Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Book Thief: Cover Gallery and... a Movie?!

I was just searching around the 'net for anything Markus Zusak related, when I came across some news. It would seem that The Book Thief has been optioned for a movie, and has a tentative release date of 2010. I don't know how I missed this, but I did. I'm actually quite horrified at the thought of it... this is the one book I hoped would never get the movie treatment.

I'm sure the producers would try their hardest to do the book justice, but I just can't see it translating well to the big screen. And I don't want it to. The words are too beautiful to be said out loud, and I think the whole feel and point of the book would be lost in a movie screenplay.

Hmm. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? Am I being too harsh? Would it make an amazing movie?

Anyway, in honour of The Book Thief and its utter perfection, here's a cover gallery of US, UK and AU printings. I couldn't find any others, but please post a link if you know of any different editions!





[L-R: UK teenage hardcover / US / UK adult hardcover / Australian / UK teenage paperback].


Out of interest, which is your favourite? I'm a big fan of the UK adult cover - there's something haunting about Liesel dancing with Death. I also like the US one, dominoes... like it's telling us that we all fall down eventually. Okay, enough of my rambling.

Movie thoughts, please!

47 comments:

Bookworm said...

Oooh....creepy covers....

Laina said...

I like the very first one, best, then the fourth one (blue one), then the fifth one, then the dominoes, and then the middle one. Lol...

Korianne said...

I really like the US one because I like the text. It reminds me of a ransom letter or something. My mom is reading this right now and I want her to hurry up so I can read it!

Lenore said...

I've never seen the UK teen hardcover but I've seen the others. I have the US version.

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I think I'm gonna have to read this one too! You keep adding to my never adding list (thanks!).

H said...

I like the dancing with death cover and the last one. They're a lot different from most other book covers. Not sure about a movie :S

Steph Su said...

Ooh, the UK teen hardcover looks great! But a movie? Noooooo! I hate when they turn good books that I love into movies. :(

Em said...

I like the UK adult cover, too. Liesel does sort of dance with Death in that she manages to avoid dying. But I think it looks a little too cheerful. The UK Teen hardcover and US cover are pretty good depictions of the book.

oh, and a movie. Sounds awful. How could they possibly make it good enough?

Anonymous said...

I really hope the movie turns out well, but I think people won't like bacause they'll stick to the visions in their heads...

Anonymous said...

ok..i'm not a big fan of reading, and i didn't love the book, but that's just because i'm not that into reading. i think it would make a great movie. Enough people have read the book and enough people would watch and enjoy the movie. If you don't want to watch the movie you don't have to! But i would like to see what they create and how they precieve the book.

Anonymous said...

oh ya...i like the u.s. cover and the last one i'm not sure which one it is.

Anonymous said...

LOVED the book!!!! I'm okay with them making it into a movie, as long as they manage to capture the depth of the characters and the overall tone. if they screw up the movie.... BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN TO THOSE PRODUCERS!!!!

Anonymous said...

if it is made into a movie, the filmmakers certainly have their work cut out for them.... Hope they pull it off!

Anonymous said...

I looked it up and IMDB said that karen Rosenfelt was producing it. She also worked on Twilight, which tells me that this movie might not have a bright future.... Twilight only got mediocre reviews, (at least, the ones I've read), so.... yeah. I don't know. Keep your fingers crossed, it could still turn out OK!

Anonymous said...

I heard a song that would be perfect for theend credits if it gets made.... "Somewhere We Know" by Keane. It's PERFECT!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I like the dancing with death cover and the one with the dominoes.

Anonymous said...

I had a randomly brilliant idea! At the end of the book, when, (spoiler alert!!!) Himmel Street gets bombed, and that scene with Rudy *sniff*, liesel should be wearing a brown dress. At the beginning of the book, Death says he really likes the color brown,dark brown. And since (HUGE SPOILER AHEAD!!!!!)Mama,Papa, and rudy kick the bucket, I feel that would apply nicely.

Anonymous said...

The brown dress thing is a nice idea... You, my friend, are randomly brilliant! you should, like, sign up to be the costume designer or something. lol

Anonymous said...

