Last week I brought you the news that Peter Jackson has written a screenplay adaptation of Alice Sebold's novel The Lovely Bones, a story told from the viewpoint of a 14-year-old girl who was raped and murdered. All Jackson neeeded was a studio to give him the money — and a lot of it. Variety claims the budget for Bones could run close to $90 million. Well, Jackson got someone to bite: DreamWorks.
So what will $90 million get you? New York Magazine has already reviewed Jackson's screenplay and the verdict is not great. Noting Jackson's successful fantasy-drama Heavenly Creatures, the New York Magazine writer figured The Lovely Bones would be equally promising. Not so, apparently.
Jackson doesn't get into Susie's head the way he did Pauline and Juliet's, and the incursion of the supernatural into everyday life feels showy rather than integral. The fantasy scenes in Heavenly Creatures were momentous, despite the shakiness of the special effects; though it's certain that the effects in The Lovely Bones will be brilliant, the scenes in Heaven, and Susie's interaction with Earth, don't have much magic on the page.
It certainly seems premature to dis on a movie that has a long way to go before it's a presentable film ready for critique, though I can't deny this article makes me slightly nervous for The Lovely Bones.