Rooney Mara Replaces Mia Wasikowska in Lesbian Potboiler 'Carol'

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's Rooney Mara will play the role of Therese, a young woman who falls for Cate Blanchett's older woman Carol in the '50s-era lesbian potboiler.
By: Tracy E. Gilchrist
August 29 2013 1:41 PM

Hollywood is adapting Patricia Highsmith’s pre-Lolita 1952 lesbian road trip novel The Price of Salt into a film entitled Carol with Oscar winner Cate Blanchett signed on to play the titular role of a wealthy, older married woman who falls in love with a young woman who works in a department store. Mia Wasikowska (The Kids are All Right), was slated to play Therese, the young woman, but it’s just been announced that she is out of the role and Rooney Mara is in, according to IndieWire. Out direct Todd Haynes (I’m Not There, Far From Heaven, Velvet Goldmine) is set to direct the film.

Mara, who really landed on the viewing public’s collective radar in a short but pivotal role in The Social Network has played queer in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo andSide Effects.

Highsmith, who had relationships with both men and women throughout her life, according to her biography, penned The Price of Salt, originally titled Carol, under the pseudonym Claire Morgan.

Several of Highsmith’s novels have been adapted to film, most famously Alfred Hitchcock’s adaptation of Strangers on a Train and Anthony Minghella’s imagining of The Talented Mr. Ripley, which starred, Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Blanchett.

Highsmith wrote The Price of Salt during the heyday of lesbian pulp novels, but her tale, which is often heartbreaking, varied greatly from the bleak outlook of so many pulp novels, offering up a glimmer of hope with its “happy ending,” in which she left it open to the chance that the women could end up staying together. 

Carol begins shooting next spring, according to IndieWire. 

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