The first official images for Peter Jackson’s upcoming filmed adaptation of Alice Sebold’s fantastic novel, The Lovely Bones, hit the Internet today and the excitement continues to brew the fanboy corners of the digital domain.
The first image, the one you see above, comes from Empire and features Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) who plays Susie Salmon, a 14 year-old girl who has been murdered and watches over her family — and her killer — from Heaven. Sebold’s vision of heaven is a complex and mixed one as everyone’s version is different from another, although visions could collide while at the same time it could smell like skunk. Susie must learn to let go of her human life and she will then be able to let go of the grief caused by her final days and the results they had on her family.
The second image is of Stanley Tucci who plays George Harvey, the man that killed Susie. Don’t expect Lord of the Rings-style special effects to create a nether world, Jackson told USA Today. The film proved one of Jackson’s toughest, particularly scenes of the child’s afterlife.
“It’s God-less in the sense that when Susie dies, she finds herself caught in a place between Earth and heaven — she is in an ‘In-Between,’ as Alice Sebold calls it.” When she moves on, “we’re happy for audiences to imagine this new world in whatever way makes them comfortable.”
Like it says above, this is not a Lord of the Rings-style film, which is what I think fanboys are counting on. This is actually more of a tragic family drama that has a few rather bright spots that still come as of a result of a major loss dealing with the death of a young child.
Even if fanboys who praise Jackson for his Lord of the Rings success want to look at this as something of a Heavenly Creatures, this story doesn’t even have the fantastic elements of that film either.
Personally I am highly anticipating this film, since I loved the book, yet I am not expecting much since I don’t believe this is a story that is easily adapted for the big screen. On top of that it has taken forever to get the film into theaters as the first casting information arrived in June of 2007 and the set pics started hitting the Internet in October 2007 and the film is finally going to see theaters on December 11, 2009. Such a lengthy delay is worrisome, but the fact Paramount placed it in a prime award season location keeps hope alive.