Among the main beneficiaries of the graphic new movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will be babysitters.

Daniel Craig, who plays journalist Mikael Blomkvist in the Hollywood adaptation of Swedish author Stieg Larsson's bestselling thriller, said the film pulled no punches.

It's an adult movie, he said in an interview with British public broadcaster BBC aired on Tuesday. This is one where you pay the babysitter. Babysitters are going to make a lot of money out of this I hope. Don't take the kids.

Dragon Tattoo opens in the United States on December 21 and in Britain on December 26, and had its world premiere in London late on Monday.

The book on which it is based has sold tens of millions of copies worldwide and in 2009 was made into a Swedish film.

Craig, 43, most famous for playing James Bond in the British spy franchise, said screenwriter Steven Zaillian captured the essence of Larsson's story, prompting him to accept the part.

He also defended the movie's graphic nature, which earned it an R rating for what the Motion Picture Association of America called brutal violent content including rape and torture, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, and language.

The movie is directed by American David Fincher, whose credits include The Social Network, Zodiac, Fight Club and Seven.

It's a book about sexual politics, it's a book about violence towards women and I don't think David Fincher or I would have done it if we had to hold back on that, Craig said.

By showing that and making the audience uncomfortable, it makes them understand what the themes of the book are about ... and it's addressing an issue ... that serial killers on the whole are male and they kill women.

Dragon Tattoo follows Blomkvist as he retreats to a remote island in northern Sweden where he is drawn into investigating the murder of a young girl some 40 years earlier.

He is thrown together with Lisbeth Salander, a tattooed, loner punk who works as an investigator for a high-tech security firm and who is played by Rooney Mara.

Asked to explain the popularity of her character, Mara told Reuters on the premiere red carpet:

I think that everyone can relate to that feeling of being misunderstood or outcast. Everyone at some point in their life can relate to people who are in a position of power, abusing that power over them and I think a lot of people really want to see her succeed.

The Hollywood adaptation of Dragon Tattoo is the latest example of Scandanavian crime fiction making it big in the English-speaking world.

In 2008, Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In won widespread critical acclaim and was re-made in English as Let Me In two years later.

The Swedish television detective series Wallander got an English makeover in a BBC production starring Kenneth Branagh, and Danish crime series The Killing has also proved popular in Britain.

Asked to explain the growing popularity of Scandinavian fiction, Craig replied:

They're great storytellers. When it's dark half the year you've got to find something to do, so all these great tales ... have been coming out and they make for great television and great movies.