May 5, 2007 - Oscar-winning writer/director Peter Jackson shopped his adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestselling novel The Lovely Bones around to studios and DreamWorks emerged the winner. Jackson co-wrote the screenplay with Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh and will direct the film.
In a press release announcing the deal Stacey Snider, CEO and Co-Chairman of DreamWorks Studios, said, "We are thrilled that DreamWorks Studios has been able to acquire the film rights to this story that has captivated so many people. In the hands of Peter Jackson, we have a master of cinematic storytelling to bring it to the screen."
Steven Spielberg added, "When you read an emotionally magical story that cries out to be turned into a major motion picture, you hope its winding path can find its way to the door of your own company. Peter Jackson has made this possible and I am so grateful to him, Fran and Film 4 for giving The Lovely Bones a home at DreamWorks.”
Writer/director Peter Jackson was quoted as saying, "Alice Sebold’s story affects readers in deeply personal ways and the most important consideration for me was finding a studio partner who felt an equally strong connection with the book. Not just in sharing our emotional reaction to the story, but our desire to see it told in an original, adventurous way on screen. I eagerly look forward to the days and months ahead with Stacey, Steven, Adam Goodman and the team at Dreamworks.”
Carolynne Cunningham, Jackson, Walsh, and Aimee Peyronnet are producing the film with Film 4's Tessa Ross, Ken Kamins and Jim Wilson executive producing. The Lovely Bones will be shot in Pennsylvania and New Zealand. Jackson is aiming for an October start date.
The Lovely Bones - Official Synopsis
The Lovely Bones tells the story of Susie Salmon who's murdered but continues to observe her family on Earth after her death. Although she is detached from the world she once knew, Susie witnesses the impact of her loss on her loved ones, whilst her killer skillfully covers his tracks and prepares to murder again. In a tone that is both emotionally truthful, and darkly humorous, Susie tries to balance her desire for vengeance against the love she feels for her family and her need to see them heal; and ultimately comes to understand that the concept of family can encompass both the living and the dead.
Source: DreamWorks Studios