Rooney Mara is to appear in 'The Secret Scripture'.

The 29-year-old actress has joined the cast of the drama, which centres on the character of Roseanne, a 100-year-old woman who recalls her life in mental institutions in a secret memoir, Deadline reports.

It had been speculated that the role would be given to 'Lawless' actress Jessica Chastain, who appeared set to star alongside Vanessa Redgrave, 77.

However, 29-year-old Mara will instead play the role of the younger Roseanne, who endures a turbulent childhood, before her life is transformed by a vindictive priest.

The eagerly-awaited film sees director Jim Sheridan reunited with Noel Pearson, the producer of 'My Left Foot'.

Before then, Mara is busy working on 'A House In The Sky' with Annapurna Pictures, while she also recently finished filming JOE WRIGHT's 'Pan' in London.

Mara has been cast in the role of Tiger Lilly, who has historically been depicted as a Native American.

'Pan', which is due to hit cinema screens in 2015, also stars Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund and Amanda Seyfried.

Filming for 'The Secret Scripture' is set to begin in Ireland in September.