Daniel Craig lands Millennium lead role

Daniel Craig lands Millennium lead role
Daniel Craig appears on NBC's Today television show in New York in January 2009.
Daniel Craig has officially signed on with Sony Picture to star in the lead role as journalist Mikael Blomkvist in the upcoming Hollywood film remake of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

The news comes days after Natalie Portman denied she had been cast in the female lead role of hacker Lisbeth Salander. The movie, which will be directed by Fight Club’s David Fincher, is due for release in 2011.

Craig is also contracted to star in the second and third installments of the Millennium books, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.

The British actor was slated to begin working on his third 007 movie ahead of a 2011 or 2012 release, but the 23rd installment in the James Bond franchise has been put on hold indefinitely do to ongoing financial troubles at MGM.

Craig reportedly had to secure permission from Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson before going ahead with the Millennium film. Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace played the male and female roles respectively in the Swedish film and television adaptations.

The announcement comes on the heels of a busy shooting season for Craig, who is currently filming a DreamWorks action flick called Cowboys and Aliens. Shooting for Tattoo is slated to begin in Stockholm in October for a December 21st, 2011 release.

Still up for grabs is the young actress who will play the part of Salander. Names that have floated around include Kristen Stewart, Ellen Page, Mia Wasikowska, Emily Browning, Sarah Snook, Rooney Mara and Sophie Lowe.

Separately, the trailer for Let Me In, the Hollywood adaptation of acclaimed Swedish vampire movie Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komme in), was released earlier this month. The movie is set to hit theatres in North America on October 1st.

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