Everyone is waiting for the news to break on which of the young actresses in the wings will land the role of punk hacker Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's English-language film of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. According to producer Scott Rudin, EW's story positing that Natalie Portman is back in the running because the studio is skittish about casting an unknown in such a pivotal recurring role is "not true."
Being able to deliver kick-ass action, uninhibited bisexual sex, intense emotion and a Swedish accent makes this a challenge for any actress. Given that Fincher seems bent on casting an unknown under age 24 and under five foot five, Portman at age 29 and Evan Rachel Wood and Carey Mulligan at 5' 7" seem to be out of the running. So expect Salander to be one of the final four (Sucker Punch's Emily Browning seems to have fallen by the wayside): French Lea Seydoux, American Rooney Mara (who worked with Fincher in The Social Network) or Aussies Sarah Snook or Sophie Lowe. There is an outside chance that Inception star Ellen Page could sneak in if she nails the accent. The decision should come down soon, as Daniel Craig will move into this movie this fall as Mikael Blomkvist after he completes Jon Favreau's Cowboys & Aliens. UPDATE: Insiders give the edge to Mara, but the studio is dragging its feet on not using a name actress; the decision should be made by the end of the week.
I like the possible casting of Stellan Skarsgard and Robin Wright (now divorced from Sean Penn) as Martin Vanger and Erika Berger, Blomkvist's married editor, respectively. I'd like to see Berger nab a larger role in this movie than in the Swedish version, which omitted her sexy relationship with her star writer, who is what you'd call a man who loves women. That aspect of his persona is given short shrift in the Swedish films. Writer Steve Zaillian has promised to put Salander front and center in these stories--some months back he led me to think he was expecting to write all three.