This week, Rooney Mara lands three plumb roles, Fred Schepisi wants to go back to school with Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen, and Darren Aronofsky finds his Noah in Russell Crowe.
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4 May 2012 - 10:14 AM  UPDATED 5 Nov 2012 - 7:30 PM

Rooney Mara has enjoyed a storybook ascendancy, leaping from TV gigs and small film parts to the iconic role of Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's English-language remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo via little more than a single, telling scene in the same filmmaker's The Social Network. Mara offered a different take than the original Salander, Noomi Rapace, but her commitment to the role was a highlight of the grimly agreeable thriller. Now Mara is stepping out from Fincher's tutelage, adding a handful of prominent filmmakers to her CV.

She has already shot one of Terrence Malick's upcoming movies, Lawless, which reportedly depicts a pair of romantic triangles that take place against the backdrop of the fertile music scene in Austin, Texas. (The reclusive Malick was even photographed at the city annual music festival, South by Southwest.) Mara's daunting co-stars are Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett, while in Steven Soderbergh's forthcoming The Bitter Pill she'll play a wife who becomes addicted to prescription medication alongside Jude Law and Channing Tatum.

Mara's now also snagged a part in the untitled satire about a conspiracy among world leaders to plan major events in advance that marks the latest collaboration between Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman, the team behind Being John Malkovich and Adaptation; Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix will also feature. Beyond that there's still the question of whether the two sequels to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will be remade. Fincher's take earnt approximately $240 million, which is considered good but not great – Mara and Daniel Craig, who's currently making the next James Bond adventure, are signed up, but Fincher hasn't decided whether to return to Sweden yet.

Fresh from The Eye of the Storm, veteran Australian director Fred Schepisi is looking to cast Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen in Words and Pictures, the story of two teachers who've both suffered setbacks who initiate a competition among their students as to what part of the film's title is better at communicating something. A screen romance between the two leads would have to be a strong possibility as well.

They're going to need a bigger boat: Darren Aronofsky is adding cast members to Noah, his retelling of the Biblical tale about the legendary patriarch who saved his family and two of each animal when he built an ark to save them from a great flood God sent to punish mankind. Russell Crowe, who has the title role, will be joined by his A Beautiful Mind co-star Jennifer Connelly, while teenage Irish actress Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, Hanna) will also join the cast. It's been more than 50 years since the Biblical epic was on Hollywood's agenda – think Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments from 1956 with Charlton Heston hoisting a stone tablet aloft – and it will be fascinating, to say the least, to see how the director of Requiem For a Dream and Black Swan approaches the genre.