The powerful story and courageous characters that sprang from the imagination of Markus Zusak in his international best-selling novel, The Book Thief, come to life on the screen in director Brian Percival’s moving film adaptation. In this life-affirming tale of courage and perseverance in the face of pervasive tyranny, a spirited young girl (Liesel/Sophie Nélisse) is sent to live with foster parents (Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson) in Nazi Germany after losing her family. An impulsive act of thievery leads to a love affair with books and words that transform her and those around her. For more on the film, watch the trailer.
At the press day last week, we sat down with Percival and Zusak to talk about their collaboration, the challenges of transforming the world of the book to the screen, why certain scenes made it into the film while others did not, the rigorous international casting process to find the right actress to play Liesel, what Nélisse and Rush brought to their roles, and how S.E Hinton’s The Outsiders inspired Zusak to become a writer. They also revealed what they’re working on next: Percival’s upcoming film projects with Julian Fellowes and Zusak’s book in progress, Bridge of Clay, about a boy building a bridge. Hit the jump to read the interview: