For those who have read and loved Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, the film trailer below has been a long time coming. Anyone who hasn’t gotten around to reading the book yet, deserves a stern look of disappointment, but also, here’s the brief summary to get you up to speed. The film takes place in Germany during the final years before WWII. Young Liesel Meminger is separated from her family, who are suspected of communist leanings, and she gets sent to live with Rosa and Hans Hubermann instead. The couple take her in as their own.

Watch the brand new trailer for The Book Thief below.

Liesel has trouble fitting in with the other kids in school, but she soon finds a new passion in the Gravediggers Handbook, which is one of the only possessions she has left. Upon finding out Liesel’s secret, Hans decides not to punish her, but to teach her to read, so that she can actually enjoy her stolen treasure. As the story unfolds, Liesel manages to expand her collection, occasionally stealing books from piles, destined for burning or from other people’s libraries.

Geoffrey Rush, The Book Thief Still
Geoffrey Rush is one of the stars of this WWII-set adaptation.

The Hubermanns aren’t Nazi sympathisers, which makes it hard for them to earn a living from Rosa’s laundering or Hans’ painting services, but their situation is made even more complicated by the arrival of Max Vandenburg, the Jewish son of an old friend of Hans', whom the Hubermanns agree to hide in their basement. As the story unfolds, WWII arrives to the Hubermanns’ doorstep in sometimes unexpected ways and all the pain and heartbreak of the war is neatly written down by Liesel in a gifted black book.

Ben Schnetzer, Sophie Nellise, The Book Thief Still
Ben Schnetzer and Sophie Nelisse look promising as Max and Liesel.

The story is fittingly adapted for the big screen by Michael Petroni ('The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader', 'The Rite') and Primetime Emmy winning director Brian Percival ('The Ruby in the Smoke', 'The Old Curiosity Shop', 'A Boy Called Dad').

It will be out in the UK on January 31st, 2014. While there is no way to fully please hardcore fans of any book, let’s hope Petroni and Percival have done this one justice. And in case they haven’t, well, at least Geoffrey Rush is in it (as Hans), so it can’t be all bad.

Geoffrey Rush, Sophie Nelisse, The Book Thief
The film tells a wartime story through the eyes of a young girl.