David Fincher found his Lisbeth Salander in the form of actress Rooney Mara yesterday, and may soon have another important role in his adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo filled.

Acclaimed Swedish thespian Max von Sydow is in talks to play the key role of Henrik Vanger in the new cinematic version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  The elderly Vanger recruits disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) to investigate the disappearance of his beloved niece some forty years ago – a mystery that reveals the dark, twisted history of the upper-class Vanger clan.

Sydow would join a cast that includes Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård as Martin Vanger, nephew to Henrik and president of Vanger Corporations – as well as actress Robin Wright as Erika Berger, a journalist and occasional love interest for Blomkvist.  Production on the film – which is scheduled for a Christmas 2011 release – will begin next month in Sweden.

The casting of Sydow as Vanger has been rumored for a while now, as the star of classic films like The Seventh Seal and The Exorcist is a natural fit for the part.  He even bears a distinct physical resemblance to Sven-Bertil Taube, the actor who portrayed Vanger in the Swedish film adaptation of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (see below).

Will U.S. audiences embrace Fincher’s take on the first entry in the Millennium trilogy, much like Swedish moviegoers did with director Niels Arden Oplev’s 2009 Swedish-language adaptation?  The source material is inarguably adult and graphic in content – enough so that the final cut of the American remake is all but guaranteed to be Rated R.

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo contains the kind of dark, gruesome subject matter that very rarely appeals to mainstream moviegoing audiences over here in the states.  Fincher will undoubtedly deliver his standard brand of meticulous filmmaking and this project sounds like a potential Awards Season competitor – hopefully, a solid critical reception will result in decent business at the box office as well.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will arrive in theaters in the U.S. on December 21st, 2011.

Source: Variety