Who Should Be 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'?
By Jo Piazza Posted Apr 10th 2010 01:00PM
Not since Kristen Stewart was tapped to play Bella Swan have bibliophiles expressed so much interest in which actress will play a beloved book heroine on the big screen as they have in the incarnation of Lisbeth Salander in an American version of the Swedish bestseller 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.' (Swedish actress Noomi Rapace won rave reviews playing Lisbeth in the foreign version.) Director David Fincher ('Se7en' ... Gwyneth Paltrow's head in a box ... gahhhh!) has reportedly signed on to Americanize the flick, which means that casting wars are about to ensue.
HollwoodLife.com reported this week that that Academy Award nominee Carey Mulligan and Bella Swan herself, Kristen Stewart, are vying for the role of the pouty, foul-mouthed bisexual hacker, who is often mistaken for a 14-year old girl.
All three are solid options, but are they the right one? Let's explore the merits of our possible Lisbeths.
Noomi Rapace -- Despite the reception the actress has received in the foreign language version of the movie (released in the States last month), American audiences are fickle with foreign crossovers. This book trilogy could turn into an action franchise that could be the next 'Bourne,' so you can bet studios will want an actress who can drive box office sales. "Personally, I wouldn't want to see Rapace play the same role again, as good as she was. But for those who haven't seen the original, it could work. Again, the material and the director will carry this dark, incredibly grim film into the marketplace. There are no strong young American actresses that are good enough, and also have a big enough name, to make a difference. The obstacle to Rapace being cast for American audiences, of course, is her accent. So no, I don't think she's the answer," says Jay Fernandez, Senior Film Editor for The Hollywood Reporter.
Kristen Stewart -- Salander is frequently described by the men who dislike her as a sourpuss, and if there is anything K-Stew can do well, it's wear a puss-face. Audiences who know her only as Bella Swan may find the transition to bisexual ass-kicker a tad difficult, but Stewart already proved she can go dark, stormy and bisexual in 'The Runaways.' "I've heard Kristen Stewart's name bandied about, and having seen her in 'Welcome to the Rileys,' where she plays a sex worker, I think she may be able to pull it off," Fernandez says. "But really, what young American actresses are there that can embody that kind of damaged, rage-filled, clever and indomitable role? None."
Carey Mulligan -- Academy Award nominee Mulligan certainly proved her acting chops in 'Bad Education.' And even though she played a naive high school girl seduced by an older man, we think there's an edge beneath those pretty bangs. Plus, as gorgeous as she is, Mulligan could easily be mistaken for a 14-year old, as Salander is in the book.
Olivia Wilde -- Wilde's name hasn't been officially thrown into contention for the role yet, but we've been thinking for some time now that she could just be the next Angelina Jolie-type lady action hero and this would be a good place for her to start.
"There is something about Olivia Wilde's perfectly pale skin begging to be covered in crazy tattoos that immediately made me picture her as Salander when I was reading the book. Sure, she would need to wear flats the whole movie and the hair would need to be chopped and darkened with a hint of red, and sure, we want Salander to be a little grungy with a hint of 'Run Lola Run' grittiness to her, but if you are going to watch someone on the big screen for two hours, let's face it, you kinda want her to be strikingly beautiful underneath it all," says style and beauty expert Jenn Falik.
Mila Kunis -- OK, so maybe Mila is a little bit of a dark horse, but she looks good dirty, as we saw when she played opposite Denzel in 'The Book of Eli,' and we think she could also play scary. "She's likable and a kick-ass," says Sarah Ivens, founding editor of OK! magazine and author of 'No Regrets: 101 Fabulous Things to Do Before You're Too Old, Married or Pregnant.' While likability may seem anti-Salander, it does score points with audiences, particularly those who haven't read the book.
Megan Fox -- Screen siren Megan Fox seems the obvious commercial choice here, but given her track record for creating box office splashes that are critical failures, it's unlikely Fincher will go with her. She could work if they opt to make Salander a mute.
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