'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo': Carey Mulligan will not play Lisbeth (EW Exclusive)

It’s time to take Carey Mulligan’s name off the list of candidates to play Lisbeth Salander in the upcoming U.S. version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Mulligan tells EW she is not going to be playing the titular badass hacker heroine. “I’m not, I’m afraid,” she told EW yesterday. “I can officially quash that rumor once and for all. It’s not going to be me. But I’m excited to see it. I love the books and I think it will be great.”

Mulligan will next be seen in two fall movies, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Never Let Me Go.

Yesterday, my colleague Nicole Sperling posted a great item listing a the actresses now being mentioned (like Rooney Mara, Ellen Page, and Mia Wasikowska) as in the running to play Lisbeth. With Mulligan out, who is your preferred choice?

Also: ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ casting: Who’s in the mix now?

Comments (487 total) Add your comment
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  • savonarola

    Noomi Rapace.

    Or maybe Nicole Ritchie.

    • Shiny

      Emma Stone is the only gal tough enough to play Lisbeth Salander; she kicked butt in Zombieland. Eliza Dushku could be good; she’s played many damaged waif-fu chicks already. Something tells me that they’ll pick Kristen Stuart tho.

      • Stormy

        Christina Ricci is my pick. Quirky, scary, tiny but forceful. Perfect.

      • Liz Lemon

        Ellen Page IS Lisbeth Salander and no other. She will be cast unless something goes terribly wrong. I can live with Christina Ricci even though I think she’s too old now and Eliza Dushku had crossed my mind too. However, Ellen Page is 100% perfect!

      • Shiny

        Add Anna Paquin; she’d kick major behind as Lisbeth Salander.

      • ang

        emma stone is living two blocks away from me at the moment. filming “the help” here in greenwood MS. she’s great actress, but for lisbeth i think someone darker is needed…

      • Jon

        Anyone who says Ellen Page is perfect (like saying she IS Lisbeth Salander) have obviously never read the books. Ellen Page would be absolutely the worst pick. Salander is not some wise-cracking hipster, like Page is in all her roles. No, she’s a quiet introvert who people mistake for mentally challenged. And if Michelle Williams is “too old” or “doesn’t look the part”, well, the same can be said for Page. Just because Page is short and has dark hair does not mean she IS Salander (Liz Lemon, I’m looking in your direction). Page has cherubic features. Salander is angular and dark, emo-looking. You’re so far off-base with Ellen page that it’s not even funny. Noomi Rapace. Now THERE was an actress who embodies Salander.

      • Cate

        Dead on, Jon. Page would be so many shades of wrong for the role.

      • MJ

        Ellen Page can definately portray a dark and brooding character, as she has done in the movie “Hard Candy”

      • Tumbleweed

        Ellen Page _is_ actually perfect for the role. To anyone who thinks the only kind of roles she plays are like her Juno character, you need to go rent ‘Hard Candy’. She can play Lisbeth as well as Noomi Rapace did. Rapace even mentioned her role in Hard Candy when asked about this.

        My concern is about getting Blomkvist right. Brad Pitt? Hardly. Daniel Craig? No. Look at who they cast in the Swedish version – dead-on perfect as described in the books.

    • For real?

      Christina Ricci is an excellent choice :)

      • I Will Watch Anything On TV

        Christina Ricci should be the frontrunner. Noomi Rapace said herself that she should play Lisbeth in the American version.

    • Judd

      Megan Fox is clearly the BEST choice.

      • Tom


      • Liz Lemon

        You clearly haven’t read the books.
        The thought of her being anywhere near this film is just disgusting.

      • Courtney

        @Liz Lemon
        You clearly don’t actually watch 30 Rock, or you would be able to recognize a joke.

      • Liz Lemon

        @Courtney: How do you know they were joking? Megan has been mentioned a few times. Like I said, it’s disgusting. And I love 30 Rock. :D

      • mary q contrary

        @Liz Lemon: The few times Megan has been mentioned were all by the same guy, Judd. Nobody in the business has seriously considered her, either, or even dropped her name.

