Update: Jeff Wells confirms with Scott Rudin that the stories are untrue.
…Fincher was looking to cast an unknown in the lead role of Lisbeth Salander ‚Äì said Girl With The Dragon Tattoo ‚Äì [but ] the word is in that he was impressed enough with Mulligan‚Äôs audition for the character to select her out of over 5,000 other potential actresses. [um, couldn't that be said about every role ever cast? -- Ryan]
Mulligan has also apparently been approved by the family of the late Stieg Larsson ‚Äì the author of the Millennium trilogy, of which The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is the first entry ‚Äì to play Salander. Furthermore, she is set to rake in $5-6 million per movie should all three novels be given the Hollywood treatment ‚Äì with Fincher already signed to helm at least the first two flicks.
The possibility that Fincher will direct the first two adaptations might more accurately be expressed in terms of his rumored “option” to direct the sequel. Cinematical names The Times as the source of the story, and has this quote from Mulligan:
“I am obsessed with those books. I would love to do them. I am not going to lie about that. I would love to play Lisbeth Salander.”
Meanwhile IndieWire’s Anne Thompson adds that Brad Pitt is a “strong bet” to play the male lead, Mikael Blomkvist, but relays a caution from another source: “‚ÄúNothing is real. Haven‚Äôt even started yet!‚Äù
Back to an earlier story at ScreenRant for a status check on the screenplay:
Steve Zaillian has already stated that he will not view the Swedish film version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and that his adaptation will be of the original novel only.
That’s the purest nugget panning out from all the speculation. While the original adaptation of Dragon Tattoo stands on its own as an interesting film, it’s not the movie I expected or wanted from the novel. There’s a sexual charge between Lisbeth and Mikael in the books that I just wasn’t feeling from the Swedish actors. And for all the emphasis on Lisbeth’s hardcore demeanor, I always read that as an armored facade shielding a much more demur and damaged girl underneath than the interpretation we got from Noomi Rapace. So I’m fine with this casting news for both lead roles — assuming there’s any truth to the rumors.