Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth Review: 'The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them' Starring Jessica Chastain & James McAvoy Review: 'The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them' Starring Jessica Chastain & James McAvoy Jason Reitman Calls ‘Labor Day’ "A Misguided Effort" Jason Reitman Calls ‘Labor Day’ "A Misguided Effort" David Fincher & James Ellroy Plotting 1950s Crime Noir Series For HBO David Fincher & James Ellroy Plotting 1950s Crime Noir Series For HBO Chris Evans On His Directorial Debut ‘Before We Go,’ Filming In New York, & ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Chris Evans On His Directorial Debut ‘Before We Go,’ Filming In New York, & ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

David Fincher Says Despite A Great Audition, Scarlett Johansson Was Too Hot To Play Lisbeth Salander

The Playlist By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist October 17, 2011 at 7:00AM

David Fincher Views The Series As A "Pervy Franchise"While Rooney Mara eventually won the coveted lead role of Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," it was an arduous wait and the list of the contenders was fierce. Sarah Snook, Sophie Lowe and Léa Seydoux were said to be the final candidates, and a mix of established and lesser known names like Ellen Page, Natalie Portman, Carey Mulligan, Emma Watson, Mia Wasikowska, Emily Browning and Katie Jarvis were all in the running at various points. However, people might remember that just before Mara snagged the part, Scarlett Johansson was surprisingly being tipped as a "shoo-in." At the time it seemed somewhat unlikely, but talking to Vogue magazine as part of a profile on Rooney Mara, Fincher confirms that Johansson did indeed deliver strongly at the audition but that she was ultimately just too darned attractive to play the squirrely, oddball and rebellious Lisbeth Salander.
15

David Fincher Views The Series As A "Pervy Franchise"



While Rooney Mara eventually won the coveted lead role of Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," it was an arduous wait and the list of the contenders was fierce. Sarah Snook, Sophie Lowe and Léa Seydoux were said to be the final candidates, and a mix of established and lesser known names like Ellen Page, Natalie Portman, Carey Mulligan, Emma Watson, Mia Wasikowska, Emily Browning and Katie Jarvis were all in the running at various points. However, people might remember that just before Mara snagged the part, Scarlett Johansson was surprisingly being tipped as a "shoo-in." At the time it seemed somewhat unlikely, but talking to Vogue magazine as part of a profile on Rooney Mara, Fincher confirms that Johansson did indeed deliver strongly at the audition but that she was ultimately just too darned attractive to play the squirrely, oddball and rebellious Lisbeth Salander.

“We flew in people from New Zealand and Swaziland and all over the place,” Fincher said. “Look, we saw some amazing people. Scarlett Johansson was great. It was a great audition, I’m telling you. But the thing with Scarlett is, you can’t wait for her to take her clothes off.”

He continues making a truly strange analogy, but one that basically posits that he wants Lisbeth Salander to be a bit unapproachable -- at least until we see who she is in the film. “I keep trying to explain this. Salander should be like E.T. If you put E.T. dolls out before anyone had seen the movie, they would say, ‘What is this little squishy thing?’ Well, you know what? When he hides under the table and he grabs the Reese’s Pieces, you love him! It has to be like that,” he explained.

But eventually, the depth Mara could bring to the role won the day. “There were all these different versions of Salander, but the one that had the most layers was Rooney’s,” he said. “I thought, This is the person to follow.”

And while this will easily be Mara's best known role to date by far -- in case you don't remember she played Mark Zuckerberg's ex-girlfriend Erica Albright in "The Social Network" -- Fincher warned her from the outset that 'Dragon Tattoo' may possibly ruin her career, pigeonholing her into one type of character. "... He sat me down and gave me this long spiel about all the bad things that are going to come to whoever plays this part. He said something like, ‘Vivien Leigh was incredible in 'A Streetcar Named Desire,' but she will always be Scarlett O’Hara, and you need to be prepared for that,’” Mara explained.

But while we'll see what history has to stay about about the movie Fincher and Mara are preparing to unleash on mainstream audiences, the director has high aspirations for the film based on a book that he had mixed feelings about. “Look, there are parts of the book that I don’t love, and parts of it that make it a maddeningly difficult story to turn into a movie....," he said adding, “I saw this not as a blockbuster that appeals to everyone.I saw this as an interesting, specific, pervy franchise. The only chance for something like 'Dragon Tattoo' to be made in all of its perversions is to do it big. I think 'The Godfather' is a pretty good fucking movie. You can start with a supermarket potboiler, but it doesn’t mean you can’t aim high.”

We'll see the results on December 21st. Until then you can uncover some more images over at the new site named after the forthcoming poster slogan, What Is Hidden In Snow Comes Forth In The Thaw. And that doesn't sate your appetite, all of Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy books are getting the graphic novel treatment with the first coming in 2012.

This article is related to: Films, Actresses, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.

E-Mail Updates