“Downton Abbey’s” Percival Steals “Book Thief” Job

Brian Percival will lead the thieves.

If we can’t have “Downton Abbey,” we’ll take news about the next season of “Downton Abbey.” If we can’t have that, we’ll take news about “Downton Abbey” stars. If that’s not available, we’ll settle for information from “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes. And when all else fails, we’ll still pay attention to news about Brian Percival, the director of many “Downton Abbey” episodes.

Deadline reports that Percival will direct “The Book Thief,” the adaptation of Markus Zusak’s best-selling novel. Michael Petroni wrote the script.

This is good news to the many students who are assigned this book to read in school but are hoping they can just watch a movie of it the night before their paper is due instead. As always, warning, kids! Movies of books are rarely exactly the same as the book.

Here’s the synopsis, courtesy of Amazon:

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

They hope to film this summer. “Downton Abbey” is filming its third season now. Shirley MacLaine’s there and is having a lovely time.

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