January 13th, 2011
01:08 PM ET
“Dragon Tattoo” fans, David Fincher is ready to take you for a ride.
According to W magazine, which spoke with the crew tackling the Stieg Larsson best-seller and features photos of transformed “Tattoo” lead Rooney Mara, the script deviates a fair amount from the book.
Read more about Rooney Mara, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
(Oh, and by the way: They’ve totally changed the ending, although W promises that screenwriter Steven Zaillian ("Schindler’s List") delivers something more interesting.)
Fincher, who worked with Mara on “The Social Network” as well, told W that he wanted the 25-year-old star from the beginning, but the hunt for the perfect “Dragon Tattoo” star was filled with other famous - and not-so-famous - names.
Natalie Portman was thrown into the ring, but she had just finished filming three movies back-to-back and was just too exhausted to take on the role.
Scarlett Johansson also met with Fincher, but he decided she was too sexy to play the punk character. "Marilyn on a bike," is how he describes Johansson.
But Mara, who was born into a football dynasty - the Rooney family owns the Pittsburgh Steelers while the Maras own the New York Giants - ultimately landed the part after a bout of intense testing.
"Rooney may be a trust-fund baby from football royalty, but she’s levelheaded and hardworking. It’s so odd how who people are comes out in auditions," says Fincher. "We didn’t make it easy for Rooney, and there was no way to dissuade her.”
Indeed, Mara really got into her role and altered her appearance to suit Fincher's vision of a goth Pippi Longstocking. Besides bleaching her eyebrows and chopping off her hair, the actress had her lip, brow, nose, and nipple pierced.
Prior to the film — which is due out in December — "I didn’t even have pierced ears,” says Mara. “They put four holes in each ear, and, weirdly, that hurt the most."
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