Lovely Bones Don’t Come Cheap

Director Peter Jackson’s planned adaptation of the Alice Sebold novel”The Lovely Bones” is being shopped around to studios this week, with at least four studios vying to snap it up.

It seems a slam dunk in some ways – the script is done, an October 29th start of shooting date guaranteed, a locked picture for late 2008 release, and the involvement of much of the same behind-the-scenes crew involved in “The Lord of the Rings” and “King Kong.”

Yet there’s several catches. The subject matter is almost arthouse fare in nature; the budget sits at around a hefty $65 million and could reach up to $90 million for the total deal; and whatever deal in place comes with hefty promotional commitments and supervision by Jackson on how the studio should market it.

With a potential guild strike being talked about, studios are more than ever in demand of choice scripts requiring few, if any re-writes. Thus DreamWorks, Warner Bros., Sony and Universal are all said to be in contention for the project at present.