Rooney Mara is the 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'
August 16th, 2010
05:53 PM ET

Rooney Mara is the 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

After a closely watched search, Sony Pictures has announced that Rooney Mara will portray Lisbeth Salander in the upcoming adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

Reportedly, the “Tattoo” team wasn’t considering actresses over 24 or taller than 5 feet 5 inches in order to match Larsson’s vision of Salander’s physical presence; she’s been described as a 24-year-old who could sometimes look 14. There was the added preference that the ideal lead be relatively unknown.

That combination of requirements is thought to be the reason why actresses like Natalie Portman, Mia Wasikowska and Ellen Page weren’t likely to get the part.

That left Mara, along with Australian actresses Sophie Lowe and Sarah Snook, plus Lea Seydoux of "Inglourious Basterds" thought to be in the running. Mara ended up beating them all out for the role of Larsson’s “fierce pixie of a heroine,” as the character has been described, Sony Pictures points out in their press release.

Mara will star alongside Daniel Craig in the movie, which begins shooting in Sweden next month. The picture will be directed by David Fincher, who also helmed "The Social Network," coincidentally the film where you can next see Mara when it debuts in theaters October 1.

Some of you weren’t convinced that a new version of Stieg Larsson’s blockbuster novel was even necessary, and are completely satisfied with a different adaptation starring Noomi Rapace.

If you’ve seen “Youth in Revolt” or 2010’s “Nightmare on Elm Street,” you’re familiar with a bit of Mara’s work – do you think she can pull it off?

Filed under: Casting Chronicles • Celebrities • movies

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Brurathax

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    April 9, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. suea

    i see now why yolandi visser was a candidate for this role. she is very scrappy.

    October 15, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. vasti

    bollywood movies online and free

    October 10, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lovedtheoriginal

    The original "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" brought the book to life. It was just as I imagined it would look and feel from the book. Hollywood will turn it into an action film. Too bad they can't leave a good thing alone.

    September 2, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. WPW

    I can see Mara as Lisbeth – but she has pretty big Doc Marten's to fill. A greater concern is these films being made in the US – where we have a tendency to be long on "over the top" and short on "dark." There are plenty of R-rated, very difficult scenes in these movies. Will Hollywood bow to the Puritanical right and gloss over them, or have the courage to treat them as the Swedes did – honestly and horrific? I'm going to make sure I have access to the originals – so that I can erase, if necessary, the memories of what these versions may create. Fingers crossed that I'm wrong.

    August 23, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. loveblowshard

    disappointing choice... no amount of goth makeover will make Rooney Mara into a Lisbeth Salander. This girl is no tough waif, nothing about her face or body exudes any fierceness. Noomi Rapace is a hard act to follow. Mara looks like some girl who'd cry over a broken nail 🙁

    August 18, 2010 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. jim

    No matter how many remakes they do. the original version will still be the best....

    August 17, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jented

    Ellen Page would have been best American choice. Part of the series is also a commentary on Swedish society. I'm sure that will all get lost in the movie.

    August 17, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Malenta

      Not if people in Kansas can relate to Swedish society.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • K

      Not just a commentary on Swedish society....violence against women happens everywhere. Not to mention corruption.
      I think the theme is fairly universal and something everyone can relate to.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. K

    Just watched the Swedish version of Dragon Tattoo...was not blown away. Many of the main characters, especially Erika Berg, were pushed to the side. And I thought that Blomkvist appeared really gloomy and is not portrayed that way in the book. I wasn't crazy about how that first meeting with Lisbeth was changed in the movie since he seems angry. Had he approached her that way in the book, she'd have hit him with something. Noomi Rapace and Nyqvist did a great job despite the writing. But there's room for a different hopefully better version. I can certainly see Craig as Blomkvist. If it can be made better on a bigger Hollywood budget, then go for it. Not sure why so many people think it should not be adapted differently and maybe more true to the book. The book is not just mystery. What makes it so engaging are the relationships between the characters, which you get no feel for in the Swedish version. As for Rooney Mara, I've never seen her in anything, but I can breathe a sigh of relief that the Kristen Stewart rumors were not true.

    August 17, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AmyLou

    The pictures I saw of Rooney this morning killed her for me..she has DIMPLES!!! Can you even remotely imagine kick-ass Salander with dimples?! Still think Natalie Portman or a complete unknown/unseen would have been the best choice.

