Originally published on Flickering Myth on 14/03/17.
Hollywood has spoken and whether we like it or not, the Millennium series is getting a facelift. The original Swedish-language The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo famously kickstarted the career of Prometheus’ Noomi Rapace, whilst David Fincher’s American remake gave Rooney Mara the driving seat as goth hacker Lisbeth Salander. And now it seems, the role is open once more.
With Evil Dead and Don’t Breathe’s Fede Alvarez pushing forward with his own spin on the series, with indirect sequel The Girl in the Spider’s Web heading for a 2018 release, it seems that the powers that be are going for an entire cast overhaul. And as good as Mara was in the role, it might be exciting to a see a new feminine force don Salander’s trademark leather jacket.
Side-stepping rumoured front-runners Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman, here’s a few possibilities for a slightly different Lisbeth Salander.
Ever the one for digging deeper with her roles, Page is one of the most underrated actresses in the game at the moment, with a huge range of characters under her belt already. As well as being the perfect age and already fronting the perfect look, she’s also a huge supporter of women who come from abusive backgrounds, particularly those in the LGBTQ+ community, so to play a character that stands as very much an embodiment for all of these issues would suit her down to a tee.
Her profile’s just high enough thanks to roles in blockbusters like Inception, whilst her later, much deeper turns in indies like The East and last year’s Tallulah should make her an absolute shoe-in.
Surely high on the list will be Fede Alvarez’s own most consistent leading lady? Levy fronted both the Evil Dead remake and Don’t Breathe to great acclaim, showing she can handle the darkness well and that she can be both vulnerable and hugely fierce when she wants to be.
The only thing stopping this from being a done deal right here and now is that her name’s not quite as well-known to wider audiences just yet, despite turns in recent releases like I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore and Monster Trucks. Still, if you had to put money on any of the actresses listed here, I’d most definitely make it Levy.
Another major contender, if Sony Pictures were to go for upcoming talent that is, is The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy; a hugely adaptable and again, very much multi-faceted actress who’s very much on the cusp of the big-time. Having already nailed a BAFTA-nomination and kickstarted her career with Sundance hits and mainstream money-makers like Split, she would be both a safe and exciting choice for the studio.
The only thing holding her back is her age. At just 21, she’s a little too young for some of Salander’s battle-scars, but depending on the direction Alvarez is looking to lead his reboot in, this could very easily be a positive too.
Very much a left-field choice, Hildebrand was last seen as Negasonic Teenage Warhead in last year’s Deadpool and before that, well, not really anything else. She’s fairly (okay, very) new to the whole movie-making business, but since she’s already fronting the right look and the complete attitude to match, she’s definitely Sony’s ultimate outsider option.
And finally… if for whatever reason Sony wanted to both give the internet an aneurysm and kill their new-look franchise completely before even a single camera had started rolling, there’s always the Kristen Stewart option. To be fair to Stewart, whilst the message boards and fan base will no doubt disagree, she’s not exactly the worst choice for the job; in fact, far from it.
She’s definitely high-profile enough, with genuinely phenomenal recent turns in Personal Shopper and Certain Women, and she certainly knows her way around a gun, and how to wear the shit out of the trademark jacket. Like Page, she comes from the LGBTQ+ community, she’s the perfect age, build and we already know she has the capacity to be moody as fuck. She might not be the most popular choice, but like her or not, Stewart is definitely a contender.