Marcus Zusak’s novel The Book Thief received huge plaudits when it was released eight years ago, but it’s taken until now for a movie version to gear up, with Downton Abbey director Brian Percival at the helm.
Now the cast has come together, with THR reporting that Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson are both set to star, with Ben Schnetzer (Happy Town) and Nico Liersch also in the cast and French-Canadian actress Sophie Nelisse playing the title character.
The Book Thief ‘centers on Liesel (Nelisse), a spirited young girl who witnesses the horrors of Nazi Germany while in the care of foster parents (Rush and Watson). The girl arrives with a stolen book and begins collecting other tomes, learning to read while her stepparents harbor a Jewish refugee (Schnetzer) under the stairs.
‘Rush’s character first takes on the young girl for money but soon comes to love her. Watson’s character is described as being very tough on Liesel, but her kindness occasionally shows through.’
The novel is narrated by the Grim Reaper, but it’s not known if that will be true of the film too. Shooting starts this month in Berlin.