Rooney Mara Joins Todd Haynes' 'Carol'

Mara recently appeared opposite Casey Affleck in "Ain't Them Bodies Saints."

In the Patricia Highsmith adaptation, she will portray a department store clerk who falls for a married woman.

BERLIN – Oscar-nominated actress Rooney Mara is set to co-star opposite Cate Blanchett in Todd HaynesCarol.

The suspense drama, adapted from the novella by Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley), is set in 1950s New York. Mara will play a 20-something clerk working in a department store and dreaming of a better life who falls for an older, married woman (Blanchett).

Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley are producing Carol for Number 9 Films, with Christine Vachon’s Killer Films co-producing. Shooting is set to begin in spring 2014. U.K. broadcaster Channel 4's Film4 is a co-financier and co-developer on Carol.

“We're over the moon to have Rooney on board,” said Haynes. “I've been a tremendous admirer of her work from the beginning, so the thought of bringing her together with Cate onscreen is thrilling to say the least."

Added Karlsen: "Rooney Mara is one of the most interesting and striking young talents working today. There are few actors who have the weight to play against someone with the extraordinary distinction and mercurial range of Cate Blanchett, and she is one of them. The combination of them both is something potentially sensational."

HanWay Films is handling international sales on Carol and has presold the film to multiple territories, including to The Weinstein Company for the U.S., Entertainment One in Canada, TF1 in France and Icon in Australia.

The film marks Haynes' return to the big screen after his excursions into TV, which included the Golden Globe-winning miniseries Mildred Pierce with Kate Winslet.