Rooney Mara As Lisbeth Salander In ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo': First Official Photo!

A few weeks back, some grainy paparazzi pics of Rooney Mara dressed as Lisbeth Salander for David Fincher’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” adaptation hit the Internet. They were hard to read and, frankly, a bit of a letdown. Today, however, fans of Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” trilogy are being treated to the real deal.

W magazine has just unveiled their new cover, offering the first official — and, yes, sexy — photo of Mara as the badass, lip-ring-sporting, tattoo-rocking investigator/computer hacker heroine. There are piercings, tattoos, blood and cleavage galore in this puppy, and anyone who’s read the books must admit that Mara 100 percent looks the part.

Hit the jump to see the full W cover image.

As devotees of Larsson’s worldwide best-selling novel are well aware, “Dragon Tattoo” follows brilliant, introverted hacker Salander as she joins forces with disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) to solve the four-decades-old mystery of a missing girl.

“Before I read the book, I didn’t think I could do it,” Mara told W of tackling the role. “I locked myself in a room for a week and read all three books, and decided I really wanted to be Lisbeth. But I thought I had no shot at it.”

She was up against some stiff competition to be sure. Fincher auditioned Hollywood A-listers Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Lawrence, as well as more unconventional options like Yo-Landi Vi$$er, the frontwoman of Die Antwoord. What’s more, Fincher required many of the actresses to read through a shocking rape scene.

“David added the rape scene at the last minute, and I said, ’Ohmigod! They must be really serious,'” said Mara. “They did one test, then another a week later. They shot me in the subway in L.A. in full hair and makeup with a motorcycle. Every day they had a new request. On a Monday morning, David called me in, and I said, ’What do you want me to do to my hair now?’ I was at the end of my rope. He told me I had the part. I hadn’t even read the script yet.”

According to the W story, that script will differ substantially from Larsson’s novel. Though the movie will retain the Swedish setting, Blomkvist supposedly won’t be quite as much of a ladies’ man, Salander will kick even more butt and — don’t have an aneurysm — the ending will be completely different. Consider us intrigued.

Does Mara look like she’ll make a good Lisbeth Salander? Tell us in the comments!