[Update: The film’s producer is debunking rumor of Mulligan’s attachment.]

British actress Carey Mulligan gained significant critical acclaim – not to mention a Best Actress Oscar nod – for her performance in the Best Picturenominated film, An Education.

Now, the 24 year old up and comer has reportedly snagged the lead in director David Fincher’s next film – an English-language adaptation of the popular Swedish novel, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Although we previously reported that Fincher was looking to cast an unknown in the lead role of Lisbeth Salander – said Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – the word is in that he was impressed enough with Mulligan’s audition for the character to select her out of over 5,000 other potential actresses.

Mulligan has also apparently been approved by the family of the late Stieg Larsson – the author of the Millennium trilogy, of which The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is the first entry – to play Salander.  Furthermore, she is set to rake in $5-6 million per movie should all three novels be given the Hollywood treatment – with Fincher already signed to helm at least the first two flicks.

That said, Lisabeth Salander is a young woman worlds apart from the inexperienced British teenager Mulligan played in An Education.  A spike-wearing goth with multiple piercings and an elaborate dragon tattoo on her back, Lisbeth is both a genius computer hacker and fiercely independent – a young woman with a dark past full of abuse and mistreatment, who rarely hesitates to viciously punish vile criminals or those that have done her wrong.

An innocent young girl, she ain’t.

Of course, part of the fun of this new take on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – which will be based off the original novel rather than the Swedish film version from last year – is that it will offer Mulligan an opportunity to broaden her horizons and flex her acting muscles a bit.  Indeed, the young actress is reportedly a big fan of the original books and looks prepped to give her own take on Lisbeth Salander – as opposed to just imitating Noomi Rapace’s performance from the Swedish movie version.

Mulligan will of course be in good company with Fincher behind the camera telling the sort of complex, macabre mystery story that he handled so well in flicks like Seven and Zodiac.  Add in the fact that screenwriter Steve Zaillian and producer Scott Rudin – both Oscar-winners themselves – are also involved with this project and it looks like this new Girl With The Dragon Tattoo could be something memorable.

So what do you think of Carey Mulligan being cast in this film?  Does it sound like a good match?  Or have you yet to see the young British actress in action on the big screen?

Update: Scott Rudin, producer of the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo American remake, has gone on record to say that the rumors of Mulligan being cast are “absolutely not true.”

While there’s no official word yet, production on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo could potentially begin at the end of this year, once Fincher has finished working on his current film project, The Social Network.

We’ll keep you posted once we know more.

Source: The Sunday Times

Update Source: Hollywood Elsewhere