Who will be cast as Lisbeth Salander in ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’?

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It’s really funny/interesting to me that so many people around here are pro-Rooney Mara. It feels like whenever I write about her, I find her to be a total snooze but the comments are always like “I love this girl, she can do no wrong!” How can you have such strong feelings about her? I’m really asking, because I don’t see much “there” there. Anyway, it was announced a few days ago that Rooney was being pushed off the new Lisbeth Salander project. Rooney played Lisbeth in the English-language version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Rooney got an Oscar nomination for the performance (when she was basically just doing a budget version of Noomi Rapace’s performance in the Swedish films, yes I said it).

Rooney liked playing Lisbeth and she’s said in interviews that she wanted to come back and play the character in any sequel. Well, that’s not happening. The studio is actively looking for a new Lisbeth for The Girl in the Spider’s Web. And their shortlist sucks so far. Per Variety:

According to insiders, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, who costarred in 2008’s “The Other Boleyn Girl,” are among the actresses in the mix to play Lisbeth Salander as Alvarez begins meeting with talent. Johansson vied for the role that eventually went to Rooney Mara in the first film. However, that was due, in part, to director David Fincher’s involvement, so it’s unclear if the interest level is still as high.

[From Variety]

Natalie Portman should not play Lisbeth. Maybe if we were casting the role in 2005, I would say that Portman was a solid contender. But not now. And I doubt Portman would be into it at this point too – filming begins in the fall and Portman just had her second child. She probably wants to chill out for a while, not jump into losing weight and preparing for a really physical and demanding role. As for Scarlett Johansson… no. Just NO.

I still like my suggestion of Ellen Page. I mean, if you’re going with an American actress, I think it should be Page because she has that childlike-look that Lisbeth is supposed to have. You know Kristen Stewart will probably get a call to audition too, especially with her newly shaved head. Personally, I would much rather see K-Stew lip-bite and awkward her way through the role than Scarlett or Natalie.

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67 Responses to “Who will be cast as Lisbeth Salander in ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’?”

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  1. lannisterforever says:

    Natalie and Scarlett are both far too beautiful, but they are at least the right age if this is the fourth book.

    KStew is too young, as is Ellen Page.

    I still think Rooney should continue, but I don’t even want her to if Fincher’s not directing (the same way I felt about Christian Bale as Batman without Nolan).

    • gobo says:

      Ellen Page is 30.

    • Mke says:

      K Stewart is the best physical match for the character. The fact that she may be too young is never an issue in Hollywood. I do not like her as an actress and would not see the movie but I think she may be the best of this bunch

    • Rosalee says:

      Ellen Page is from Halifax..which of course is in Eastern Canada..she’s Canadian another Canadian Tatiana Maslany would rock the roll.

  2. Sullivan says:

    Ellen Page would be perfect! My second choice would be Kristen Stewart. Or Kate Moening (although she may be too old for the part).

  3. INeedANap says:

    KStew is not a bad choice, but I’m with you. Ellen Page can totally rock this role. Noomi Rapace is a phenomenal actress but didn’t have the right look.

  4. Mia4S says:

    Does anyone actually care about this series anymore? I haven’t heard anyone mention it in years but now it’s a big deal again? Huh?

    Like the Ellen Page suggestion (oh but she’s Canadian, not American. 😉)

    • Erinn says:

      She grew up a couple hours from where I live. LOVE Ellen.

      She was making a point to send her support to the NS Teachers Union recently during their awful contract negotiations – and I love her even more for that.

    • Bridget says:

      Yeah, those are some big names being bandied about for a reboot.

    • Ripley says:

      From my understanding, Canadians are Americans… as are Mexicans. Essentially anyone from North America could be called “American” . People from the USA simply like to claim the title as all their own.

  5. OriginallyBlue says:

    Does Hollywood know there are other actresses out there? I’m actually sick of seeing Scarlett Johansson.

    • Moonstone says:


    • Chinoiserie says:

      She hardly does many films like this.

    • HookedonCoffee says:

      I have no problem with ScarJo as an actress, but ever since her Marvel contract, she has become majorly over saturated. I wouldn’t hate her, but I’d love to see a big budget flick without her in it, for what seems like once!

      Unless Salander has a thing for lip biting, I don’t understand why Stewart would even be considered.

      Unless Salandar just weeps hysterically, or stands around with a blank expression, or gets constipated often, ditto for Portman…

      Ellen Page would be the best fit. She definitely has the most charisma and range of the bunch.

