New photos have emerged from the set of David Fincher’s take on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and they offer a better look at Rooney Mara as the titular gal, a.k.a. Lisbeth Salander.

Sherlock Holmes 2 star Noomi Rapace played the role of Salander (in our opinion, to perfection) in the Swedish film version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, so there is reason to wonder if Mara’s take on the character will prove as memorable in Fincher’s American version.

Late Swedish author Stieg Larsson – who wrote the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo novel and its sequels – described Salander as a grown-up version of Pippi Longstocking, herself one of children literature’s most famous, red-haired heroines. Salander (who dies her ginger-colored hair black) is described in the first of Larsson’s novels as “a pale, anorexic young woman who had hair as short as a fuse” and is decked out in piercings and tattoos. Despite being small in stature, the 24 year-old Salander’s appearance very much reflects her fiercely independent nature and outlook.

Mara played Mark Zuckerberg’s ex-girlfriend, Erica Albright, in Fincher’s The Social Network and was convincing (in her few scenes, at least) as a intelligent, capable woman who refused to tolerate the Facebook creator’s rude behavior towards her – even after Zuckerberg had begun his trek to fame and fortune. Salander is definitely a much darker and more complex variation on that character type, though it’s not a stretch to say that Mara seems up to the challenge.

But what of Salander’s physical appearance?  Just have a look at the photos of Mara in costume on the Dragon Tattoo set, which can be glimpsed below (for more images, check out

The costume and makeup designers look to have done an excellent job transforming Mara into Salander – even though her hairdo bears an odd resemblance to Ramona Flower’s from the original Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World comic books. Mara looks a bit paler in her getup as Salander than Rapace did (see below), but that is likely due more to the natural lighting of these set photos – plus, Fincher tends to favor dark cinematography, which will also affect Mara’s appearance in the film.

Noomi Rapace in ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’

Fans of the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo movie are very much split in their feelings about Fincher’s English-language version, which will draw moviegoers who are intrigued by the story but passed on the Swedish film due to, well, a dislike of subtitles and their preference for more familiar faces in the cast. There is a lot of great talent involved behind the scenes of this project so it is hard to dismiss it entirely as just another subpar Hollywood remake – for now, at least.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is scheduled to hit theaters in the U.S. on December 21st, 2011.

Source: (via Coming Soon)