Peter Jackson asked to up the agony in "Lovely Bones"

Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:17pm EST
 
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By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Filmmakers trying to satisfy a U.S. movie rating aimed at mostly teenagers often complain that they're forced to cut violent scenes, and those edits compromise the director's vision.

But Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson found he had the exact opposite problem with his eagerly-anticipated new film, "The Lovely Bones," due in theaters on December 11.

Based on the 2002 best-seller by Alice Sebold, "The Lovely Bones" tells the harrowing and intensely emotional story of a raped and murdered 14-year-old girl named Susie (Saoirse Ronan), who watches from her heavenly vantage point while her family on Earth mourns her loss and try to find her killer.

Jackson told Reuters he was taken aback to find that in early screenings audiences "were simply not satisfied" with a scene of one character's death.

"They wanted far more violence," Jackson said, so the "Lord of the Rings" director went back to the editing room to "basically add more violence and suffering."

"Lovely Bones" is among this year's most widely-anticipated films because the book was such a bestseller and because Jackson took the beloved "Lord of the Rings" tales and made films that were both true to their source material and fun for movie fans.

In "Lovely Bones", Stanley Tucci plays the man who rapes and kills Susie, which is no secret. "The mystery is, what's going to happen to him," Jackson said.

The director said it was important the movie receive a PG13 rating in the United States from the industry group that deems the kind of audiences to which films are generally acceptable.   Continued...