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Fincher goes for an unknown: Rooney Mara is the new Lisbeth Salander.

August 16, 2010

Rooney Mara: Looks dangerous, doesn't she?

It was great fun mocking Scarlett Johansson for being too beautiful to play Lisbeth Salander, heroine of Stieg Larsson’s bazillion-selling Swedish thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But it didn’t last long, as director David Fincher announced just minutes ago that he’s going with an unknown.

That would be American actress Rooney Mara, whose most prominent credit to date was in the reboot of Nightmare on Elm Street, which was released to mostly unkind reviews in April, though it did well at the box office, earning $63 mil domestically and $109 mil world wide.

Of course, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will be deemed  failure if it’s not in the stratospheric realm of Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, or Avatar— that means close to a billion dollars gross internationally. Given the enormous popularity of Larsson’s novels, it’s not out of the question.

If The Girl With the Dragoon Tattoo is a success, then get used to seeing Mara, because she’ll likely be a big star for a long time. There are two more novels in Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, and Hollywood will cheerfully cobble together some additional scripts if moviegoers want them.

The choice of Fincher as director is a good sign. He’s shown himself a tough-minded fellow who knows how to make a thriller with grim intensity (Seven), subversive humor (Fight Club) or sociological subtext (Zodiac).

Still, I’d rush to see the Swedish version of the trilogy, starring Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth. Odds are, not even Fincher can keep Hollywood from turning Larsson’s gold into cinematic lead.

For example: Filming starts next month in Sweden…Think about that: If they’re going to make it a Swedish movie, rather than changing the locale to North America — then why bother with an American remake at all?

Even funnier, the actors will be speaking with Swedish accents…If they’re Swedish people, in Sweden, speaking their native tongue –they wouldn’t have accents at all, right?

Couple of interesting factoids about Mara: She’s from NFL royalty, being the great-granddaughter of Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr., and New York Giants founder Tim Mara. She’s also the sister of another rising young actress, Kate Mara, best known for Brokeback Mountain and the TV series 24.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. PJ Parrish permalink
    August 16, 2010 4:19 pm

    I love you, Chaunce, but ((((yawn)))).

    You just wanted an excuse to run that photo of Scar-Jo falling out of a red dress, you dog.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      August 16, 2010 7:55 pm

      I did not. But it was conveniently illustrative, I’ll agree.

  2. rachel permalink
    August 16, 2010 5:00 pm

    What’s with her hat? I think I’d rather watch a couple hours of Scarlett myself. Also, are they only considering actors with ridiculous first names?

    Swedish people in Sweden speaking English with Swedish accents…it’s all highly amusing. And not very interesting.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      August 16, 2010 7:56 pm

      You are very amusing your ownself.

      • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
        August 16, 2010 7:57 pm

        Oh, and the hat? I think she’s about to break into song: “The hills are aliiiive…”

    • Candice Simmons permalink
      August 17, 2010 2:02 pm

      I like the hat, RAchel.

  3. A-K87 permalink
    August 17, 2010 5:04 am

    I wasn’t planning on watching The Social Network but now I am going to take the opportunity to see what this girl can do. We can’t give up on her after what Heath did with The Joker.

  4. A-K87 permalink
    August 17, 2010 5:06 am story about Rooney Mara being cast has a big picture of Scarlett Johansson. What kind of journalism is that!!

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      August 17, 2010 10:52 am

      It’s that kind that wants to get looked at, at least, if not actually read. Journalism is in desperate straits nowdays, my friend.

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