Image Credit: Solarpix/PR Photos; David Gabber/PR Photos; Chris Hatcher/PR Photos; Gaye Gerard/Getty Images; Wild1/PR Photos; Don Arnold/WireImage.comWith a release date of Dec. 21, 2011 now looming for Sony Pictures’ Hollywood version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, it’s no wonder the studio, and director David Fincher, are ramping up their casting process. It seems Daniel Craig is still in talks to star as Mikael Blomkvist, but no deal has yet been struck, and it’s unclear whether scheduling hurdles with Cowboys & Aliens and another Bond feature are holding up the deal.

As for the role of Lisbeth Salander — the part Sony chairman Amy Pascal calls “the role every actress in the world wants” — Deadline Hollywood reports that in addition to the commonly talked-about Ellen Page (Inception), Carey Mulligan (An Education) (UPDATE 7/22: Mulligan tells EW she will not play Lisbeth), and Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), the list of candidates includes a group of more obscure actresses that could be breaking out in the next 12 months due to the high profile projects on the horizon.

Included on that list is Rooney Mara (pictured, back row, second from left), who will be seen next in Fincher’s The Social Network. Sources told EW the actress is definitely in the mix, but it’s not yet clear if she’s tested for the part or if any kind of test deal is in place for the actress, who in the past year appeared in both the Nightmare on Elm Street remake and Youth in Revolt. Emily Browning’s name has also popped up. The actress (pictured, center) will star in Zack Snyder’s sci-fi actioner Sucker Punch next year as the lead character Baby Doll, but you might also remember her as Violet Baudelaire in 2004’s Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events or last year’s horror film The Uninvited. The two other names on the list are Australian actresses Sarah Snook (pictured, third from right) and Sophie Lowe (pictured, right). Snook just finished starring in Julia Leigh’s erotic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty while Lowe has appeared in a number of Australian productions, including Blessed and the upcoming Blame.

Though Sony isn’t confirming anything, it’s safe to say not all of the names listed above have screen-tested, and it’s likely that the studio is also interested in some actresses that haven’t been named yet. What little we know for certain about the studio’s plans comes from Pascal, who in a conversation with The Wrap’s Sharon Waxman earlier this week said the studio plans to be very faithful to the books, and that she hopes Fincher will direct all three films in the saga. “We’re doing the book. That’s why we hired David Fincher,” she said. “We’re going to really do this, in all their glory. Otherwise why do it? They’re very R-rated movies. It’s the shock of what’s really going on underneath the surface of society. If you don’t actually make good on that, you haven’t told the story.”