    • moviemenace

      Jena Malone. I’m surprised no one has thrown out her name yet. I think she would be a fantastic choice.

      • Liz Lemon

        OOH! I like that!! She would be pretty awesome!
        WHY hasn’t her name come up yet???
        Ellen is still my favorite, but I really like Jena Malone too.

      • JDub

        Jena Malone? Too girly, no way.

      • Liz Lemon

        Too girly? Have you seen Jena Malone?
        She can play girly (e.g. Pride and Prejudice), but she can also do edgy (e.g. Sucker Punch, The Messenger).

      • annoyed

        They shouldn’t cast Jena Malone because she’s not a very good actress.

    • Ann

      Emily Blunt is perfect. Ellen Page is too ‘cute.’

      • mary q contrary

        Emily Blunt does not physically fit the part at all. Go type her name into Google images. You’ll see.

      • JDub

        Where is the tough as nails in Emily Blunt? You’ve got to get a girl who most guys might think, “This chick could kick my ass.” Use that as a barometer and most of these names mentioned get axed.

      • jj

        how about Nikki Blonsky she embodies her all the way!

    • Erin

      Nicole Ritchie? Sacrilegious!

    • lydia

      I actually *love* the idea of Nicole Richie! Would have never thought of her.

    • ideagirl

      how about Fairuza Balk!? SHe would be awesome and when I read the book that is the image I had in my head for her…

      • Steven C

        OMG I WAS THINKING THE SAME THING!!! Fairuza Balk circa “the craft” is what i was thinking also…Rooney Mara, and Christina Riccie would also be good.

      • coffeegirl18

        She sounds like a better fit…

    • teris

      Nicole Ritchie? I don’t usually hate on what people suggest but are you serious? I’m sort of stunned you even mentioned Noomi Rapace and her in the same sentence.

    • Gerri Blank

      Perhaps this can be the comeback role that Mel Gibson sorely needs…

    • Salander Fan

      There is no doubt that Noomi Rapace should play Salander. It would be a travesty to see Ellen Page, Nicole Ritchie, or even Christina Ricci in that role. Rapace played it in all three films and should play it for the US audiences as well. It is the only way readers would appreciate the screenplay :) I would hope that Stewart did not play it, but I think that she could. An unknown would be better because too many stars would overpower the storyline and all we would do is critique the actor instead of the screenplay. Keep Noomi Rapace for crying out loud!

  • Matt1

    Ellen Page is a good actress but the thought of seeing her boobs scares me since she is very ugly.

    • emaline

      That is just mean…she is not at all ugly. Maybe not classically beautiful, but neither is Lisbeth.

      • Bibi

        Ellen Page is not ugly. What a horrid thing to say.

      • Henryy

        How could you ever call Ellen Page ugly? She is beautiful, and even in the books, Lisbeth isn’t even supposed to be like extremely sexy or anything. Matt, you disgust me.

      • shellibelli

        actually there is a scene in the books where Dragon thinks fo Lisbeath as model queslity in looks if she didnt wear all the crap on her face and hair and gained some weight.

        Dont believe me reread it

      • Jaz

        That is why Kristen would be good. She can be very beautiful when made up properly and is petite model-esque, but is very skinny. She played Joan Jett very well and can do this!

    • Alan of Montreal

      I’m sure you’re a real winner, too, Matt1

    • For real?

      Hilarious! Thanks for a good laugh.

    • Liz Lemon

      Ellen Page is beautiful, but you calling her ugly just makes her even more perfect for the role. Lisbeth Salander is not supposed to be drop dead gorgeous. She’s actually called ugly on numerous occasions in the books.

    • Ann

      Matt1 is probably a female actress that lost a role to Ellen.

    • Matt Needs Glasses & some class

      Clearly you have eyesight, shallowness and taste issues. What? Smart, funny, and great looking is not enough? Ugh – you probably need the girls to have fake boobs a size bigger than their IQ.

    • SoSueMe

      Ellen Page is adorable and she has beautiful skin!

