Rooney Mara Snags Lead Role in 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

August 16, 2010

Rooney Mara

Fantastic young actresses like Ellen Page, Carey Mulligan, Natalie Portman and Mia Wasikowska have been mentioned as contenders to take the lead role of Lisbeth Salander in the American adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Today Columbia Pictures announced via press release that Rooney Mara (The Social Network, A Nightmare on Elm Street) has landed the role opposite Daniel Craig, Robin Wright and Stellan Skarsgard in David Fincher's take on the first book of The Millenium Trilogy, Stieg Larsson's series of books which have been published in 44 countries and sold more than 40 million copies worldwide so far.

The story (courtesy of Amazon) follows Mikael Blomkvist (Craig), a once-respected financial journalist who watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch - and there's always a catch - is that he must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander (Mara), a misunderstood hacker genius with a cache of authority issues.

Mara isn't as high profile of an actress as some of the other names mentioned, but her casting shouldn't be all that surprising considering she just starred in Fincher's Facebook-centric film The Social Network. The actress will certainly be better known after this but now she has the difficult task of bringing a character to life which the NY Times called, "one of the most original characters in a thriller to come along in a while." Lisabeth Salander (as you can see in any photos) is a strong, active female - "a gamin, Audrey Hepburn look-alike but with tattoos and piercings, the take-no-prisoners attitude of Lara Croft and the cool, unsentimental intellect of Mr. Spock. The vulnerable victim turned vigilante; a willfully antisocial girl."

It's definitely clear why this was such a highly sought after role for actresses, and we'll be eagerly waiting to hear how Fincher's adaptation moves through production up to it's release in December, 2011 next year.

Find more posts: Casting, Movie News, Opinions



boooo. i wanted mulligan or Page. Portman would have also been awesome. I guess i'll hold my judgment on this girl until i see The Social Network (haven't seen NIGHTMARE).

crumb on Aug 16, 2010


i thik she'll do fine.

Xerxex on Aug 16, 2010


This is great news, finally a new actress, the other's mentioned have become a stale lot.

LANDAUFX on Aug 16, 2010


ethan, i'd take out the over-rated portman from your list of "Fantastic young actresses" and add abby cornish. her portrayal of a heroin addict in "candy" was brilliant and far exceeds anything portman is capable of. as far as this unknown actress? the first question i had was: what kind of name (for a woman) is rooney??? seriously though - i haven't seen anything that would distinguish her in any significant way - perhaps this is her "big break"?

beavis on Aug 16, 2010


beavis "Leon" greatest Portman performance, a close second to me is "Garden State."

Xerxex on Aug 16, 2010


i enjoyed both of those movies - however, (when thinking of them) i don't really connect liking those movies with portmans performance. this is my problem with her on a list of "fantastic young actresses". she's competant, but doesn't have any movie that she is a major player. which is why i'd put cornish on that list. she showed how amazing she can be in "candy" (and also "bright star"....i didn't mention this one above because i didn't think many on the site would have seen it) BTW - if i was forced to pick - i'd say "leon" aka "the professional was the better than "garden state"........due to jean renos performance

beavis on Aug 16, 2010


As an avid fan of the Millennium trilogy, man, they could have done way better than this girl. Natalie Portman or Kiera Knightley could have pulled this role off so freaking well! Both are very thin, small breasted, and not overly sexy (taken from the description of Lisbeth from the books). This is a disappointment to me, especially if the trilogy actually happens.

David on Aug 16, 2010


@beavis, "what kind of name (for a woman) is rooney???" Who gives a fuck?

wiiejsid on Aug 16, 2010


Well she probably had a shoe-in since she's in The Social Network which was directed by David Fincher (as is this film).

notalent on Aug 17, 2010


She was hot in Youth In revolt, lackluster in Nightmare but I bet she'll be great in The Social Network.

ryderup on Aug 17, 2010


oh, really #8 - like anyone needs/wants to read your idiotic blatherings.

beavis on Aug 17, 2010


tired of remakes of adaptations of...

Mir on Aug 17, 2010


I saw the Swedish version of this film with English was really good......really good

trey m on Aug 17, 2010


Who watches films dubbed...

ryderup on Aug 17, 2010


I will fully judge her when I see the Social Network.

SillySil on Aug 17, 2010


@13 Dubbed? Reading the subtitles. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor) Film Review: Here is an article on Mara and her previous work:

ProMovieBlogger on Aug 17, 2010


I meant: "Read the subtitles".

ProMovieBlogger on Aug 17, 2010


um. alright, I'm late to the game but.. why are they still looking for an actress when there's already a movie out? At my local theatre there's a poster, and I've seen adds to rent the movie.. what gives?

Dresden on Aug 17, 2010


@18 The version you are referring to is the Swedish adaptation. The version that this article is referring to is the American adaptation which is being directed by David Fincher.

notalent on Aug 17, 2010


This says a lot: According to the NY Times called, "one of the most original characters in a thriller to come along in a while." Original? Really? A tough chick computer hacker, abused by her father/some guy, who ends up doing time in a psyche ward, this is an original character? Maybe what's original is that she's so unappealing appearance-wise. Whatever, TGWTDT is a fun movie but to say Lisbeth is remarkably original says more about how generic movie characters have become these days.

Slan Man on Aug 17, 2010


What i dont understand is....(and this goes for all of the new wave of remakes from European films) if the original film was a critical and relative box office hit worldwide (which the Swedish film was)..then why would someone as brilliant as David Fincher want to throw out a remake? I mean im sure it will be well made and acted but so was the original... Same goes for 'Let The Right One In'....which is one of the best films of the last few years and also 'REC' and 'Funny Games' all of which have had US remakes in a very short space of time. Are we really that lazy that we cannot read subtitles??! My advice to anyone is to track down these original versions and enjoy the brilliance of their directors.

vegasdanny on Aug 17, 2010


This chick doesn't look as interesting as Noomi Rapace...Where's the intrigue? Hopefully they'll have a good make up department. 😉

Kalt on Aug 17, 2010


why rip off a good film to being with anyway :(, so she'll be getting tied to the bed and drilled by that one old guy in the film as well?

DaftPUNKFAN on Aug 17, 2010


terrific choice, this is as close as they could have gotten with picking an American actress that looks like Noomi Rapace. While zapping channels the other day I saw Rooney in an episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" , which I usualy never watch, and I stopped zapping because of her resemblance to Rapace. Checked Imdb and to my delight this turned out to be one of the lead contenders for the role of Lisbeth Salander. And now she's landed the part! Great casting so far all the way! I hope they cast James Gandolfini as Salander's dodgy lawyer as well.

Jules on Aug 17, 2010


Just wathced the original and it was good......Why so early? seems like a quick buck idea, granted should do good because the original. Really kinda "blah" about this?

McWilly on Aug 17, 2010


good point #21..........i haven't figured out that either.

beavis on Aug 17, 2010


I got the answer vegasdanny and beavis, the humanoids hollyweird assume they know what's best. and until they die from old age we are screwed.

Xerxex on Aug 17, 2010


correction it should say "The humanoids who run hollyweird..."

Xerxex on Aug 17, 2010


The orginal film was brilliant and disturbing as well. It was brutal at the same time and it is gonna be intense to see what Fincher does with this subject manner. Yes it is the Blue Ray and see for your self. And then read the book. Sony finally has a winner and this film begins shooting next month. The caluclated release date also means "Oscar" will be watching as well. Don't be suprised if you see Best Picture and Best Director nods. Screenplay will be a given. Remember you heard it here first!

Clover on Aug 18, 2010

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