'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' finds its Lisbeth Salander: Rooney Mara

Rooney-Mara_240.jpg Sony announced today that Rooney Mara (The Social Network) will play pixie hacker Lisbeth Salander in its three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, under the direction of David Fincher.

Fincher’s search for Lisbeth has drawn intense scrutiny over the last few weeks, especially over whether Sony will gamble on an unknown actress to carry such an important franchise. Insiders have long assured that an unfamiliar thesp would land the role but many in town suggested that it would make more sense to go with an experienced talent. And regardless of experience, Lisbeth Salander won’t be an easy role to play: The filmmaker’s current plan is to have all the players speak with Swedish accents, a decision that could potentially prove distracting. Should the accents not be delivered flawlessly, the film’s stars could also be a potential target for ridicule.

Fincher will direct The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo from a screenplay by Steve Zaillian. Produced by Scott Rudin, Cean Chaffin, Ole Sondberg, and Søren Stærmose with Mikael Wallen and Anni Fernandez on as executive producers, Dragon Tattoo will begin shooting next month in Sweden for worldwide release Dec. 21, 2011. Mara joins the already cast Daniel Craig, who will portray Mikael Blomkist, and Robin Wright, who will assume the role of Erika Berger.

More ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’:
‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’: Lisbeth casting down to four
‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ poll: Which of these actresses would you cast as Lisbeth Salander?

Daniel Craig officially cast in ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’

‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ casting: Who’s in the mix now?

This week’s cover: The secrets of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’

Comments (195 total) Add your comment
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  • TQB

    Swedish accents?? You’re kidding, right? Chances that not a single character will sound like the Swedish Chef: 1 in a mil.

    • Stef

      I agree. I think most people would prefer sacrificing some of the authenticity to being distracted by weird accents. Even though this is a TV example, Julianne Moore’s Boston accent was so distracting from her performance in 30 Rock that I couldn’t focus on anything else she did. So I’m hoping that doesn’t happen in this case because I’m really looking forward to this movie!

      • tennisfan

        But might it be more distracting if it were filmed in Sweden, as they plan to do, but then speak with American or English accents? I think it could possibly be done well — Swedes speak English extremely well anyway, and their accent is not harsh or difficult to understand. I think it’s doable. I’m glad they are not changing location, because it seems to me that Sweden is just as important a character in the book as the human ones.

      • steph

        For real autheticity’s sake, they should just speak Swedish, and subtitle the movie. That would be the least distracting… :\

      • RyanK

        tennisfan, Unfortunately, given the state of American cinema, American accents on Swedish people in Sweden would probably not be distracting at all. We’ve seen it all the time in other movies, granted, not with Swedish people.

      • Gael

        really, steph? if they were going to do that, why make a new movie at all? the movie was already made in swedish and it was good.

      • wordnrrrd

        I agree with Gael: What’s the point? The Swedish flick is fantastic. I thought for sure they’d relocate the movie to the Northeastern US — the coast of Maine could be a good choice. Oh well.

      • J

        I don’t like movies with subtitles, and it’s not because I don’t like to read or I’m some ignorant American. It’s simply because I like looking at the characters’ faces, especially during emotional scenes. You can’t look at their faces if you’re busy reading subtitles.

      • katie


      • lily

        Are you serious? How could they relocate the movie to the U.S.? 2/3 of the books are page after page of Swedish politics and economics?

      • Bobby

        This is simply a Bad Idea. If the characters were Americans played by Swedes in a Swedish film, they wouldn’t be speaking Svenska with American accents, they would be speaking Svenska normally. If the film is properly written, it should be clear that the characters are Swedish and are in Sweden. Fake accents are an unnecessary gloss that serves no real purpose and just introduces distraction from the dialog and action. Look at “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”. Look at “The Mortal Storm”. The former was ruined by a bunch of Americans trying to sound “British”; the latter had an American cast playing Germans sans accents, and the film is touching and powerful even today because we don’t have that layer of intrusion preventing us from connecting with the characters.

      • @J

        …”and it’s not because I don’t like to read or I’m some ignorant American…”
        No…of course not :)

    • Xerxes

      Vat? A potential target for teezing you say? Surely you jest. But of course we shall reedicule it! We are members of the Silly Accents Society of Sweden and we have not had a deliciously atrocious accent to reedicule since Harrison Ford did that awful U-boat picture. To the SASS mobile!

      • Monty

        augh! your accent is terrible!
        -Accent Police
        Vat? A potential target for teezing you say? Surely you jest. But of course ve shall reedicule it! Ve are members of ze Silly Accents Society of Sveden and ve have not had a deliciously atrocious accent to reedicule since Harrison Ford did that awful U-boat picture. To the SASS mobile!

