Rooney Mara Might Join David Fincher's 'Utopia' & This Could Be The 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel We've All Been Waiting For

David Fincher, the Academy Award-nominated director behind such recent zeitgeist-y hits as Gone Girl and The Social Network is no stranger to TV shows — he executive produces Netflix's House Of Cards, and he also directed the first two episodes of Season 1. Lately, Fincher has been hard at work developing not one, but two series for HBO: a half-hour music video comedy called Videosynchrazy and an adaptation of a popular British sci-fi thriller called Utopia , which would reunited the director with his Gone Girl scribe, Gillian Flynn. Sadly, production was recently halted on Videosynchrazy, but the good news is that production is full steam ahead on Utopia, which has begun casting with early reports claiming Rooney Mara is in talks to join Utopia in a starring role.

The Wrap's Jeff Sneider tweeted the news this Tuesday evening, so Mara's casting won't be official until HBO announces her involvement. But just the possibility of the 30 year old actress signing on to Utopia is enough to get excited about. Obviously, the crowning jewel in Mara's career so far has been the role of Lisbeth Salander in Fincher's English-language adaptation of Stieg Larsson's crime drama The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Released in 2011, Tattoo was universally acclaimed, earning Mara herself an Oscar nomination for Best Actress along with four other nominations for the film. (It won one trophy for Best Film Editing.) It garnered an 86% Certified Fresh on RottenTomatoes and grossed $232 million worldwide off of its $90 million budget. And yet, despite all these trappings of success, the two presumed sequels, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, never materialized.

As recently as September of last year, Fincher was still publicly optimistic that the sequels would move forward — Mara less so, stating in February of this year that the project was "pretty much dead." The farther away we get from the first film's 2011 release, the more Larsson's trilogy slips out of the public consciousness... and the less likely we are to see Fincher continue the story of Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. So Utopia might be the closest we ever get to a Dragon Tattoo sequel. (Any chance Mara's co-star Daniel Craig might also join the cast of the HBO project?)


So who exactly will Mara be playing in Utopia? While that information hasn't been released yet, there are only so many options — assuming Fincher's version faithfully follows the outline of the British original. First off, for those unfamiliar, here's a brief summary of Channel 4's Utopia : "When a small group of people find themselves in possession of a manuscript of cult graphic novel Utopia, their lives are knocked out of kilter by explosive events. [...] Rumoured to have predicted the worst disasters of the last century, Utopia is legendary. Dismissed by most, idolised by few, only one thing seems certain: come into contact with it, and you won't be safe for long."

There are three female characters in the main cast of the British version and, based on the ages of the actresses, it seems most likely that Mara will be playing Becky (portrayed by 27-year-old Alexandra Roach in the original). She's described as "a bright and opinionated soon-to-be post-grad student" who is "convinced there was a conspiracy surrounding her father's death connected to the Utopia manuscript." There's also a chance she could be playing Jessica Hyde, who is described as "socially awkward with a directness that is disarming, she is a survivor and a fighter though she doesn't feel or look like a super hero" — although Mara is a bit younger than Jessica's 36-year-old portrayer Fiona O'Shaughnessy.

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It's always exciting when a director sees something in a budding young star and latches onto them; think of the fruitful collaborations between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, or Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Fincher has apparently found himself a pair of muses in the Mara siblings (Rooney's sister Kate starred in Season 1 of House Of Cards), and, hopefully, this new project will live up to the high bar set by Dragon Tattoo.

Images: Columbia Pictures; Pierre Verdy/Getty Images