Peter Jackson Describes Lovely Bones' Version Of Movie Heaven

Get a first look at Peter Jackson's surprisingly uplifting adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestseller The Lovely Bones, about a brutally murdered teen's view from purgatory/heaven and her acceptance of death.

In an interview with USA Today Jackson explained what his teenage heaven will feel like in the movie adaptation:

It's God-less in the sense that when Susie dies she finds herself caught in a place between Earth and Heaven - she is in an "In-Between," as Alice Sebold calls it. We wanted this world to be ruled by Susie's unconscious desires. Susie's "In-Between" begins as a powerful, beautiful and mysterious place - it is familiar and strange, comforting and sad; a young 14-year-old girl's idea of "heaven." It is quite like the world of dreams, using the magic of metaphor to convey Susie's psychological and emotional life.

But as the film progresses, we see that this place Susie has created for herself has become a kind of prison. She can't sustain the idea of a "perfect world" forever.

But just because he's dealing with the afterlife doesn't mean the actual tone of this bittersweet-yet-uplifting novel was lost on him. In fact, it sounds like Jackson hit the nail on the head, with his overall understanding of the work and how to translate it to film:

There's a big difference between subject matter and tone. Sure, the murder of a young woman is bleak subject matter, but when that person is Susie Salmon, and where experiencing her discovery of what her new life is like on the "other side," there's plenty of humor. She's often very irreverent, which makes her a delightful character. I never found the book to be bleak....But like so many other readers, I found the book to be curiously optimistic. I felt inspired by Susie's struggle to come to terms with her own death. In the face of overwhelming grief, she finds hope.

Read the rest of the interview at USA Today.