By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com February 2, 2012 at 9:19AM
So it turns out, if you'd like to take a role in a David Fincher project, it really, really helps to have the surname Mara. After casting the actress in "The Social Network," David Fincher catapulted Rooney Mara to stardom and an Oscar nomination by giving her the lead role in "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." And for his next project, he's keeping it in the family.
Fincher is moving on to his first television project, "House of Cards," a remake of the 1990s BBC hit political thriller that marks the first original series produced by streaming giants Netflix. The show stars Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, the House of Representatives Majority Whip who after being passed over for the position of Secretary of State, puts a plot into motion to bring down the President, while Robin Wright, who also featured in 'Dragon Tattoo' is on board to play Spacey's wife. And for the other female lead, Deadline has reported that Fincher has picked the elder sister of his Lisbeth Salander, Kate Mara.
The 28-year-old actress has actually been around for much longer than her sister, with notable roles in "127 Hours," "Brokeback Mountain" (as Heath Ledger's daughter), "Shooter" and "Transsiberian," while she made the shortlist to play Catwoman in "The Dark Knight Rises," alongside Keira Knightley, Jessica Biel, Charlotte Riley and eventual victor Anne Hathaway, and has most recently been seen in another small screen role, on FX's "American Horror Story."
She'll play Zoe Barnes, a reporter for a Washington paper who conspires with Underwood to land a killer scoop, one that could have terrible consequences for her. It sounds like the part is roughly analogous to that of Mattie Storin, a political reporter in the original series (played by Susannah Harker); *spoiler* that character has an affair with the equivalent to Spacey's, before he throws her off a roof, which may give a hint as to where Mara's plotline may be going. Anyway, while she's been overshadowed by her younger sister of late, she's extremely talented, and it's good to see her getting such a substantial role.
She's not the only actress to join the project, as Kristen Connolly, who's soon to be seen in the lead role of Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's horror "The Cabin In The Woods," has also signed on, to play the "headstrong executive assistant" of another Congressman.
All in all, things are shaping up beautifully for the project, which is penned by freshly minted Oscar nominee Beau Willimon ("The Ides of March"), and executive produced by Eric Roth, among others. Fincher is confirmed to be directing the pilot and executive producing, but also told fansite Fincher Fanatic recently that "I don't know what my other responsibilities will be, but I am going to do as many of them as I can," so it's possible that he'll end up directing several episodes of the show, which has already been picked up for two seasons by Netflix. Filming begins shortly in Baltimore, and Fincher said that "once we have five hours it's going to be on," so here's hoping we see it very soon.