After usurping James Cameron's self-proclaimed title of "King of the World" with his wildly profitable series of films about the adventures of hairy-toed hobbits, Peter Jackson made a conscious decision to avoid orcs and dragons and such by choosing to make his adaptation of The Lovely Bones his first post-Rings film that didn't involve digital apes. The project has undergone some bumps along the way, most notably when Mark Wahlberg was brought on to replace Ryan Gosling after Peter Jackson felt that the latter had packed on too many pounds to adequately portray the grief-stricken father of the book's protagonist (played by Atonement's Saoirse Ronan). This last-minute casting switcheroo gave many Hollywood naysayers an opportunity to stick it to Jackson, but, based solely on the first image of the film that has been released into the wild (you'd never guess it, but Empire had the exclusive), it looks as if the film will be another visually sumptuous offering from the hobbit king.
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