Rooney Mara is ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated July 11th, 2013 at 11:41 am,

After what has to have been one of the most meticulous searches for a female lead in quite some time, director David Fincher has finally chosen his Lisbeth Salander for his American remake/new adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Actress Rooney Mara, last seen in the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, will play Salander, a hyper-intelligent hacker who teams up with a journalist to solve the disappearance and possible murder of a teenage girl four decades prior.

Mara will join the previously-announced (and now confirmed) Daniel Craig, who will play the journalist Mikael Blomkvist. Like Craig, Mara is contracted to star in the next two movies in “The Millenium Trilogy”: The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.

Pretty much every actress in Hollywood under 26 has been after the role of Salander, with actresses weaving in and out of contention for weeks now. Some of names that appeared on the list of contenders included Ellen Page, Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Emily Browning, Sarah Snook, Sophie Lowe and Léa Seydoux. The latter three were on the shortlist along with Mara but evidently Mara has beaten out the competition.

There was speculation during the search that the actress cast for Salander would end up being an unknown. However, there were some who thought it would be smart for Fincher and Co. to go with a known name. It appears that they’ve ultimately gone for someone in the middle of those two extremes.

Mara is neither a household name nor a complete unknown, having starred in Youth in Revolt, a couple of episodes of E.R. and a few indie movies. However, she’ll become known to an even wider audience in a couple of months after Fincher’s next movie, The Social Network debuts in theaters. Perhaps the director was influenced in his choice because he has worked with Mara on the Facebook movie(?).

I’ve only seen Mara in the Elm Street remake and she was solid. I can’t really judge her too harshly as far as her suitability for this role, but I have to admit I personally would have liked Ellen Page to get the role, simply because she’s a known name (first with Juno but more so now since Inception was a success) and is a crackerjack talent in the acting department. But I’m willing to accept Mara – she certainly looks the part and hopefully she’ll do the role justice.

Rooney Mara in A Nightmare on Elm Street Rooney Mara is The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Rooney Mara in ‘Elm Street’ remake- “Oh my god, I’m Lisbeth Salander…”

The fact that Mara is playing Salander will obviously change her career dramatically. Sony is planning for Dragon Tattoo to kick off a franchise and with the help of the reputation of three worldwide best-sellers and highly-regarded film adaptations (released in Sweden), I can’t see that being too much of a problem to accomplish. You may not know Mara’s name now, but trust me, if this franchise is as successful as Sony is planning/hoping, in a couple of years you’ll know her very well.

Along with Craig, Mara joins previously announced cast members Stellan Skarsgård, playing Martin Vanger, (brother of the missing girl) and Robin Wright Penn playing Mikael’s colleague and lover, Erika Berger. The remake was written by Steve Zaillian (Gladiator, Schindler’s List) and, as stated, will be directed by the masterful David Fincher.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is scheduled to go into production soon and is set to hit theaters on December 21st, 2011.

Source: Sony

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  1. doesnt matter whos in this its still gonna suck compared to the original especially with daniel craig (never gonna be a good blomkvist) in it at least there is a good director involved

  2. I’m all for unknowns playing big parts like this. My problem is that sometimes I feel more comfortable with someone I KNOW can act. I’ve never seen anything she’s ever been in so I have my worries. I’m a big fan of the books and I really want to see Lisbeth played perfectly. Buuuuuut, I’m not going to say she’s going to be bad cause I’m not going to judge anything before it comes out. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed

  3. Harald was Harriet’s uncle, not her brother.
    After reading the novel and seeing the movie, I can honestly say that the movie did a bad job of adapting the novel. The guy that played Bloomkvist was boring and the movie was rushed and left out tons of important backstory. I’m now looking forward to this remake because I’m hoping it can improve on those errors.

    • Thanks for catching that. As you’ll know from reading the books, there’s A LOT of names thrown around, especially within the Vanger family (how many uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces can there be?! :P). It’s fixed to say Martin not Harald.

      BTW, I agree with you somewhat on the original Swedish movie. Although I thought they did a good job adapting the book (everything they DID include was as accurate for the most part) but they did cut stuff out, particularly when it came to Erika’s relationship with Mikael and they watered down the Wennestrom affair story.

      • Well, based on the family tree that was on the beginning on the book, there’s a lot.

  4. Fincher can do no wrong. He’s known for doing take after take like kubrick. Im sure his dark style will fit this perfectly, and i can’t wait.

  5. Not a smart choice on finchers part or the studios to pick rooney, she will bring nothing to the character. if they really wanted someone talented who could act the hell out of the character lisbeth they should have gotten Meryl Streep to play her. Not only will meryl get an oscar nod but will actually make this remake bearable.

  6. the character is 25 ,Meryl is good , But she is not THAT good!

  7. This should be a really interesting movie, the thing that draws me to this movie the most has to be David Fincher. Might have to read the books too.

  8. Meh casting. I’ve said it before and I will undoubtedly say it again, there is zero need for this film. The original is great, although it misses huge chunks of the book out too, which is inevitable considering the size of each volume.

    Keira Knightley would have been better. She has the build, and would suit the short haircut.

    • I agree with you on several counts Dr. Sam……The Swiss version was just insane and loved it, but like many film adaptions, we are not gonna see everything we have read. I like Craig being cast and now the brilliant Max Von (can’t spell his last name) as Papa Vanger….I feel though Keira is too tall to play Lisbeth. and the brutality of her part may not be her cup of tea. In any case, I cannot see how this will fail.

      • I agree Cgraig is great casting, but I’m not hugely interested in going to see this, I’d rather pay to see the rest of the original versions in the cinema. Although the last part is going to make a dull film, nothing really happens at all. For 700 pages!

  9. I’m not convinced that Fincher always makes the right casting decisions. For instance, the extensive use of excellent Bristish character actors in Alien3 gave it completely the wrong feel, they simply didn’t give the movie the tone it needed. Surely TGWTDT is all about tone, and I’m afraid Rooney Mara’a performance in the Nightmare reboot doesn’t hint at that depth needed for Lisbeth Salander. I hope I’m wrong.

    • I was wrong, Rooney Mara nailed it. She played a very believably unsympathetic version of Lisbeth, which made the final scene very touching.

  10. I always knew that Mara would land the role. She entered the running solely on David Fincher’s recommendation. I think he felt better casting her because he has already worked with her. Furthermore, she was the best candidate out of the four finalists for the role. However, I would have wanted Emily Browning to have played the role. She would have been perfect. I was so upset when she was taken out of the running at the last minute. I still don’t know why. Maybe she was too good? But I think Rooney will be fine, she may not have been who I wanted for the part, but she will do well. I wish her the best of luck and I know that she will do justice to the role of Lisbeth.

  11. Noomi was awsome in the original! I was SOOOO hoping that Ellen Page would have been chosen..

  12. It’s tragic that there’s going to be a remake at all. The original version showed Salander perfectly; this girl may be a good actress but she looks too much like the girl next door to be Salander. There’s no haunting undertone just looking at her. IDK, maybe thar’s just me, but Noomi Rapace is a phenomenal actress and the real Lisbeth Salander

  13. WTF did Fincher do to Lisbeth Salander? I know she’s not supposed to be “mainstream” attractive but she’s still supposed to have an attractiveness to her. Mara Rooney is pretty, but damn did they ugly her up. I’m pissed. Why did they do that? I want a hotter Lisbeth. I was really looking forward to this movie too. Noomi Rapace nailed it. She was perfection. but this no eyebrow version of Lisbeth…why couldnt they have gotten kira knightley? damn you david fincher

    • @nunya have u read the books, noomi’s a good actor but rooney fit the description of the book better.