mock-ups of scenes he just shot, so I thought it would be a nice present."
"We" is Reznor and his frequent collaborator Atticus Ross, who worked with Reznor on The Social Network and the last several NIN albums. If you think the industrial racket of those records would be perfect to back up Stieg Larsson's damaged goth hacker Salander, you'd be right. Except that the music may not be heading in quite the direction you'd expect.
"We started recording things in a different way that was all based on performance, with nothing programmed," Reznor says. That has so far involved "my limited skills at stringed instruments, in a way that's given us a real organic, layered feel. It feels like something we’ve never done before.”
Reznor is keen to stress that the work so far is at "a very early stage, where Fincher or the picture could require something different once I see what's actually happening," but the skeleton is in place for creating "our own sonic world" to uniquely match the film. "Blade Runner's music feels like it's from Blade Runner," he says, "It has its own identity. We’re striving to do the same with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and the results we have so far really feel like that.”
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, is out in December, and if Reznor and Ross' much-lauded Social Network score is any indication, it should be one to listen as well as watch out for.
*Although, yes, we know, there was a remix of Nine Inch Nails' Closer on the opening credits of Se7en.