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Jackson: Audiences Wanted 'Lovely Bones' Darker

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Nov 17, 2009 | 4:00am EST

Peter Jackson's adaptation of Alice Sebold's haunting novel The Lovely Bones has looked like an Oscar-bound project from the get-go (despite that little casting hiccup early on).

It boasts an A-list and Oscar-winning director as well as Oscar winners and nominees in the cast, including Susan Sarandon, Rachel WeiszMark Wahlberg and Saoirse Ronan, and is based on a beloved best-selling book that would allow a director of Jackson's vision the opportunity to create something potentially breathtaking.

The dark story of a young girl who is brutally raped and murdered and her family's struggles to deal with the fallout and find her murderer -- all told from the POV of the dead girl in heaven -- is not a bright and shiny one, to be sure. Reuters is reporting, however, that early audiences wanted the film even darker than Jackson had first cut it.

In early screenings, he told the news agency, audiences "were simply not satisfied" with a scene of one character's death.

"They wanted far more violence," Jackson said, so he returned to the editing room to "basically add more violence and suffering."

The scene concerned is one of a man falling to his death, which Jackson originally set with the man disappearing off the edge of a cliff.

"We got a lot of people telling us that they were disappointed with this death scene, as they wanted to see (the character) in agony and suffer a lot more," Jackson told Reuters said. "They just weren't satisfied."

Jackson said digital effects were used to incorporate shots where (the character) bounces against the cliff on the way down.

"We had to create a whole suffering-death scene just to give people the satisfaction they needed," he said.

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