    August 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Fan of the Original Swedish Version

    I'm quite confused here... why on Earth is there a need for Hollywood to re-make this truly exceptional Swedish series. I cannot imagine that many people will pay to see Daniel Craig and this skinny (and not very tough looking) dandy of a girl. I hope that she is strong enough to ride a sport bike in the same skilled way a Noomi.

    Here's my concern... why re-make something that it already excpetionally done. Sure, the obvious answer is to line Hollywood's pockets and to refresh Daniel Craig on the (almost) A-List scene.

    But, seriously, where is the respect for foreign films. And I truly mean "film", compared to American "movies"?

    Confused on Why They Chose Such a Dainty Wee Girl to Play Lisbeth

    August 17, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. Carlos

    I don't get how they are making these movies again. The first movies were fine. So I don't understand. Are they still going to release a Sweedish version of the 3rd book or are they going to have to stop because Hollywood is making them now?

    August 17, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      The third movie will be in North America in September.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      The films are cut-down versions of a mini-series in 6 parts shown on Swedish TV originally and then other countries like Denmak and Norway. The original series was 6 90 minute episodes. I believe the third film 'The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest' was released in Sweden, Norway and Denmark November 2009. The second film loses about 50 mins from the original series and the third film about 40 minutes.

      August 17, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. samantha richard

    Noomi Rapace IS Lisbeth Salander...Nobody else could do it better than her.

    August 17, 2010 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • hellodollyllama

      Noomi was superb, and Nyqvist was pretty good. The rest of the cast was expendable, and some of the directing choices, particularly later in the Swedish series, were really poor, especially their failure to fully realize the inner emotional lives of the characters.

      August 17, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. Rainer

    This makes me want to dress in drag and do the hula.

    August 17, 2010 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. NYCMovieFan

    Wow, David Fincher to direct – he made the best film recently, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" – it did not win the Oscar, but was certainly the best picture that year, and will be a classic. IAnd Daniel Craig,who is not a great movie Bond but is a great actor (saw him on Broadway recently, and he carried the play, sorry Hugh Jackman). I think Miss Mara will truly be a great choice for Salander – Salander has to have a spark of life in her, a sense of fighting spirit, not like the Swedish movie, which was boring in the extreme. I have read all the Larsson books, and I've seen the Swedish movie version of "Girl with the Dragon Tatoo" and I was really disappointed in that movie – it was really, really boring to watch. Like a really dull movie of the week, or a bad "Masterpiece Theater." The actor playing Blomqvist was not in any way a romantic lead – which the book's character certainly is, and the movie male lead should be (Craig fits the bill) – and the Swedish actress playing Salander was just really annoying and just boring, boring, boring to watch. She looked really uncomfortable in the role, and was just wrong for the part .I never for a moment believed that she was a hacker, or came from an abusive childhood, that she could ride a motorcycle, or anything from the books – she was too busy trying to imitate an NYU freshman, (yup, they all look like that untill they have job interviews, when suddenly they break out the J. Crew). Overall, the Swedish movie was hideous and a big yawn – I am so glad I did not pay to see it, I saw it for free and it was dull, dull, dull. Yuck. I'm so very glad that the Hollywood version is shaping up to be so much better, I'll pay $12 to see it for sure, and I hope that they plan to shoot all 3 movies at once so we don't have to wait for years and years between installments.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Kevin

    The movie itself doesn't need to be made. The originals were JUST MADE and nearly perfect.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Alana

    No, I do not feel she is right for the role. She appears to delicate, where as Noomi seems to work for how the character is portrayed.

    August 16, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • hellodollyllama

      Lisbeth is supposed to be delicate. In the third book, during the trial, the doctor tries to claim that she is anorexic, but the defense lawyer points out that she is just extremely thin. Paolo Roberto also noted that her main problem in the boxing ring was that she had no upper body strength behind her punches, so as soon as anyone landed a glove on her, they would have to carry her to the locker room like a sack of mop handles. Noomi had to lose what was described as "a dangerous amount of weight" to play her - Mara is already there and ready to go.

      August 17, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  18. Philip

    No. She's too beautiful. Noomi just barely makes it (not too pretty) Acting wise, irrelevant. Rapace did wonderfully. Besides,
    it doesn't matter to me, Hollywood will screw it up.

    August 16, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • spud

      very true. I saw the swedish version and Noomi was brilliant. I suppose hollywood will throw in a car chase/crash or two....what a bummer.

      August 17, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Miguel

      Noomi looks fairly sweet in pre-"Tattoo" photographs. I think taking a dainty gal and gothing-her up is precisely the right move!

      August 17, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |

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