Now Rooney Mara Has Side Effects

Taking over from Blake Lively

Steven Soderbergh’s next project, pharmaceutical psycho-thriller Side Effects, is swapping out its leading lady. While rumours began to rumble last week that Blake Lively was off the project because of worries by the financial team about her viability as a box office draw, she’s definitely now departed. In her place? The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s Rooney Mara.

She’ll take on the role of the beautiful, troubled Emily Hawkins, a woman who turns to prescription drugs to deal with the anxiety and depression she feels knowing her husband (Channing Tatum) is about to be released from prison. She also tries to cope by starting an affair with her doctor (Jude Law), which doesn’t exactly help matters.

Catherine Zeta-Jones joined the film last week, and she’ll play another doctor. The script’s by Contagion / The Informant!’s Scott Z Burns, and Soderbergh is set to kick off shooting soon, especially since he also has to cram in Liberace biopic Behind The Candelabra for HBO before he heads off on his hiatus to paint, or race go-karts. Or whatever he's planning.

Since nailing the Lisbeth Salander role in Fincher’s take on the frosty crime thriller, Mara has been a woman in demand. She’s been offered several roles, including a lead in Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden thriller. Sadly, she had to turn that one down because it clashed with promotional duties for Tattoo. But now she’s working with Soderbergh. Huzzah!