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Ryan Gosling has signed on to co-star in Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones” for DreamWorks and Film 4. Rachel Weisz already has boarded the project, which is based on Alice Sebold’s best-selling novel.
Penned by “The Lord of the Rings” scribes Jackson, Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh, the story is told through the voice of Susie Salmon, who is murdered but continues to observe her family on Earth after her death. Removed from the world she once knew, Susie witnesses the impact of her loss on her loved ones, while her killer skillfully covers his tracks and prepares to murder again.
Gosling will play Susie’s father, Jack Salmon.
The casting is a coup for Jackson and DreamWorks because Gosling has become one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood. But the Canadian-born actor, who nabbed his first Oscar nomination this past year for his star turn in the indie “Half Nelson,” also is one of the most selective in the business and has eschewed several big-budget studio films.
The role of Susie has yet to be cast.
Carolynne Cunningham, Jackson, Walsh and Aimee Peyronnet are producing “Lovely Bones,” which begins filming in October in Pennsylvania and New Zealand. Executive producing will be Film 4’s Tessa Ross alongside Ken Kamins and Jim Wilson.
DreamWorks’ David Beaubaire is shepherding the project for president of production Adam Goodman. Paramount Pictures will distribute worldwide.
Gosling, whose credits also include “The Notebook,” “Fracture,” “Stay” and “The Believer,” next stars in “Lars and the Real Girl,” which bows in the fall.
He is repped by IFA, manager Carolyn Govers and the law firm of Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.
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