Peter Jackson debuts his heaven in The Lovely Bones

source: empireonline.com

The first images from Peter Jackson‘s adaptation of Alice Sebold’s beloved novel The Lovely Bones have debuted online.

Empire Online (currently being edited by Jackson’s pal Steven Spielberg) has the first look at Atonement star Saoirse Ronan as murdered 14-year-old Susie Salmon.

Sebold’s novel is told from Susie’s perspective, after being raped and murdered by her neighbour George Harvey in 1973. Caught between heaven and earth, Susie watches over her family as they slowly begin to implode following the aftermath of her death.

USA Today has the first picture of Stanley Tucci as George Harvey, tormented by his own psychosis.

Although the film is slated for a Boxing Day release later this year, it has not been an easy endeavour for Jackson.

One week before production began in October of 2007, Ryan Gosling dropped out of the role of Susie’s father Jack. Although Gosling had already gained 20 pounds and grown a beard for the role, he reportedly left the project due to “creative differences”. Mark Wahlberg stepped into the role one day before shooting started.

Then, in May 2008, shooting briefly halted in Wellington due to a disagreement between Jackson and the film’s art director over the depiction of heaven.

Phew. Well, the good news is, the film is almost ready to be released. I’m currently reading the novel, and am extremely impressed with the way in which it deals with the living’s relationship with the dead. Jackson is a universe-creator, and I have no doubt that his depiction of the afterlife will be phenomenal to behold. Here’s hoping he can adequately capture the relationship drama equally well.

The Lovely Bones also stars Rachel Weisz as Susie’s mother Abigail, Susan Sarandon as Susie’s grandmother Lynn and Michael Imperioli as detective Len Fenerman. It is set for release in Australia on December 26th.

Are you looking forward to The Lovely Bones? What do you think about Peter Jackson directing? What other books would you like to see brought to the big screen?

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