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‘Dragon Tattoo’ Star Noomi Rapace Set for ‘Sherlock’ Sequel

Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and director Guy Ritchie are returning for WB’s 3D movie

Noomi Rapace, the Swedish star of the original "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,"  arrived in Hollywood last month with overwhelming fanfare. Deadline practically posted a complete itinerary of her trip, with the exception of bathroom breaks and naps. The excitement was apparently palpable throughout Los Angeles.

Paramount reportedly wanted her in the new "Mission: Impossible" movie. McG thought she could be good for "This Means War." Brett Ratner just wanted the chance to meet her so they could watch "Rush Hour 3" together.

Alas, Warner Bros. has won the bragging rights for Rapace's Hollywood debut, as the 30-year-old actress is set to play the female lead in "Sherlock Holmes 2," her publicist has confirmed to TheWrap.

It's unclear what role Rapace will play in Guy Ritchie's sequel (or if she even knows, since Deadline reports that she hadn't yet read the script when she signed on), but it's rumored that her character will be a French gypsy (why not Swedish?) who may or may not be a potential romantic interest for either Jude Law's Dr. Watson or perhaps Holmes himself, provided the two crime-solvers aren't interested in each other.

While the logline is being kept firmly under wraps, you can safely expect Holmes to match wits with the dastardly Moriarty, who could very well end up being played by two-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis.

Holmes' brother, Mycroft, will also make an appearance in the film, though it remains uncertain whether Rachel McAdams will return as Sherlock's longtime foil Irene Adler.

I gave "Sherlock Holmes" a hard time last year because I thought it looked terrible, and Guy Ritchie hadn't given me much reason to believe he could turn his career around on the disappointing heels of "Revolver" and "RocknRolla." However, "Sherlock" left me pleasantly surprised, and I was particularly impressed with Robert Downey Jr.'s performance and his chemistry with Law, something the star did not have with his leading lady.

Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Dan Lin and Susan Downey (the real Mrs. Holmes) are returning to produce the big-budget period picture, which the studio is hoping to put into production before the end of the year.

Rapace will next be seen by American audiences in "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest." I didn't love the first two films in the Millennium trilogy, but there's no disputing the fact that Rapace was both fearless and fantastic as bisexual computer hacker Lisbeth Salander. I doubt the Academy will take notice, especially during such a competitive year for the Best Actress category, but Rapace definitely deserves to be among this year's awards contenders.

The actress will reportedly star opposite Jeremy Renner in Tommy Wirkola's "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters."

Rapace is represented by UTA and Magnolia Entertainment, and her casting was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.

"Sherlock Holmes 2" is scheduled for release (in 3D, of course) on Dec. 16, 2011.