Even though it's been optioned as a movie, that doesn't neccesarily mean that it will get made. there's a term in the industry called production h**l, wich means that, basically, it falls through the roof. Please, in the name of all things good in the world, DO NOT LET THIS THING FALL THROUGH THE ROOF!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I really hope they don't screw up the movie... The thing they really need is good actors. If the actress who plays Liesel doesn't turn in a totally flawless performance, the rest of the movie will fall to the wayside. That casting director had better pull through...

Jaime said...

From the moment I finished reading it I was dying for it to made into a movie. I can't wait to see Himmel Street on the big screen. Obviously, I'm terrified it will turn out horribly. How could I not be? However, if they do it right, it could be amazing. And when I say "right" it needs to be an Oscar quality movie and will compared to Schindler's List and all that jazz.

I have so many ideas bursting in my head for this movie but, just like when the Harry Potter films were made, Hollywood has failed to call me up and get my opinion.

For instance, we should not see Death throughout the movie. Just hear his voice. Then, the very last image we see is like one of the covers of the book. We simply see a dark hooded figure standing in the snow. We here the voice say "I am haunted by humans." (last line of the book) and then he walks off screen. If we see Death the whole time I have a feeling it'll be hokey. But he should still narrate it.

OK, I'm done being crazy now.

Tiana Davis said...

I will have to say that I'm both utterly terrified of the news of this movie, but very curious at the same time. The Book Thief is my absolute favorite book, and I'd hate to see it destroyed on-screen. Like you said, I'm sure they would try to do it justice, but I'd hate for the characters I have in my mind; The Book Thief, the boy with Hair The Color Of Lemons, the Jewish Fist Fighter, an Accordion, and a Wardrobe, to be ruined via film.
But on the other hand, I would also love to see Himmel Street.
To sum it all up, I am terrified of this beautiful book being ruined, but I am also very curious.
I would LOVE to discuss this with someone, anyone on this matter. I haven't met anyone I could talk to about this beautiful story.
Contact me at: nonnabug94@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Well though it runs the risk of crashing and burning, im entirely too selfish to pass up the opportunity to make it a movie.
so I hope that they do consider making it a movie, and i hope it turns out at least half as good and the book was. =]

Anonymous said...

i hate that it's gonna be a movie. i alsmot cried when i read ur post. it seriously breaks my heart. that makes SEVEN books which have been optioned for films....it sucks. i LOVE The Book Thief...i dnt have fave books but if i had to choose it'd have to be The Book Thief. =D

Anonymous said...

I say that there should be a law saying anyone that is disappointed by the movie when it comes out has the legal right to throat-punch the director/producer/etc. Who agrees?

Anonymous said...

Jaime- I totally agree with your idea of not seeing Death until the very end. the people that make book based movies usually make one of two mistakes: They aim too low or they aim too high. The filmmakers should consult people like you and me that really, genuinely care about The Book Thief and have good ideas.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jaime and the above Anonymous. The Book Thief is my all-time favorite book, and I'd hate to see it ruined onscreen. It would be wonderful if the filmakers got the fans' opinions on this. I also happen to be a teenage actor, and I really wish that I had known about this sooner... I would've loved to have auditioned for this, and if I got in, to be a part of the movie.

Anonymous said...

I like the UK adult one and the Australian one, but I have the US. The US one is pretty nice though. As for the film, I'm not totally opposed to it, but I really can't see how it would work. I think voiceovers/narration by Death would DEFINITELY be needed; that's the part I loved most about the book. Other than that, it's in the air! And for some reason, I hope an independent company does it. I don't know, I can just see some big studio changing a TON of things to make it marketable to more people. A lot of Indie filmmakers seem to actually care about the movies they make. I wouldn't want it to be made in the "Indie/faux-Indie stlye" that's been going around lately though. It totally wouldn't fit in with The Book Thief.

Anonymous said...

To the above anonymous: I agree 100%. it really ticks me off when something could have been a good movie ends up being a piece of crap because it got picked up by people that are only concerned with making money. It's even worse with popular books like The book Thief because the company knows it has a built in audience and therefore does a slapdash job at making the movie. I'm really praying that it gets done right. if it were my choice, I would be supervising production.

treschahanta said...

How in the world could this movie get done right? What's really remarkable about the book is the fantastic style of expression. The words and the pictures they build in the readers mind. I'd like to know who has the delusion he could really make a movie, that lives up to that source. Megalomaniacs!
And to those of you, who long for a movie to see, what they should already have seen in their head: stop watching tv and get some imagination! If that movie will meet your expectations I pity you!

