Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rachel Weisz As Abigail Salmon In The Lovely Bones

There's going to be minor spoiler material throughout this post, but most of it is pretty well known to anybody who has even read the blurb on the back of the novel's cover.

Rachel Weisz has been cast as Abigail Salmon in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones. By my reckoning, Abigail doesn't have a single line of dialogue until the 6th page of the script - though she's definitely got lots of screen time beforehand. Indeed, we get a good look at the entire Salmon family,though most of the early dialogue (and monologue) belongs to the children - particularly Susie Salmon, the young girl who is at the centre of the whole story.

Abigail is her mother. After Susie is murdered, the story largely becomes about the changes in the family wrought by such a tragedy. As you might expect, there's a new set of tensions between Abigail and Jack, the parents. For the sake of Ms. Weisz, this is a good thing - Abigail is always present but has relatively little to do until she begins her flirtations with Len Fenerman, the detective investigating Susie's disappearance - on page 51 of the script.

After this, it's a much more visible, vocal role. There's even a handful of very compelling moments that are all about Abigail.

It is never a bad part, however - there aren't any in the script, to be honest - but it could come a little down the billing list. Jack Salmon is a bigger part, and a more dramatic one in most respects; Grandma Lynn could well be a scene stealer; but our star, truly, is Susie Salmon. That's the casting that will provoke the biggest reaction.

I'm hoping Jackson and company get the right Susie. Of all of the obvious contenders, the names, I'd plump for Annasophia Robb. Does she look at all like Ms. Weisz? You tell me.

On the other hand, there's myriad reasons to go for an unknown and I suspect that they may. We'll soon know - production is approaching rapidly.

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