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Dragon Tattoo’s Rapace Goes Hollywood as Remake Goes English, Jolie as Go-To Action Star

Dragon Tattoo's Rapace Goes Hollywood as Remake Goes English, Jolie as Go-To Action Star

Noomi Rapace took herself out of the running for David Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – the Swedish adaptation won her the country’s Oscar equivalent for best actress. Rapace wants to expand her career in new directions, and is spending the week in LA meeting with directors, according to THR (including McG and Ridley Scott), producers (Avi Arad and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura) and studio executives at Paramount and Warner Bros. to plan her attack. Repped by UTA and fluent in English, Rapace could burst into Hollywood off the momentum of Dragon Tattoo‘s success. But it’s Rooney Mara who will grab the career hype as she channels Stieg Larsson’s counter-cultural anti-heroine for Millennium Trilogy fans, who are already salivating for a better screen version of the story. While Mara’s performance will be compared to Rapace’s when The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opens in December 2011, it will be seen by far more people. Both actresses’ lives have changed because of Lisbeth Salander.

Rapace does have three films in the works (none are American productions) and she and Mads Mikkelson are rumoured to be in a French/UK/Germany co-production of The Nazi Officer’s Wife, a biopic of Edith Hahn Beer, a jewish woman who survived Nazi-dictatorship by marrying a Nazi under a false name.

– Variety agrees that there’s weight on Mara’s shoulders, but they question the “American appetite for dark properties” and believe there is “little precedent for anticipating reaction” to what they call Fincher’s “remakes.” Fincher’s 1999 Fight Club may not have reached the box-office heights of Avatar, but it’s an American cult classic on DVD. The appetite for dark films, especially Fincher’s, is very healthy. We’re putting our money on Fincher, Scott Rudin and Steve Zaillian–not to mention Daniel Craig, Robin Wright and Stellan Skarsgard–to deliver. Fincher’s Dragon Tattoo trilogy could be the antidote for all the folks who’ve had their fill of PG-13 franchises targeted at 14-year-olds.

– Arts Beat muses on the casting of Salander and Blomkvist here.

– If you’re not convinced that there is demand for a female character who can defend herself (and then some), than look at the numbers (as The Wrap’s Michael Lee does) on Salt, which is not getting due respect. Salt‘s success (so far totaling $103 million domestic and $166 million worldwide, with more territories to come) is due entirely to its star. Jolie’s top grossing films all feature her tough side (Tombraider [$252m], Mr. and Mrs. Smith [$428m], Wanted [$339m]. Years ago, writes Lee: “If they greenlit a female ‘actioner,’ it was more along the lines of Catwoman, a movie that exists solely to put Berry in ripped-up leather pants,” whereas Jolie is now “a true action movie star; not just someone you buy as a deadly assassin, but someone you have a hard time picturing in a movie without a heavy dose of butt kicking.” Jolie is now that go-to-star that is guaranteed to draw in audiences the way one of the stars of The Expendables (at $34m domestic) used to be able to do on their own.

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