      • RyanK

        You do sort of have a good point. I think there are too many comical Swedish accents out there in the vast dredges of American pop culture. We’re used to hearing European accents in movies, but Swedish might be a little too obscure…and yes easy to poke fun at.

      • emmy

        you fools. swedes don’t sound like the swedish chef. it’ll sound great. tennisfan sounds like he knows.

    • jb

      Why create a movie? The Swedish versions are fine as they are. These will be awful considering the Swedish versions fit the bill.


      • BkWurm1

        Subtitled movies just don’t rake in the cash and Hollywood is looking for its next cash cow. Hopefully they know the standard to which they will be compared.

      • Fatima

        I think deciding they will be awful already is pretty foolish when you look at Fincher’s track record

      • RyanK

        I agree with Fatima. jb, this isn’t some guy who does mindless action movies. We’re talking about the guy who did Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, and Benjamin Button.

      • mary q contrary

        I agree with Fatima as well. It’s silly to make your decision before they’ve even been made. Also, though I know they may have ‘fit the bill’, anyone being truly honest with themselves knows that there is room for improvement where the films are concerned. Whether Fincher will manage to do so is still a mystery, but I’m going on record now to say that they’ll be better. I get that everyone feels a little violated by the whole thing, because we all get territorial about books (and their film counterparts) we love, but Fincher is an amazing talent, and perfectly suited to the project. I feel very secure in his capable hands, and am excited to see the final product.

      • Chas

        “We’re talking about the guy who did Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, and Benjamin Button.”

        Three of the four of which starred Brad Pitt. I’m not a Pitt fan, but you have to realize that he has kind of an “automatic” audience. That’s why they pay him a lot of money to be in movies.

      • thin

        The point was not that they made a lot of money, the point was that they’re good movies.

      • Kat

        Agree jb. Think the Swedish films are awesome. Can’t imagine another actress being in the stratosphere of Noomi Rapace as Lisabeth. She is so extraordinary and perfect. I wish Rooney all the best, and Daniel Craig and Robin Wright too, both amazing actors – but this is a Swedish trilogy, written by a Swede, set it Sweden, about Swedish characters and a corrupt Swedish government so don’t see the need to “Americanize.” It’s like Swedish actors filming The Godfather in the US. Americans wouldn’t buy Swedes playing US mafioso! But good luck to all. It will be an adventure for the filmmakers, that’s for sure. Whether the audience will enjoy is remains to be seen.

      • RyanK

        Chas, my comment was not related to money. It was about the fact that they were all very good movies. I trust Fincher to not screw this one up.


      PERFECT CASTING. Best pick imaginable, it was obvious in the last EW post she had it (read the message boards). Can’t wait to see her in ‘The Social Network’.

    • Anya

      You took the words right out of my mouth. Ha ha ha!

    • Chas

      Bork, bork, bork!

    • DC318830332@hotmail.com

      If they are sticking with the Swedish accents, then why “remake” it at all. The three films are completely finished in Swedish and already distributed around the globe.

    • Jo

      As a Swedish person I think it seems stupid to have them speak with an accent. Obviously Swedish people don’t speak English with an accent to each other so why bother with that. Just makes me think of all the warmovies where the German’s are speaking English with a German accent to each other. It’s just silly and I’ve talked to friends about and they all agree.
      And as somebody pointed out, most Swedes speak English very well without a very thick accent so there is a chance they really overdue and end up sounding like Ulla in the Producers.

      • Jenni

        Thank you! That has always been my problem with things like this.

      • deegeezee

        as an American who’s spent a lot of time in Sweden: yes, Swedes speak English to each other and yes, they often speak with heavy accents.

      • Jo

        When do Swedish people speak English to each other except when a non-Swedish speaking person is present? Never known that to happen. And I did say most do not speak with heavy accents, but of course some do, especially older people. Nowadays English is one of the three most important subjects in school that everyone has to pass, along with Swedish and Math. I just think that if they are going to pretend that English is Swedish in this movie, then they should speak English sans accent like Swedes (mostly) speak Swedish without an accent.

      • A-K87

        I really thought Zaillian would do something WORTHWHILE and give us a different slant on the story.

        What is the point is ANOTHER adaptation soooooo soon after the Swedish films. It makes sense if they relocate to America and swap the Swedish politics stuff with American Cold War stuff. I’m pretty disappointed and embarassed for Hollywood that its being set in Sweden and baring Swedish accents!!

        It’s all about respect for the original adaptation. Give it a few years at least.