    • filmneye

      I agree w/Matt. Ellen Page is butt ugly, but hey, she can act.

  • Annie

    Mulligan was my first choice, sorry she is out of the running :(

    • Michael

      Totally agree. I felt that she was the only good choice for the role.

    • Summer

      Mulligan was my first choice as well.

      • Annabell

        I loooove Carey Mulligan!!! I’m so sad!

      • Kari

        She was on my short list, too, but my husband and I are actually leaning toward Mila Kunis. I think she could be a great Salander! Ellen Page is not a bad choice, either…

    • WhiteLady

      Not sure any of the others can cut it.

    • Liz Lemon

      I tried to imagine Mulligan in the role, but I just can’t see it. She’s too sweet and adorable.

      • Shiny

        Mulligan would not be able to pull of a tough damaged urban street kid like Lisbeth Salander.

      • Ann

        Agreed. Carey is too soigne.

    • mary q contrary

      Actually, with Carey Mulligan announcing that she didn’t get the part, it makes me think they’ve made their decision and just haven’t announced it yet.

  • Wes

    Matt1, stop going to the movies. They aren’t for you.

    • AH

      I’m not sure breathing is really “for” Matt. What a douchedrizzle.

  • Nicole

    I’ve always kind of pictured Page in the role; would love to see her chosen.

  • liz

    I think Carey is too much of a sweet face to play Lisbeth. She wouldn’t be able to pull it off. Plus she’s been doing those goodie goodie movies lately (The Greatest) and I can’t see her doing that rape scene at all.

    • lilian

      Couldn’t agree more. She might be a great actress, but her mug is way too cute/pretty to play Lisbeth. I think Mia Wasikowska could be a good choice. Her face is not conventionally pretty and she could definitely pass for a teenager boy (Lisbeth’s recurrent description in the books)

      • Alicia

        I think Mia Wasikowska is stunning- looking, and I’ve yet to see her give a bad performance. She might not be conventionally tough enough for the role of Lisbeth, but I think she could do it.

      • Well

        I said this yesterday… If they cannot get Natalie Portman (who is beautiful, but could work this role), it should be Mia Wasilowska. I think she would have great chemistry with Daniel Craig. Ellen Page is just not that good an actress, unfortunately. Juno was the only role she did well in, and I believe she played herself. She was terribly out-matched/classed in Inception.

      • Ann

        Natalie’s acting has always been mediocre. Her career exists solely due to her beauty.

      • mary q contrary

        I’m gonna say it again: Natalie is gorgeous, and I disagree with Ann, I think she’s very talented, BUT she has aged too much to play this role. She’s also too “stunning”.

      • Erin

        “it should be Mia Wasilowska. I think she would have great chemistry with Daniel Craig.”

        They have history together as it is – she starred in that war movie with him… the name eludes me. Starts with a D perhaps?

        Mia is a fantastic actress (see In Treatment) and if I HAD to pick a Lisbeth I’d kind of like her.

        Though I’m still against this crappy Americanization of such a brilliant Swedish book/movie.

  • DL

    Ellen Page or Natalie Portman.

    • Cindy

      I agree with Natalie Portman – although I have never seen her play a really dark role before. It would be a nice “stretch” role for her though.

      • mary q contrary

        Then you obviously haven’t seen enough of her films. The Professional? V for Vendetta? Closer?

      • Lenny

        @mary– I’ve seen them. Her acting is average at best. She’s a (very) pretty face with a superficial acting style.

      • JDub

        Portman? Come on, even in her so-called tough roles, she was anything but — physically, anyway.


    While reading the book, I only thought of Ellen Page. If she can combine her physical features, similar to Salander’s, with th toughness she displayed in “Hard Candy”, its a perfect match.

    • Liz Lemon

      Her weirdness in “The Tracey Fragments” and her toughness in “Hard Candy” and “Mouth to Mouth,” make her absolutely perfect.
      People keep picturing her as Juno, but Ellen does more edgy/weird roles than anything else.

