David Fincher has said he takes pleasure in the fact that something as grim and prickly as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo can spawn a global sensation.
The film, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara as an unlikely pair investigating a Swedish family's dark history, is an attempt to kick-start an R-rated franchise for adults, and to bring the unusually popular novels by Stieg Larsson to American movie audiences.
"That's sort of reassuring to me," David said. "I look at it and I go, 'I like that.' It makes me feel like the kind of stories that I might be interested in might be interesting to other people."
That's typically been true throughout Fincher's now eight-film career as a movie director. Though he hasn't found extreme box-office success or won an Academy Award, the twice-nominated Fincher is widely acknowledged as one of the most gifted filmmakers in the business.
Fincher's tightly honed craftsmanship has endeared him to critics and film fans, particularly because of his electrically contemporary movies The Social Network and Fight Club.
But perhaps an overriding philosophy running through his work is summed up in the great final line of Seven, as narrated by Morgan Freeman's character: "Ernest Hemingway once wrote, 'The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.' I agree with the second part."
"I'm more attracted to the pervert's story," said Fincher. "I think I made a choice early on in seeing that other sandbox and going, 'Everyone else wants to hit that home run in escapist entertainment. And yet I always sort of liked this stuff that sneaks in through the side window. So why not provide a viable alternative?
"That's not to say I wouldn't have loved to make a movie like Jurassic Park. They all would have died, but..."