EXCLUSIVE: Fox 2000 has set Downton Abbey helmer Brian Percival to direct The Book Thief, the Michael Petroni-scripted adaptation of the Marcus Zusak novel that has been on the Children’s Chapter Paperback New York Times bestseller list for 228 weeks. Twilight Saga‘s Karen Rosenfelt is producing, and a summer production start is being eyed. The WWII story involves Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich who survives by stealing books. Aided by her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with neighbors during bombing raids. One of those who benefits from the books is the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. The helmer’s repped by Gotham Group and Independent Talent in the UK.
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