      • Shiny

        Ellen would be great but that babyface may work against her. But after opening big in Inception I get the feeling she’s top of the heap for the role.

      • Liz Lemon

        She does have a babyface, but Lisbeth is constantly describe as looking like a child, so it could work. However, Ellen’s babyface can easily be disguised. I’ve seen her in the roles I mentioned above and she’s so dark in those films.

      • Liz Lemon


      • vinay

        i get tired of people always relating her to only Juno..damn ellen has put in powerful performance in all those movies that makes her the best actress for the role.. no one else comes close.!

  • joe

    I thought Mulligan would’ve been ideal. I read somewhere that a French actress had tested for the role and is the frontrunner- could be Eva Green?

    • emaline

      Doubt it, the french actress was someone considered unknown.

      • Liz Lemon

        No. The French actress is named Lea Seydoux.

      • Ann

        Just looked at a picture of Lea, and she definitely has the right look.

      • Liz Lemon

        @Ann: Yeah she does. I can see them choosing her if they go for an unknown.

      • SJ

        she was in the most recent Robin Hood. she might be good but I’m going w/ Ellen Page. I hope to .god it’s not Kristen STewart.

    • Richard

      Agreed on Mulligan. Noomie Rapace is exceptional in the Swedish films that it’s hard to imagine the other names being mentioned in the role. They all seem too pretty and soft. Perhaps a complete unknown would be the best way to go.

      • grindy

        Totally agree Richard. An unknown might be the best way to go. Noomie is very pretty in real life, but really pulled off the “hard” look I imagined Lisbeth to have. Hope Hollywood doesn’t glam it up and take away from the grittiness of the books.

    • mary q contrary

      Eva Green is too voluptuous and sensual.

      • filmneye

        Don’t worry, grindy, Hollywood always screws up remakes of great foreign films. Examples: Point of No Return (La Femme Nikita), City of Angels (Wings of Desire), Solaris (Solaris) and so on…

  • Merrydan

    Definitely an unknown.

  • Matt

    Anyone but Rooney Mara. She was awful in Nightmare on Elm St.

  • jfms777

    Scarlett Johannson. She can act. She just won a Tony.

    • emaline

      Scarlett Johannson is not the physical ideal to play her…too pretty.

      • lefty

        …too big

    • bg

      She is supposed to have the body type like a boy. Have you read the books? Scarlett J. would never fit that type!

      • Jaz

        Again, Kristen Stewart. She needs to get away from the Bella role and this could do it – another series.

  • Raymond

    How about Michelle Williams?

    • derk

      I’m surprised no one else has mentioned this before. I can see it, even if she’s a little older.

      • Janice

        Wow – I’m opposed to them remaking the film in English – but she’s got the chops. She’d be a great choice.

      • Carol

        Yes, Michelle, best choice so far.
        But I agree with Jordan. The original film was brillaint. WHo ever is th lead, it won’t matter if it becomes “hollywoodified”.

    • emaline

      Great choice…I don’t think is that old. Even if she is, she looks quite young.

    • Liz Lemon

      Love Michelle, but I can’t see her in this role at all. She’s too old and doesn’t look the part.

  • Jordan

    Okay, but seriously. WHAT? Why remake an excellent movie in because it has subtitles? Are eyes going to launch out of sockets? Are ears going to fall off because they’re hearing a different language? The film hasn’t been out for more than a couple of years. For crying out loud.

    • Dave

      Just saw it last night, and I agree 100%. People are too lazy to pay attention to read the subtitles, I guess.

    • H

      In the states, not many (if really any at all) people had a chance to see the foreign version in theatres. I’d really like the chance to see it on the big screen. And if Hollywood advertising brings more attention to such excellent books, then all the better!

    • Alex

      This is nothing new. For some reason the perception is Americans are only interested in seeing American films (except for things like Bond and Harry Potter, but those are special cases). And they don’t like to read when they go to the movies, either. And these days it seems the films have to be 3-D too. It’s stupid, I agree (same with remaking UK shows for US TV which fails 99 times out of 100). At least the original will still be available. Back in the 1940s Hollywood remade a UK film called Angel Street as Gaslight and attempts were made to destroy the original so Gaslight would be the only version (even though critics say the original was superior). Fortunately the UK film survived.

