Who’s That Girl? Andy Burns On Who Could Play The North American Version Of Lisbeth Salander


Have you read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo yet? I bet you have, or at least know somebody who has. I can’t walk anywhere without seeing it or another one of Stieg Larsson’s books in the hands of someone. Somehow a violent series about a withdrawn Swedish computer hacker with a dragon tattoo on her back has become all the rage. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s great to see that in this day and age people are still reading. In fact, Larsson’s trilogy have sold millions of as e-books, blazing the trail that the written word is following this decade.


Last week the Queen and I watched the Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which stared an unknown (at least in North America) named Noomie Rapace as Lisbeth Salander, the heroine of the Millennium trilogy of Swedish adaptations. To say that Rapace nailed the part would be an understatement. With her ridiculously slender figure, haunting eyes and awkward demeanor, Rapace was Larsson’s character brought to life. Which makes the job of casting the role of Salander for the Hollywood remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo ridiculously difficult.

Considering the Swedish version of the film made over $100 million worldwide at the box office, it may seem silly to remake a hugely successful film so soon, even if it was a foreign language flick. However, the fact that David Fincher will be the man directing should be reason for any Salander fan to get excited. Love him or hate him, Fincher is one of the best filmmaker of the past 20 years and is never less than interesting (and this is coming from someone who thought Benjamin Button was highly overrated).


While it’s confirmed that Daniel Craig will play the role of disgraced reporter Mikael Blomkvist in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the biggest story out of Hollywood right now is who will fill the role of Lisbeth Salander. Among the actresses who have expressed interest are Ellen Page and Kirsten Stewart, both of whom are riding high of the success of summer blockbusters Inception and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, respectively, along with Carey Mulligan, who scored an Oscar nomination for her performance in An Eduction. I missed Mulligan’s performance so I can’t form much of an opinion on if she’d make for a good Salander, though from a physical perspective I think Mulligan could have the look. Meanwhile, whoever is making the big decisions, be it Fincher or the studio big wigs, should keep Stewart as far from the film as possible. Regardless of her success of the Twilight films, I just don’t think she can handle a role like the dark and depressive Lisbeth Salander. And while I think Ellen Page is too short for the role (prove me wrong), she does have the chops and the willingness to step out of her comfort zone that could make her a good pick.


However, as I wait to see what Fincher decides, I keep wondering if Noomie Rapace, the original Lisbeth Salander, would be considered for the role she first essayed. She could learn her lines phonetically if she doesn’t speak the language and I have no doubt she’d have some fantastic chemistry with Daniel Craig’s Blomkvist. She would also give then film a real grounding in Swedish culture, especially if the talk that Fincher will keep the North American version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in it’s native country is true.

The talk is that David Fincher is testing select actresses up for the role in costume alongside Damiel Craig, so we should have the new Lisbeth Salander before too long. But enough of my yakin! Who do you want to see play Salander in the Millennium Trilogy?

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