Anonymous said...

I love the book theif and agree with all above comments! i will be angry if it is made into a movie! like the boy in striped pyjamas was a good book but the movie.. not so good ! my favourite covers are the one with lesiel dancing with death, and the one where he is shadowing behind her ! he looks creepy on the covers but is probably my fav character !

Ryan said...

Ok, the fifth one does not make sense. Death said in the book specifically that he does not have a scythe.
The third one shows him as a skeleton. He is not a skeleton. He says so in the book.
The fourth one is alright, but I like it third.
I like the second oen the most (since it was the cover fo the version I was reading) and the first one kinda gives the image of Liesel straight to the reader. I've already created an image in my mind that I really like.
So my favourite is the US cover.

Anonymous said...

I hope to betsy this isn't going to explode in popularity like twilight. The book thief is a bokk for people that are sophisticated and have an imagination, it doesn't deserve to be polluted by the masses of teenage fan-girls that are in love with Robert pattinson. As for it being made into a movie, what happens happens. Even if the movie turns out badly, i take comfort that i can return to the original.

Anonymous said...

Book cover wise, I like the US one. The first one was close, but Liesel had blond hair and dangerous brown eyes. That girl is brunette.
Also, Death scoffed at the idea of a hood and scythe. It amused him.
As for the movie, I hope there's a good director because this is going to be an extremity. Either this movie will become a successful Oscar winner, or it will fail miserably and become one of those "EPIC FAIL" posters.
This is my favorite book to read I and truly hope that this movie won't ruin a book reader's experience with Markus Zusak's powerful and touching words.

Anonymous said...

There's something I found on IMDB that, to me, is a bad omen if this movie gets made: The person chosen to produce The Book Thief is the same person that produced Twilight. Then again, she also produced The Devil weras prada and Marley and me, which were both pretty decent quality movies that I enjoyed, so not all hope is lost. Let's just pray that this woman knows that she'll be upsetting millions of fans like myself if she mishandles the utter amazingness that is The Book Thief.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. I think a movie could be epic. And, I think Death should make appearances throughout the movie. It could be done in a way that we don't actually know who it is. The most important death scenes are public and you could easily hide death amongst the people. To throw the audience, the voice of Death could be a different voice to the actor playing death, i.e. the Death character could be a completely unknown actor while the voice could be played by a terrific narrator. I've noticed no one has commented on any specific actors to play parts. For the life of me I can not think of anyone to play the majority of the roles. However, I do believe Adrien Brody is a dead ringer to play MAX. The one thing they really need to get right, and would be the most important part to the story would be the colours.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think it will be a good movie. I think this movie will do well because it is a very well written book. The problems the producers might face is that it will be very hard to include all the details that are in a 550+ pg book onto the big screen. So it won't be exact, but with any luck it will be a good movie, that I look forward to seeing.

Anonymous said...

I bid good luck to the actor who has to play the boy whose hair remained the color of lemons forever. He has big shoes to fill and if he does the role justice, then I look forward to seeing the movie.

lfiddy said...

I personally like the UK adult cover as well, it could be because its the one i bought though?
I dont like the american cover, the idea about the dominoes is a nice one, but i dont think it has anything to do with the book, and is merely just trying to be philosophical, but thats just my opinion
I dont like the sound of it becoming a movie, i really dont feel like a movie could do it justice and would taint my view of the book.. because, knowing me, i would have to go watch the movie.

Ghostgirl468 said...

