Fincher’s ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ Candidates: Who Stands Out Among the Crowd?


While the buzz continues to grow for the October release of The Social Network (did you watch the just added international trailer?), anticipation is already building for David Fincher’s next film. As announced earlier today, Columbia Pictures has set a December 21, 2011 release date for his adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first book in the series of best-selling novels by Stieg Larsson which has already been made into a $100 million grossing Swedish film.

Mike Fleming of Deadline reports that Daniel Craig is still in talks to play journalist-turned-private investigator Mikael Blomkvist, but most everyone is still wondering who will take on the role of Lisbeth Salander, the anti-social computer hacker who aids Blomkvist in attempting to solve a 40-year-old unsolved murder. The titular heroine is surely one of the most sought after female roles in recent memory, with the Lisbeth character being named one of Entertainment Weekly’s “100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years” – even without an American film version.

While I haven’t read the novel, I am a big fan of the Swedish film and have a hard time believing Fincher, and whichever young actress he chooses, will top Noomi Rapace’s portrayal in the original. That said, I think Fincher is about as good a match as one could hope for with this material. I’m even a bit hesitant to call this a remake because the success of the novel made an American film adaptation seem inevitable… the Swedes just beat us to the punch.

While early reports suggested Fincher may have been interested in giving South African rapper Yo-Landi Vi$$er (not a typo… think South Africa’s Lady Gaga) the role, those talks seem to have died down and Deadline is now reporting these seven ladies are being looked at as possible candidates (I’ve also included Rapace in the final slot for comparison’s sake):

I’d be lying if I said I was familiar with Browning, Snook, Mara or Lowe, but with Snook and Lowe serving as relative newcomers to the film community you can hardly blame me for my ignorance there. Of the other three, Mulligan has certainly been the most heavily rumored of the bunch, and while she is a fine actress whom I absolutely adore, she just seems far too sweet to play Lisbeth. She’d have to toughen up a lot for me to buy her as the tattooed ass-kicker.

Fincher has reportedly been telling the actresses to work on their Swedish accents (which would suggest they aren’t moving the story to America), so I’m sure that will play some part in who gets the role. The other major consideration is whether he would want to cast an unknown or someone with more of a “name.”

Since I’m not particularly sold on any of those candidates, one name I would like to throw out there for consideration is that of Alison Lohman (Drag Me to Hell). I’ve been a big fan of hers ever since seeing her in Matchstick Men, but she never really broke out in the way that I would have expected. At 30 years old, she might be a bit old for the part (Lisbeth is in her early 20s, looking even younger than that), but she convincingly played a 14-year-old in Matchstick Men when she was 23 and she hasn’t aged a bit since. She’s got the look, and has convinced me that she can both play a tough girl and carry a movie. I’d also like to see Jena Malone (Into the Wild, Donnie Darko) be given a look.

There’s a lot to look forward to hera as Columbia seems to be taking this adaptation very seriously. Steven Zaillan () adapted the script and recently Columbia co-chair Amy Pascal told The Wrap, “We’re going to really do this, in all their glory. Otherwise why do it? They’re very R-rated movies. It’s the shock of what’s really going on underneath the surface of society. If you don’t actually make good on that, you haven’t told the story.”

With a December 2011 release date this is certainly a contender for next year, the question now is who will get the lead role? I’ve added a poll just below. Who do you prefer? Any suggestions not yet mentioned?