  6. Kasia says:

    Just not ScarJo. I’m sorry, I think she’s beautiful and she does well as Black Widow but there are so many other stronger actresses who are the right age, have the right look and are talented enough that she can’t compete with.

  7. Rocio says:

    Kristen Stewart seems like a good choice. Maybe she can pull it off. Scarlett? Hell no. Portman? Really?

  8. ell says:

    who asked for this

  9. deezee says:

    Ellen Page might be a nice choice. Did anyone see Hard Candy? It would be a nice audition tape for it. Also, um she is Canadian, not American.

    • JKL says:

      Definitely. Hard Candy is like a Lisbeth prequel film. She was also in the running for the first film, if I’m not mistaken.

    • ZGB says:

      What’s the difference? Aren’t Canadians and Mexicans all from America?

  10. Zuzus Girl says:

    None of the above. Absolutely not Scarlett who always sounds like she has marbles in her mouth.

  11. dttime2 says:

    i said it on another thread and i’ll say it again…how about Tatiana Maslany …

    • sunnydaze says:


      Oh my god, YES!

      I absolutely loved the series and was heartbroken watching the David Fincher film. Like, I actually excused myself from the theater. It’s a weird thing to see a piece of literature that is so beloved basically botched. My husband (who turned me on to the series) tried to remind me far too much happens in the novels, they would have to center on the main “plot”, but I just couldn’t get with it and watching Mara gave me heartburn.

      While I still stand by the belief some novels just shouldn’t be made into movies, I think Maslany could definitely tap into the spirit of Lisbeth.

      Flood the message boards!

    • Tata says:

      Agreed! She is a brilliant actress, I love her in orphan black.

    • Avery says:

      Yesss!!! She would be perfect! We all know that she has the acting ability to pull it off. That girl is so talented. I hope the casting agents consider her. I will spit fire if natalie or scarlett is chosen for this role. Can’t hollywood think anything different than just the same old usual actors? Unlike most – i loved rooney in TGWTDT. I thought she did a great job. I didn’t care for noomi. she didn’t fit lisbeth as far as the description in the book. i think rooney did a better job of being vulnerable and tough.

    • Moneypenny says:

      Best suggestion so far! I’d actually go see it if Tatiana is Lisbeth!!

  12. Mew says:

    Kirsten Stewart? Lol, she can’t act even if her life depended on it. She has just one face. Sad Stewart should be a meme! Would be much more interesting to see some fresh face.

  13. Kata says:

    I like Rooney because she’s not the usual overly bubbly Hollywood actress. She seems shy and awkward and that feels more real to me. And I like that she keeps her private life private.

    The fact that I liked her in pretty much everything I saw her in helps ( she was a better Lisbeth than Noomi) and her fashions sense is great too.

    • lizzie says:

      i agree. i liked the girl with the dragon tattoo remake (i love fincher and i thought she was excellent) but she was SO GOOD in that soderbergh movie side effects. he runs a stable of awesome actors and i’d like to see them work together again.

      i also love her shipwrecked corpse bride style too. her dresses aren’t always my favorite but she is always styled impeccably with hair/makeup/accessories. it feels authentic and it isn’t always a hit but its is always true to her personal brand. i like that. she would look crazy in a pastel.

  14. Sam says:

    Any of them but Scarjo who plays the same person over and over again with the same monotonous voice.

  15. Moonstone says:

    Not Natalie again!! Ugh..

  16. Dirk says:

    Jane Levy! She’s a v good actor, can be dangerous /terrifying onscreen, is able to handle action but also has a deceptive childlike veneer. She also worked with Alvarez twice already. E Page is good but lacks the edge, methinks

  17. astrid says:

    I won’t be seeing the movie no matter who plays Lisbeth. The American version wasn’t nearly as good as the first one.

  18. L84Tea says:

    I liked Rooney in this role. I think she did a great job personally. I would HATE to see Kristen Stewart get this part. It’s too much for her to pull off.

  19. Bex says:

    I like Rooney largely because I think she’s an interesting, non cookie cutter actress (she was gorgeous in Carol) even if she’s a bit of a blank slate off screen.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      I think her being a blank slate off screen is why she’s a good actress onscreen.

  20. lem says:

    Its really too bad b/c Mara was exactly the type of person I envisioned when reading the books. The other suggestions are far too pretty to play Lisbeth.

  21. Insomniac says:

    I think Kristen Stewart would rock this role. I thought that back when Fincher’s “Dragon Tattoo” was being cast, too.

