Rooney Mara turns producer-star for ‘A House in the Sky’

Rooney Mara has been playing things pretty cool since picking up a Best Actress Oscar nomination two years ago for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” The franchise initially beckoned by David Fincher's Scandi-thriller remake hasn't come to pass, which has left Mara room to be discerning: she had classy leading roles last year in David Lowery's “Ain't Them Bodies Saints” and Steven Soderbergh's “Side Effects,” though neither one was built entirely around her; a tart supporting role in Spike Jonze's Best Picture nominee “Her” further added to her credibility.

Mara's upcoming slate is pretty high-end, too, with Todd Haynes' “Carol,” Stephen Daldry's “Trash” and Joe Wright's “Pan” all at various stages of production, while she'll appear (or not — who knows?) in one of Terrence Malick's upcoming endeavors.

Still, even with all these offers coming along, it never hurts to start developing your own projects. Mara made her producing debut last year with the Jessica Biel-Kaya Scodelario thriller “The Truth About Emmanuel” last year, but didn't appear in the film. This time, she's making her debut as a producer-star, developing an adaptation of Amanda Lindhout's bestselling memoir “A House in the Sky” as a vehicle for herself.

She's found herself a pretty enviable ally on the project, too: Mara will work on the project with Annapurna Pictures, with the ubiquitous Megan Ellison (recipient of two Best Picture nominations this year for “American Hustle” and “Her”) co-producing.

Lindhout's book recounts the headline-grabbing story of her 2008 abduction by a Somali rebel terrorist group, and the 15-month period of captivity and violent abuse that followed. It should be a tough, gruelling role for Mara, who has the approval of her subject. “Rooney Mara is someone whose talent and adventurous spirit I admire deeply,” says Lindhout. “I'm thrilled that she's teaming with Annapurna Pictures to bring 'A House in the Sky' to the screen. I can't imagine a better match,”