'Girl With The Dragon Tattoo': Rooney Mara Cast As Lisbeth Salander

Rooney MaraIs it a surprise that when director David Fincher was looking for a relative unknown to star in his upcoming "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," he looked through his own filmography to find her? Not really.

Today it was announced that Rooney Mara, who worked with David on "The Social Network," will play the lead in all three of his adaptations of Stieg Larsson's "The Millennium Trilogy." Rooney will be starring opposite the previously announced Daniel Craig.

Many big name actresses have been rumored to play Lisbeth Salander, including Kristen Stewart and Emily Browning, but Rooney has been a contender from the start. Beyond her role in "The Social Network," Rooney recently ended up being the last lady alive in "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and had a small role in "Youth in Revolt."

"Dragon Tattoo" is set to begin filming next month in Sweden, according to a press release issued by Sony Pictures. Robin Wright and Stellan Skarsgard are both also in talks to join the film, leaving Rooney working with a more established cast. Fortunately, Rooney has the plus of both being the appropriate age and having a similar look as Lisbeth is described to have in the books.

Rooney, who is the younger sister of actress Kate Mara ("127 Hours," "Shooter"), reportedly beat out Natalie Portman, Cary Mulligan and Emma Watson for the role, all of whom auditioned for the director but were turned away. It is a definite vote of confidence in Rooney, considering she hasn’t done anything we have seen that has been overly mind-blowing. But it is enough to get us on board with the casting.

The film is due to hit theaters on December 21, 2011.

Are you glad it was an unknown actress who was cast as Lisbeth, or did you wish it was someone established? Is this a film trilogy you are looking forward to?