    • estab1971

      Why on earth would they speak with Swedish accents if the conceit is that they’re SPEAKING SWEDISH? (We just hear them in English – like HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER).

    • Liz Lemon

      I completely agree about the accents. I think it’s a bad idea. Hopefully the accents will be subtle, because that’s one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to movies.
      I like Rooney’s look, but I’m not happy with this choice. I haven’t heard good things about her acting.

      • A-K87

        Liz Lemon, I’m disappointed that The Finch didn’t read our posts about Ellen Page and give the role to her.

    • colbea

      hee hee heee :)

    • Xerxes

      Only good thing will be the casting of Max Von Sydow as the grandfather, sweet. And of Skarsgard, but the others faking Swedish accents…meh.

    • MB

      Fincher is brilliant, but there is nothing worse than setting a film in a foreign country but having actors speaking English with an accent—in this case, a Swedish accent. Ridiculous. Just speak English.

  • Kelly


  • Big Walt

    No picture, seriously?

  • Big Walt


  • 4k4k

    Awesome!!! She was the one I wanted too!!!

  • Sam

    I guess that’s not why Emma Watson got the haircut then.

    • Liz Lemon

      Emma’s reps denied that rumor awhile ago.

  • Ann Helen

    Since, we can’t have Rapace, I’m actually seeing the potential here. She could be good..

  • amie

    I just finished the series last night and I cant wait to finally watch these movies, both versions.

  • PNK

    The other casting is right-on so far, I am about 2/3 into the book and I like Craig, Wright, and Starsgard for their roles. Dunno who Rooney Mara is but based on this photo she’ll have to snarl it up a bit, and look a whole lot darker! In other words, act like Kristen Stewart.
    Juliette Lewis coulda played it back in the day, huh?

    • Chas

      Are you implying that Kristen Stewart can act?

      • Wills

        @Chas, ROFL!

  • Paul

    Fail. Epic Fail. Kristen Bell would have been the PERFECT Lisabeth Salander. You make great PS3’s, Sony, but you suck royally with this.

    • Really?

      Kristen Bell? I love her in comedies and rom-coms, but she hasn’t shown any range in major movies.

    • Fatima

      And I’m sure you know a whole lot about this actress to say that, right?

    • Anya

      You clearly haven’t seen Veronica Mars or Spartan. VMars can angst and stoic it up with the best of them. I am skeptical that this actress, forgettable in Nightmare on Elm Street, can carry three movies. Unless the movies are suddenly going to be all about the dude and Salander becomes simply a hot piece of ass.

      • A-K87

        I have to admit, for me the first book is centred on Blomkvist and Salander is a supporting character. Only in the second book is when she becomes the main character

    • BL

      You have got to be kidding!

  • tennisfan

    Ugh, TQB. As someone who loved the Muppets as a child and as someone who has spent a lot of time in Sweden, I guarantee you no Swede actually sounds like the Swedish Chef when speaking English. Typically they sound more English with a certain Germanish-lilt that is not harsh sounding. Their English tends to be quite impeccable. Expand your horizons a bit, it’s an interesting world out there…


    Drop the accent and the star and cast Natalie Portman!!

    • Xerxes

      Yes and yes to that, and also film that dam thing in the US. The story could be set anywhere and there is already a Swedish film trilogy.

      • deegeezee

        so the Swedish politics, sex trade, economy, and unique legal system are irrelevant to the story? really?

      • A-K87

        The politics, sex trade and economy and not irrelevant to the story but they are not exclusively Swedish problems. This could EASILY have been set in the US and I think it would make the whole project WORTH WHILE.

      • Xerxes

        Americans and Brits pretending to be Swedish, ugh! I was praying they would truly do a fresh remake, set in the US and updating locations and even update the plot; something, anything to make it different than the Swedish book and Swedish movie that are already great as they are. So this will be a copy of a copy of a copy; faded fax is all I am expecting. It’s like Shutter Island; once you know the big twist after reading the book, why bother seeing the movie?

  • angeljake

    Gonna be hard to top the Swedish version with Noomi Rapace…

    • side3

      Agreed. I don’t see how this fresh faced young lady can come close.

  • Kraaate

    I don’t know anything about these books or movies, but Rooney Mara is a fantastic actress.

  • Rose

    Lisbeth is famously flat-chested … how many American actresses could pull that off? I like Scarlett Johanssen, but c’mon … Lisbeth is a tiny, tough person, not an enhanced Hollywood beauty. Give Rooney Mara a chance.

    • Gabby

      “Lisbeth is famously flat-chested … how many American actresses could pull that off?” Um, quite a few. Not everyone looks like Scarlett Johansson.

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