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Posted at 2:45 PM ET, 08/16/2010

'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' is ... Rooney Mara

By Jen Chaney

Rooney Mara, aka the new Lisbeth Salander. (Wire photo)

Rooney Mara has won the role of Lisbeth Salander in the American adaptation of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," Sony announced today in a press release. Mara, who got the part after much speculation and debate over which actress should tackle the part of the hard-eged hacker, will star opposite the previously cast Daniel Craig in the series of films, based on the adaptation of the best-selling Stiegg Larsson thrillers.

Director David Fincher will begin shooting "Tattoo," the first movie in the trilogy, next month in Sweden.

This puts to rest the months-long debate about which contenders -- from Natalie Portman to Ellen Page to the newly shorn Emma Watson -- would ultimately emerge as the front-runner.

Now, to answer the question loudly percolating in your brain: Who the heck is Rooney Mara? She's appeared in "Youth in Revolt" and the recent remake of "Nightmare on Elm Street." She also will be seen this fall in "The Social Network," Fincher's Facebook movie. That film, already highly anticipated, also will be watched closely because of another of its rising stars: Andrew Garfield, recently cast as the new Spider-Man.

(Update: Colleague Cindy Boren has some more information on the sports credentials of Mara's family in her blog, The Early Lead.)

Is Mara a good choice? Or do you not know enough of her work yet to say one way or the other?

By Jen Chaney  | August 16, 2010; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  
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I'm sure Ms. Mara is a lovely person and actress, but all I get from this story is a visual of Alan Ruck in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" on the phone yelling, "Rooney!"

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | August 16, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

She has a very NFLish name, Mara being the longtime owning family of the Giants and Rooney of the Steelers. Any connection there?

Posted by: justmike | August 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

She is sister to actress, Kate Mara. Both are great-granddaughters of the founder of the New York Giants, Timothy Mara and Art Rooney, founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Posted by: ellipsoid08 | August 16, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Never even heard of her.

Posted by: forgetthis | August 16, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Ahah! Well, I don't like the Giants but I do like the Steelers, so I guess I'll be neutral about her. Anyway, the movie will probably be inferior to the Swedish version, which I have already seen.

Posted by: justmike | August 16, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Wapo system keeps repeating the last word of my first sentence into the next line, making me look stupid. Cut it out!

Posted by: justmike | August 16, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Know nothing about her; I think it's great that they are going with an "unknown".

Posted by: Lizka | August 16, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Never seen her, never heard of her. She looks sort of non-descript, she isn't helped by the charismatic look with the burning eyes that Naomi Rapace has. She'll need one hell of acting skill to do this. I listened to an interview of her on Youtube, and at least her voice isn't too girlie - but not exciting either. I think I'd preferred Portman.

The most important thing is that the actress doesn't act "cute".

Posted by: asoders22 | August 16, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Like with "Let the Right One In", do yourself a favor and watch the original trilogy instead.

Posted by: moebius22 | August 16, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

She looks kind of bland, but who knows. I'm surprised they didn't go with Ellen Page, who would have been great -- check her out in "Hard Candy" if you're a doubter.

Posted by: edgeonyou | August 16, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

It will take a MAJOR miracle to even match the Swedish version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo! (I have not yet seen the other two.

Posted by: repmisc | August 16, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I still wonder about the approach here, seems like a mis-allocation of starpower resources. From the books and the Swedish movie trilogy, Salander is the star. I guess putting a Daniel Craig into her orbit will maintain the illusion that the reporter is the focus of the stories.

Posted by: HardyW | August 16, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

she is beautiful ! without any conscript or tattooed acclamation ! yet is her choice that i respect about her body, minds can change , but what ever a tatoo does not condeme one to hell ! only jews have the proiterity to burn with the devel in hell for ever !

Posted by: sideboom | August 16, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if they will constantly be having coffee and sandwiches like in the books. Oh and Billy's Pan Pizza. I'd actually like to try that.

