Rooney Mara has been cast as computer hacker Lisbeth Slanader in the English language adaptation of Swedish novelists Stieg Larsson’s best-selling thriller The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. She’ll appear opposite Daniel Craig in the David Fincher directed film.

Incredibly, Mara beat out several other, better-known actresses for the role including Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Ellen Page, Mia Wasikowska,Scarlett Johansson and Carey Mulligan. Mara doesn’t have much of a resume. Her biggest role so far has been a lead in this years A Nightmare On Elm Street remake. She does, however, have a role in Fincher’s upcoming The Social Network, due out this fall, which possibly gave the director a bit more insight as to what the actress can do.

If you’ve read the book or seen the 2009 Sewdish film adaptation from director Niels Arden Oplev, than you already know why their was fierce competition among actresses for the role. Lisbeth is one of the more complex female characters to come along in quite a while and in the first book/film travels an arc that starts from an exceedingly dark place.

For me, Rooney will have to go a long way to replace the impression that actress Noomi Rapace made on me in the role in the original Swedish film. Of course, a majority of English speaking folks will never see that version, nor the two sequels that adapted Larsson’s other two books – The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. That’s a shame as her performance was one of the most compelling I’ve seen in any language for quite a while.

Presumably Mara is under contract for possible sequels if the first film does well.

The English language version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo begins shooting next month in Sweden for a December 2011 release.

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About Rich Drees 7124 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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