I completely agree; too many books get "the movie treatment" and are destroyed forevermore for their readers. The Book Thief is written in such a beautiful way for readers to enjoy, something that can never be interpreted onto the screen even half as well.
I know there are many people who feel this way - and many others ready with criticism - when I say that movies DO ruin books. Books are written for one purpose; to be read. Not seen or heard. The imagination is supposed to create the image, the setting, the characters - the words are just there to guide us. Everyone reads a book differently, and in a way that they never forget, a way they can always relate back to.
If they do it properly, and I mean PROPERLY, with a talented director who has read, and understands, and enjoys, the book, and discussed the movie with Markus Zusak, and chooses the right people for the cast (I simply cannot imagine any actors/actresses for these parts, other than, agreeing with someone above, Adrien Brody, who has actually been in my mind as Max's character since I first read the book - if he doesn't turn out for the part, then I don't know what will happen when I next read it), then yes, there is the chance that this could be an amazing, sophisticated, mysterious, and frankly brilliant movie that does justice for us all.
There would of course, be the challenge of getting Death just perfect, and translating the colours in the same enchanting way they come through in the book. But if we're lucky, the director will be someone who does this just right.
But there is the more disappointing, and sadly more likely situation that it will not be done properly at all - it will simply be some ambitious director throwing together special effects and A-list actors who are completely wrong for the part to create a supernatural-infested, overly-mystified image of how THEY interpret the story - probably in their one glance at the cover.
Overall, I can't say that I'm actually looking forward to this movie, but as a reader I will go and see it, just to see if there is any hope left for book-to-movie films. There is a slim chance. All we can do is wait and see.
As for the covers, I personally prefer the UK hardback and the Australian covers.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the book! It is one of my favorites!!!!! I really like all of the covers; they are very different and cool. As for a movie being made, I think that would be awesome!... as long as they don't mess anything up. They need to make sure everything is exactly (or close to it) like the book or everything will be messed up; meaning the characters need to actually fit the description and age, setting needs to be the same, and etc. They should do like Warner Bros. did for Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone: they made it exactly like the book, word for word. Only they shouldn't add scenes like Warner Bros. did. I think if they did everything right, it will make an amazing movie. :)

Anonymous said...

I have only seen the austalian cover but I like the uk teenage version and I think that it would be a really cool movie as long as you didn't think about the way the book is written or relate it to the book in any way!!!

Anonymous said...

I love the book, I'm only halfway through but i'm finding it utterly compelling. I've been told this is an adults book, but I'm only thirteen and thoroughly enjoying it. I think making it into a film would ruin it, because the main magic is the way it has been wrote by death, and I don't think a movie would be able to portray that properly. Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite book ever, and I am the Messenger, also by Markus Zusak, is my third favorite. Markus Zusak wrote this book to show the power of words, how much they can affect the world. I'm not sure a movie could do that. You can't show words in a movie...can you? I think Death would need a VERY powerful narrator, narrating parts where he talks about color and what not. Someone with a haunting, kind of dead on, dry humor kind of voice. A voice that might have a slight, cold laugh at things like the part where he talks about how the grim reaper amuses him. For Rudy, a sweet, adorable boy who doesn't mind covering himself in charcoal and running around a track. Adrien Brody would be an awesome Max. He's exactly how I envision Max's appearance, and from what I've heard, he's an amazing actor. If they do make this a movie, they better not change anything. Here's the worst idea I can think of: They make Rudy survive in the end to appeal to a teenage girl audience. THE HORROR! Yes, the ending made me sad. Extremely sad. I was bawling my eyes out. But imagine how it was for Markus Zusak! That must've been like killing his own son! I have never ending respect for that man. So if they do that, which I hope they don't, I'm going to write a letter to whoever directed the movie asking them to apologize to the world for ruining the best book ever. All in all, I don't care if they make a movie or not, and I'll see it if it's made, but they better not ruin it. By the way, does anyone else have the urge to write Markus Zusak a letter asking him to write The Gravedigger's Handbook as a real book? Because I do! I would so get that, and actually use it...

Anonymous said...

I would hate the film to become really popular because then hardly and of the 'fans' of the film would experience the amazing way the book is. Recantly they made a film of the hunger games which annoyed me cos I new it would never be as good as the book. Also I am glad people share my views in books cos non of my friends hardly ever read :) *i ment to put the way the book is written but I cba to change it lol

Anonymous said...

Hey just found out it isn't being made into a film! I saw a trailer for it but it turned out to be fan made! Yay! I hate it when MEGA good books become films because they always pick the wrong actors/actresses and they ruin the story by changing it. Plus the film was ment to be made in 2010 and it is 2012 now so... Yer :)

Anonymous said...

I just found this post and am hoping so much that someone can help me. I read this book several years ago, but, it had a different cover than any of the ones posted above.

It was blue and, if I remember correctly, had a shadow-y effect to it. I can't remember the exact details of the cover as it has been so long since I've read it.

I can't find it anywhere online or in libraries. I want a copy of it with that cover so badly.

Does anyone know what I am talking about?