It wasn’t a printing error, or sabotage by the Koch brothers, that left pages 9 and 10 largely blank in the Gray Lady this morning. It was part of Fox‘s marketing campaign for its upcoming film The Book Thief. The New York Times says that this is the first time it has run “two consecutive, seemingly blank, back-to-back pages in the A (Main News) section.” The qualifier “seemingly” is appropriate because the pages have the paper’s logo, the date and page number — and at the bottom of the second page Fox included the URL for the film’s website, wordsarelife.com. The Times’ advertising standards team had to approve Fox’s concept to promote the film, which opens November 15, the paper says. “The underlying message of the advertising campaign, ‘imagine a world without words,’ echoes the film’s narrative, which follows a young girl in WWII Nazi Germany who begins to steal books from war-torn areas and share them with others,” according to The Times. My colleague Pete Hammond says that The Book Thief could become an under-the-radar Oscar contender. Fox hired publicity firm 42West to aid the cause. The film is based on Markus Zusak’s best-selling novel and features Geoffrey Rush — and music from five-time Oscar winner John Williams.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.