      • Annette

        Actually Harry Potter is still an American movie because it’s made by an American movie company.

      • Riley

        So is Bond. Just an English character

      • fritanga

        But even though it’s bankrolled by an American company, the last six HP films have been shot in Britain with British casts and crews (there’s a reason the first two HP films were bad: they had an American director). They’re also not dumbed down too much for American audiences. However, films like the upcoming Let Me In and probably this film will be changed, sanitized, glamorized and definitely made simpler and stupider for American audiences.

      • ummm…


        Wow. How would it look if Americans made this statement about another country?? David Fincher is extremely talented and says he is devoted to the story. The Swedish films edited out most of the character-building plotlines for Michael B’s role. Would that be considered “dumbing down” for Swedish audiences?
        Elitist idiot.

      • Ginger

        Wow. “Dumbing down” for American audiences?

        This thought is so incredibly offensive I hardly no how to respond – but I shall anyway. Your perception of Americans is skewed, though unsurprising, since I’ve discovered this is a common outlook outside of the country. Reality TV has set a bad example to the rest of the world. However, to base your opinion solely on instances in the media makes me question YOUR intelligence, since you clearly regard yourself so highly.

        Have a bad experience with an American?

        Then understand that is one sole person. To judge an entire nation on one person is shallow, superficial, and again has me questioning your intelligence.

        Hate the government? Then let me ask if you REALLY know how the country functions and runs. Do you really know the politicians? Or do you just buy into what you read in various papers? Do any research?

        To each his own, I say. Columbus, I thought, shot it closest to the books. Personally, in my opinion, the third Potter is the worse – which features Cuaron, a director of Mexican descent. Do I blame Mexico for not liking it? No, I blame an arrogant director. His heritage has nothing to do with it.

        @fritanga: you, my dear, need a reality check.

      • annoyed

        I’m an American and we DO dumb down movies for our audiences. Get over yourself, “Ginger”.

        “This is so incredibly offensive I don’t know how to respond” and then you proceed to write, like, five (poorly written) paragraphs. Get a life.

        And anyone who says the third HP movie is the worst really is an idiot.

    • Sean

      With David Fincher attached, I’d say give it the benefit of the doubt.

      • Liz Lemon

        Likewise. Are people forgetting that David Fincher directed films like “Fight Club” and “Se7en?” I’m not worried at all about him not being faithful to the story…I’m actually worried he may be TOO faithful. There are some really disturbing things in those books.
        But I’m intrigued to see what he does with it. If he screws it up, we still have the Swedish versions.

    • Jana

      I’m guessing they probably think they can make some serious cash by remaking it. They probably don’t analyze it any more deeply than that.

      • SJ

        You’re right; money is the motivator. This book is huge right now, only hardcore fans will seek out the swedish movie, but people who haven’t read the book will see an ameircan version. It’s all about the money.

  • Bruce Fan

    I have always thought it should be Natalie Portman.

    • Mel

      Yes! I’m reading the books right now, and I just keep seeing Natalie Portman in this role. Why is her name not being mentioned?? It seems like a part that would be right up her proverbial alley.

      • alex

        she’s too pretty.. and too well know. they need to cast an unknown! what they really need to do is not do US movies at all.

      • Lola

        I find it interesting that a lot of people comment that various actresses in the running to be Lisbeth are “too pretty”. Have they seen Noomi Rapace when she’s not in character? She’s freakin’ gorgeous. That being said, I’m firmly of the camp that the Swedish films are brilliant and Hollywood should leave well enough alone.

    • Liz Lemon

      Natalie is too pretty. I actually tried to invision Natalie as Lisbeth, but I couldn’t do it. Ellen Page kept popping back into my mind…actually Noomi Rapace is who I picture when I read the books now, because of the Swedish films; but Ellen is perfect.

      • quake

        Rachael Leigh Cook

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