[UPDATED] Scarlett Johansson & Natalie Portman In The Mix To Play Lisbeth Salander In The Girl In The Spider’s Web

UPDATED: When asked by a Twitter user why he decided to go forward with an all-new cast, director Fede Álvarez responded with:

“It’s said that 50% of the director’s work is casting. If I’d just take Fincher’s (amazing) casting, I wouldn’t be doing half of my job.”

Interesting philosophy there. While he is definitely right on one front, it does seem like an unnecessarily egotistical move. But I guess you don’t get into this business without a little ego.


On Monday, we learned that Don’t Breathe director Fede Álvarez would be going forward with an all-new cast in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sequel/reboot The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Back in 2011, David Fincher directed the former title with actors Daniel Craig and, most notably, Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander, the genius hacker who helps Mikael Blomkvist in his investigation. The character had already once been played by Noomi Rapace in the Swedish version of the film, but Mara impressed across the board, managing to make the character her own, all while staying true to her novel counterpart.

So it was with a heavy heart that after all these years of holding out hope for a true sequel to that film, we had to accept the fact that Rooney Mara and co. would not be returning to reprise their respective roles for this sequel — which would pick things up in the fourth book in the series, as opposed to the second.

But it’s not all bad news. Álvarez has proven in recent years to be a talented director, and if a report from Variety is to be believed (and let’s face it, they’re rarely wrong), then it sounds like we have some particularly solid talent awaiting the role.

According to the outlet, Scarlett Johansson (whose film Ghost in the Shell is set to hit very soon) and Natalie Portman (whose film Jackie got her nominated for an Oscar for Best Lead Actress) are both in the mix to play Lisbeth in The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Johansson is especially notable because she was actually up for the role along with Mara when they were casting Fincher’s version of the first film, though Fincher obviously ended up going with Mara. While Johansson is a talented actress, she doesn’t seem to fit the physical mold for the character, who is described as boy-ish in terms of body type. Nothing against Johansson, but that’s a body type she does not have.

Natalie Portman seems like a better fit physically, but admittedly, I’m not too thrilled with that prospect either. Portman is a bit too recognizable, and with a role like Lisbeth, it seems better to go for someone who can really disappear into the character.

Doubts aside, were either of them to get picked, however, I think they’d both manage to turn it into something special. It may just take a little bit of extra effort on the audience’s part to separate the actresses from their character.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one as it develops, and we can’t wait to see how Lisbeth and the rest of the cast shakes out.

What do you think of Johansson and Portman being up for the role? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: Variety

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Joseph Jammer Medina

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and contributor at LRM Online. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.

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