An actor passing on a project is generally a bit of a non-story but it's a testament to how far Rooney Mara has come that we're bringing this news to you.
Variety reports (via Twitter) that Mara has passed on the potentially controversial female lead role in Spike Lee's upcoming remake of Park Chan-wook's Vengeance-trilogy cult classic "Oldboy," which is set to star Josh Brolin as the lead and possibly Christian Bale as the lead antagonist. The film certainly would have been testing for the up-and-coming actress' psyche, since she'll have just finished up on another dark adult drama, David Fincher's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" -- we're almost glad she's not doing it for her own psychological well-being.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether Lee's film will include the gut-wrenching, revelatory twist in Park's 2003 film. Mark Protosevich, who is scripting the remake, has used both the Korean film and the Japanese manga by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya (where the ending is different) as the basis for his script so it's not certain that Mara is passing on a role of similar importance and controversy as the one we're familiar with. That said, the door does now open for someone else to step into a role in a highly promising project.
We're somewhat doubtful that the studio would be audacious enough to follow Park's film too closely, so we're guessing Mara isn't missing out on much. Surely after the release of Fincher's 'Dragon Tattoo,' she'll will be inundated with offers for other films anyway -- not to mention the likely sequels for the Swedish crime series. Lensing on 'Oldboy' will begin in late 2011/early 2012 when Brolin is finished with “Gangster Squad” and Lee with “Red Hook Summer" so casting shouldn't be too far away from being finalized.