  22. Adrien says:

    I vote for Michelle Rodriguez. *runs*

  23. Jenns says:

    I’m not a huge fan of Rooney, but I thought she did a great job as Lisbeth. I don’t see why they would want to recast her.

  24. Lucy says:

    In an ideal world, they would let this project go. But since they’re going ahead with it, my picks would be Evan Rachel Wood, Tatiana Maslany, or (controversial, I guess?) Maisie Williams. Although let’s face it, most actresses out there who are in their 20s-30s (if not all of them) will audition for this.

    • Kiki says:

      I vouch for Tatiana Maslany for this role. I think she will be perfect for the role. If not, as much as I don’t like this actress if she can work on having CHARISMA, Alicia Vikander would be perfect as well.

  25. pam says:

    Ellen Page is CANADIAN, not American…

  26. gene123 says:

    Summer Glau was always my dream casting for the role

  27. Amy Tennant says:

    It’s like action movie girl=Scarlett these days

  28. kiddo says:

    No Portman and johansson is a big no no obviously, Stew would rock the look but the attitude i dont think so, she cant pull off the way Roooney did. Vikander should be the better choice but shes tied up to Lara Croft reboot, just find out of nowhere new comer actress just like Finchers’. I personally love Rooney Mara and Yes she can do no wrong i will watch any movies where shes in it. Rooney is the embodiement of Lisbeth.

  29. Pjl says:

    I’d love to see an actual Swedish/Scandinavian actress get the part… I guess Scarjo’s got the ancestry, but she doesn’t look like Lisbet.

  30. Joni says:

    They’re really hellbent on making this, huh? No one cares about this series anymore.

  31. zoem says:

    I think it will be Lea Seydoux. She was one of the finalists from thr last film’s auditions and her career is perfectly posed now. Otherwise, an unknown.

    • Kelly says:

      I also like the Lea Seydoux suggestion. Another interesting up and coming actress would be Anya Taylor-Joy, who was fantastic in The Witch last year. The one concern is that she could be seen as too young for Lisbeth in Spider’s Nest.

      I’m interested to see whom they’ll cast as her twin sister Camilla.

      • Blu says:

        The Witch was so god awful i can barely comprehend. It really staggers me how people thought it was good, there was so many plot holes, you could barely hear or understand the dialogue …Ugh!

  32. Pumpkin Pie says:

    If SJ is in the movie I won’t watch it. Rooney Mara was more than OK.

  33. Nicole says:

    Why not Noomi Rapace?

  34. saguaroblossom says:

    Ellen Page would be great.

  35. Lilas says:

    Rooney Mara was good as Lisbeth but Noomi Rapace was beyond good, she WAS Lisbeth for me.

    As for who should play the role next… I was thinking Natalie Portman is perhaps too “classical” for the part but then I remembered her as Mathilda in Leon so maybe she could pull it off.

    Scarlett Johansson, no, she is way too bland for Lisbeth.

    I love Ellen Page so why not ? Kristen Stewart, I can see it too.

    But I root for Noomi again !

  36. Amelie says:

    Scarlett Johansson is really not that great of an actress in my opinion. I find her rather one note and pretty wooden. She is not that great as Black Widow apart from the action scenes. Also this Ghost in the Shell movie I keep seeing everywhere? Is that character supposed to be Asian? I dunno why I get that feeling.

    I think Krysten Ritter from Jessica Jones could pull it off. She was awesome as Jessica Jones and I feel like she has the grit and the talent to play Lisbeth.

    Kristen Stewart is a good physical choice and I feel she has a lot in common personality wise with Lisbeth but I have yet to see this girl actually act. Being twitchy and awkward in every single role she plays, she would undermine the character with her tics.

  37. prince says:

    why not cast a black actress. gugu, lupita with her bald hair cut will look bad ass with all the tattoos.

  38. Bridget says:

    I like Ellen page, but I just can’t see her portraying salander’s ferocity. Though it would be nice to see an LGBTQ actress in the role.

  39. yoon says:

    god, this book is fan fiction at best. why won’t they make the other TWO actual stieg larsson books? ugh this is garbage i hate this generation garbage GARBAGE

  40. Tig says:

    I saw both versions of Girl with Dragon Tattoo- was really surprised at how well Rooney pulled it off, esp in light of Naomi’s mesmerizing performance.
    This new addition- vote Tatianna as well. Scarlett, Natalie and KS- noooo. It takes more than a shaved head to convincingly play this character.

  41. Dale says:

    Tatiana Maslany!!!!