The search is on for a new Lisbeth Salander, following the announcement that the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo hero will be back in cinemas next year in the big screen adaptation of the bestseller The Girl in the Spider's Web.

Movie studio Sony Pictures made the announcement at the London Book Fair, revealing that the movie sequel to 2011's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will feature an entirely new cast and promising "a global search for an actress to portray in the iconic role of Lisbeth Salander". The new star will be the third actor to portray Salander and will follow in the footsteps of Rooney Mara and Noomi Rapace.

Rooney Mara in 2011's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Filming is due to begin in September for an October 2018 release. Fede Alvarez, director of last year's breakout thriller hit Don't Breathe, will be behind the lens.  

Fede Alvarez - "Now comes the most fun part - finding our Lisbeth"

"Lisbeth Salander is the kind of character any director dreams of bringing to life," said the Uruguayan filmmaker. "We've got a great script and now comes the most fun part - finding our Lisbeth."

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The Girl in the Spider's Web will be based on the book of the same name by journalist David Lagercrantz. The 2015 bestseller was a follow-up to late author Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, in which readers joined the complex lives and investigations of computer hacker Salander and crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist. 

Author David Lagercrantz

Larsson, who died of a heart attack in 2004, never saw his original trilogy become a global phenomenon. His first Salander and Blomkvist book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, has twice been adapted for the big screen.

The Swedish version, starring Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist, was released in 2009, with the US remake, starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig, reaching cinemas in December 2011.

Noomi Rapace originally portrayed Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

In 2015 it was reported that neither Mara nor Craig would be back for the sequel, but in an interview with UK film publication Screen Daily in September 2016, Mara said: "I'm still open to it, but I'm not holding out hope anymore."