In the latest casting shift for Carol, an upcoming adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s erotic romance The Price of Salt, Rooney Mara has replaced Mia Wasikowska in the lead role of Therese.
The project, announced over a year ago, originally starred Cate Blanchett, who is still attached, and Wasikowska as two women who become entangled in a destructive, passionate romance after sparks fly during a chance encounter. Blanchett will play the eponymous older woman, a housewife trapped in a loveless marriage, while Wasikowska was originally set to play a bored department store employee in her early twenties.
The project was originally to be directed by Boy A and Closed Circuit helmer John Crowley, but that also changed earlier this spring when Crowley bowed out over scheduling conflicts. Provocative filmmaker Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, Far From Heaven, I’m Not There) has since replaced him in the director’s chair.
Mara is one of the most exciting and talented young actresses in the business today, so our disappointment at the departure of Wasikowska, though also superb, has definitely been cushioned by news of her involvement. Mara received an Oscar nomination in 2011 for her leading role in David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and hasn’t slowed down since, taking on meaty roles in high-profile projects like Steven Soderbergh’s medical thriller Side Effects, Spike Jonze’s quirky romance Her (scheduled for release this December), and an untitled, Austin-set musical drama directed by Terrence Malick.
Watching the sure-to-be-terrific chemistry between Blanchett and Mara should be quite a treat for fans of erotic drama. Both actresses are having terrific years; Mara has received wide praise for her roles in Side Effects and David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (which was released earlier this month), while Blanchett is the current Oscar frontrunner for her role as a troubled woman whose marriage suddenly dissolves in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.
Carol is set to begin filming next spring. Have you read The Price of Salt? And even if you haven’t, what do you think of this casting news?