Posted by: nmoses | August 16, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Liz or Jen, would one of you call the nurse's station on sideboom's ward and tell them he's out again. I'm guessing he bolted during occupational therapy. And his meds don't appear to be very effective, either.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | August 16, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

It will be hard to beat the strength of the Swedish films. Rapace is perfect as Salander. Maybe Craig will be okay, but he had better work hard to get it right. I'll probably see the new versions, but I'm buying the DVDs of the Swedish films. First one is magnificent. (I've read all three books and LOVED them.) Interview with Rapace is a terrific bonus feature. She basically gave up her life to make all three in a row. Still has scars from the piercings. Truly a great performance and a perfect portrayal of Salander. Guess we'll see if the US versions measure up.

Posted by: LBinVA | August 16, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Moebius22 is right: watch the Swedish original. Hollywood's take will end up making compromises and plot edits just as they did in remaking "Brothers" and "Mostly Martha", two brilliant directed and acted works as originally filmed .

Posted by: whodat2 | August 16, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Swedish film versions were excellent but Larsson's work will always be best in print, or e-book, the way I read all three.

Posted by: thw2001 | August 16, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Actually, thw2001, they'll always be better in the original Swedish books, at least according to those who've read both. Even the translator didn't like the translation!

As for the casting choice, at least it wasn't Scarlett Johansson, who's way too pretty and at 5'4.5'' too tall. Mara is 5'3", too tall to Tattoo, too.

Posted by: kabuki3 | August 17, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

This is brilliant casting. The Rooney-Mara dynasty is worth megabucks. I haven't seen casting this brilliant since Sir Steve put Sid Sheinbergs wife in "Jaws", since, you know, he just happened to be making "Jaws" at Universal. Yeah right.

Posted by: biffgrifftheoneandonly | August 17, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad it's someone relatively unknown to audiences. I thought she was fine in Youth in Revolt -- I wish her the best of luck with a challenging role -- one challenge for her will be overcoming the blandness that an American remake will inevitably insert. I think Noomi Rapace has been fantastic, and she is quite "normal" looking when not in Lisbeth togs.

Posted by: bdballard | August 17, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why Hollywood continues to remake perfectly good foreign films for the American audience. Naomi Rapace is irreplaceable as Lisbeth Salander. Deal with the subtitles, these original movies are great.

Let The Right One In
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl who played with Fire

Posted by: Taylorsucram | August 17, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Rooney Mara - Wow - a psuedo unknown.

This actress is going to have the weight of the world on her shoulders for taking this role. Granted the family connections will help if the film tanks and she continues her career playing community theatre in Squirrel Hill, PA or Westchester County, NY.

Gotta give her points for guts to take the gig. But the fanboys etal are going to be sharpening their daggers for this one. It should be exciting, eh?

Posted by: gvanderlek | August 17, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The Millenium Trilogy Books are an awesome read and Lizbeth is a firey, take no prisoners type of gal. Noomi Rapace, for those who've not seen the movie, is believable in this role - actually OUTSTANDING!. She has a feminine but strong body which makes some of the dust ups she has with ruffians quite believable. Rooney Mara has her work cut out for her; in the gym and in front of the cameras.

Posted by: ijames1 | August 17, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

please do not watch the original swedish trilogy first or you will be sorely disappointed. i'm already imaging unnecessary special effects and unneeded stunt people in this american version. so sad.

Posted by: choqokat | August 17, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Should've been Ellen Page. And Daniel Craig as Blomquist????

Posted by: thrh | August 17, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why this is even being remade. There's no way the American version will even come close to the edginess of the Swedish films.

Posted by: SimpleObserver | August 17, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I am quite satisfied with the Swedish films and have no intention whatsoever to see the cheap crap Hollywood knockoffs.

Posted by: barnabytwist | August 17, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I am quite satisfied with the Swedish films and have no intention whatsoever to see the cheap crap Hollywood knockoffs.

Posted by: barnabytwist | August 18, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

While I agree that Let the Right One In and La Femme Nikita were excellent in their original form and could not have been improved, I disagree on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I think Daniel Craig will be an excellent Michael. Older, not actually "HOT", but with a male magnetism. Dunno about the girl in this case, just have to see but I was not actually impressed with ANY of the casting in the Swedish Version. I'm actually hoping Hollywood will pull through for once as I'm still waiting for an awesome movie to go with this awesome book series.

Posted by: snobrdchic | August 23, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

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