Young starlets vie to be The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Actress Stewart arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit in New York

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo U.S. movie adaptation is currently in the works and slated for a 2012 release, and Hollywood’s hottest starlets are reportedly scampering to secure the title role (a.k.a. Lisbeth Salander), including Kristen Stewart, Ellen Page, Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightly, Natalie Portman, and Mia Wasikowska. A source told Entertainment Weekly that these star-power actresses might get passed over for an unknown, someone who won’t distract the audience with her recognizable mug.

They also want to save some $$ when casting against rumored high-octane male leads of Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt.

Dragon Tattoo is the first part of the Millennium Trilogy by Swedish Stieg Larsson, an international best-seller that’s moved more than 40 million copies worldwide in four years. The Swedish version of the first movie racked in $88 million in foreign countries, which is quite a feat. Larsson, who died of a sudden heart attack before the last book in the series was released (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest), is currently unstoppable.

The books themselves are slow-paced modern-day thriller that would be tedious if the writing weren’t so exquisite, and the characters weren’t so interesting. The English language translations are simply a joy to read, full of sex, crime, corruption, murder, malice, and thrill of vigilante justice.

Noomi Rapace plays Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish film:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Photocall
Credit: Dave Hogan / Getty