This week, Sony gave us a heap of good news/bad news. Good news: they’ve greenlit “The Girl In The Spider’s Web” and it’ll hit cinemas on October 5, 2018. Bad news: David Fincher is not returning to direct. Given how tedious and demanding it was to make his 2011’s “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” that’s not necessarily surprising — even if it’s still nonetheless disappointing. But here’s some more good news: Fede Alvarez, the exceptionally talented filmmaker behind 2013’s surprisingly good “Evil Dead” remake and last year’s horror smash, “Don’t Breathe,” will take on the directing duties instead. More bad news, though: Rooney Mara, who scored an Oscar nomination for her excellent, dedicated interpretation of Lisbeth Salander, won’t be returning for this brand-new reboot.
Not just any actress can play Lisbeth Salander. Whoever signs on to the project not only needs to live up to Mara’s towering performance but also Noomi Rapace‘s star-making turn from the original Swedish film trilogy. Both commanded the screen, and leave some big shoes to fill. Alvarez, returning producers Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin and the rest of the bigwigs and executives over at Sony have a huge decision to make with this casting choice, and it won’t come easily. Mara was selected from an enormous list of talents — mainly due to Fincher’s firm insistence — and the early names being floated at the moment include Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman (both contenders from early days of casting ‘Dragon Tattoo’). But they’re likely just a start as the global search goes on for the actress to play Lisbeth Salander, and as always, we here at The Playlist are here to help. We’ve rounded out a few of our favorite promising young actresses — all of whom we think will positively ace it if given the chance.
Without further ado, here’s our web of choices for Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl In The Spider’s Web.”
Hollywood loves repeated success. If something worked once, try to make it work again! If it worked twice, well, see if it’ll work a third time! Indeed, Jane Levy and Fede Alvarez already have a dynamite work relationship together. She brought both confidence and conviction to her lead turns in Alvarez’s two films to date, excellent qualities to color any incarnation of Lisbeth Salander. Her screen presence is undeniable, and Alvarez and Levy clearly have a strong rapport. With the writer/director embarking on his most ambitious project to date, why not go with his frequent collaborator? Levy is a great young actress that has proved herself multiple times already, but still has yet to land a true breakout role. If she scored the part of Lisbeth Salander in Alvarez’s upcoming adaptation, she’d get all the attention she deserves.
Few working actresses are as versatile as Tatiana Maslany, the actress behind multiple roles on “Orphan Black.” However, Maslany hasn’t found the same success on the big screen as she has on her acclaimed hit series. She was great in the otherwise not-great “Woman In Gold,” and while her work in the indie “Two Lovers And A Bear” got good notices, a substantive big-screen role continues to be elusive. “The Girl In The Spider’s Web” could host the role that truly propels her up the ladder, and it’s one she could truly sink her teeth into.
Zoë Kravitz has tasted what it feels like to be in a blockbuster with roles in “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “X-Men: First Class,” and “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them,” but “The Girl In The Spider’s Web” could make her a centerpiece star. She’s terrifically talented, and might be doing her best work yet on HBO‘s “Big Little Lies.” Her star is on the rise, and playing Lisbeth Salander would skyrocket her ascension, and provide material for her to truly show the depth of her skills.
Tessa Thompson made quite the big-screen introduction in “Dear White People.” As Sam White, the outspoken radio personality who lends the film its controversial title, she filled the screen with more cool-headed confidence than some actors can ever channel in their careers. And with excellent recent turns in “Selma,” “Creed,” and “Westworld,” to name a few, Thompson only continues to impress. Her profile is expected to rise significantly with upcoming parts in “Thor: Ragnarok” and Alex Garland‘s “Ex Machina” follow-up “Annihilation,” and full-blown stardom seems just one key role away. Her characters always balance their fierceness with their sensitivity, and few modern female characters find themselves as morally conflicted as Lisbeth Salander. It would be an inspired choice.
Rinko Kikuchi’s subdued, compelling Oscar-nominated supporting turn in “Babel” is arguably the best part of Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s Best Picture nominee. Not long after that, she proved her talents were no fluke with great turns in “The Brothers Bloom,” “Pacific Rim” and “Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter,” which arguably contains her greatest performance thus far. Indeed, the Japanese actress knows how to greatly resonate even if saying very little, and her comedic sharpness and emotional vulnerability would lend itself perfectly towards playing Ms. Salander. Her performances hold great dramatic power, mostly because they’re also gentle, honest and very human. “The Girl In The Spider’s Web” would be a terrific showcase for her talent.