Monsieur Lahzar star Sophie Nelisse is set to make her English-language debut with The Book Thief, an adaptation of Markus Zusak’s bestselling novel. The Hollywood Reporter says that the actress will play the lead in the upcoming film version alongside Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson.
Brian Percival is attached to direct for Fox 2000 with an adapted screenplay by Michael Petroni. The original novel is officially described as follows:
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery...
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
Ken Blancato and Karen Rosenfelt are attached to produce with production planned to begin later this month.