Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe to Empire!
Save up to 63%
Halo 5 Guardians
The Master Chief returns
Movie News

New Trumbo Trailer Released
Bryan Cranston braves the blacklist
Tom Hiddleston Explains Loki's Absence From Avengers Age Of Ultron
'It was imbalancing people's expectations'
Benicio Del Toro Talks Star Wars: Episode VIII
'Rian Johnson is infusing the film with new steroids'
F. Gary Gray Looks Set To Direct Fast & Furious 8
Straight Outta Compton director in the frame
Judy Greer And Luke Wilson Find Measure Of A Man
Joining Donald Sutherland and Blake Cooper
Jon Voight On For Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Gemma Chan and Carmen Ejogo also cast in the Potter spin-off
Capture The Flag Captures A Trailer
Un viaje familiar a la luna
More Movie News

06 August 2015
New IMAX Everest Trailer Freezes The Internet
Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhaal start their ascent
More Movie News

Everest (2015)
Empire Star Rating
A Royal Night Out (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Testament Of Youth (2015)
Empire Star Rating
The Theory Of Everything (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Belle (2014)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Geoffrey Rush Catches The Book Thief
Co-starring with Emily Watson

05 February 2013  |  Written by Owen Williams  |  Source: The Hollywood Reporter

submit to reddit


Eight years after its publication, Marcus Zusak's bestseller The Book Thief is finally making its way to the screen under the supervision of director Brian Percival (best known for his British TV drama work, including Downton Abbey). With production gearing up, the cast is now coming together, with Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson headlining. French-Canadian actress Sophie Nelisse (Monsieur Lahzar) has also grabbed a lead role.

Set in Germany during World War II, The Book Thief is narrated by a benign Grim Reaper, who takes a lifelong (if you'll pardon the pun) interest in Liesel Meminger.

Liesel is sent to live with foster parents to distance her from her Communist parents, whose political sympathies will make them targets of the Nazi regime. Living with her new family, the Hubermanns, she befriends Jewish fistfighter Max, who's being hidden in the Hubermans' cellar; the mayor's wife Ilsa, who gives Liesel the run of her library; and various local children, including the tragic Rudy. The novel traces Liesel's personal development, both through her relationships and through the books she reads. She eventually writes the story of her own life, as the war gets closer and closer to home. 

Zusak started out as a children's writer, and The Book Thief is one of those novels that straddles the age gap, given two covers and kept on both the adult and kids' shelves in bookshops. First published in 2005, it won numerous awards, and spent more than five years on the New York Times betseller lists.

Nelisse gets to be Liesel, with Rush and Watson playing the Hubermans. Ben Schnetzer (TV's Happy Town) and young German actor Nico Liersch are also confirmed for as-yet unspecified roles (although Max and Rudy seem likely). Michael Petroni (The Rite) wrote the screenplay, and shooting starts later this month in Berlin.

Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Stephen Kay Shoots 6 Bullets From Now
New York thriller for Anarchy director
David Goyer Enters The Breach
Update: He's now set to direct as well as produce

Tomorrowland: The Viewing Guide
Brad Bird talks through his sci-fi adventure, scene by scene

Empire Meets Ridley Scott
The great director on The Martian, Blade Runner 2 and the Prometheus sequels

My Movie Life: Justin Kurzel
The Macbeth director on how Rocky changed his life and the worst ever date movie

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

Hallowed Ground: Folk Horror In British Film
Ten tales from our island's dark past

All Hail Macbeth! The Scottish Play On Film
By the pricking of our thumbs, ten adaptations this way come(s)

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)