The Book Thief Movie: Meet Liesel, Max, Hans & Rosa!

Posted 02/05/2013 by alicemarvels in Behind the scenes

We finally have some casting news for the Fox 2000 film adaptation of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the news!

Liesel Meminger:

Relative newcomer Sophie Nelisse, a French-Canadian actress best known for her award-winning role in Monsieur Lahzar, will make her English language debut in the role of our kind-hearted and stubborn book-lover Liesel.

Sophie Nelisse as Liesel Meminger in The Book Thief


Max Vandenburg

Ben Schnetzer (Happy Town) will have the honor of portraying Max Vandenburg, aka “the Jewish fist fighter” and the creator of illustrated stories that make our hearts break.

Ben Schnetzer as Max Vandenburg in The Book Thief

Hans Hubermann

Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) will play Liesel’s adoptive father Hans. Obviously he has the acting chops to pull off this beloved kind-hearted character.

Geoffrey Rush as Hans Hubermann in The Book Thief

Rosa Hubermann

Emily Watson (Anna Karenina) will play Liesel’s adoptive mother Rosa. Emily pretty much always brings her A-game, so I’m sure she’ll do our wooden spoon-loving Rosa proud.

Emily Watson as Rosa Hubermann in The Book Thief


Rudy Steiner

We have also learned that actor Nico Liersch has a role in the film, though reports do not specify which character he will play. Based on his looks and age, the best guess is Rudy Steiner, Liesel’s best friend and favorite Saukerl (pig boy).


The Book Thief begins filming in Berlin this month, with Karen Rosenfelt and Ken Blancato producing and Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) directing.



The Book Thief by Markus Zusak:

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….

Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever they are to be found.

With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel 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.



Source: The Hollywood Reporter



    Love this book–very excited to hear that the movie version is finally (maybe) coming together! That little girl would be a great Leisel and that little boy–wow! That’s some BLONDE hair.


    Thanks so much for sharing this news! THE BOOK THIEF is one of my all-time favorite novels, and I’ve been waiting to hear more about the movie adaptation. I can’t wait to see Emily Watson as Rosa. I’ve admired her work ever since BREAKING THE WAVES.


    Hopefully the movie coming out will motivate me to read the book. It looks like a great cast.


    I love who they cast as Liesel! She’s perfect. This is going to make me cry, I just know it. But I can’t wait!


    Oh, my goodness, that’s like, the cutest Saukerl in the world! And I think Geoffrey Rush will make an excellent Hans, he is so very talented. I have a feeling I’m going to love this one. It’s one of my favorite books after all and I can’t wait to see it on the big screen.

    Mary B

    I really love the girl who will play Liesl but I don’t like the mama casting at all! She’s too young!


    I don’t think Geoffrey Rush will be a god Hans… I thin he would be a good ‘death’, however. I also think the woman playing Rosa is too young, and Rudy is also too young. I love this book more than I love life, and I just hope it won’t disappoint.


    Can’t wait


    But he looks like he’s fiive! 😕


    I think the little boy is gonna play liesel’s younger brother! Rudy is taller and stronger


      The kid is about 13 and a half now, according to IMDB (born in July 2000), he must have been at least 11 or 12 while filming. And Sophie Nelisse was 11 years old in 2011 (Monsieur Lazhar), so probably born in 2000 as well. That’s an old picture — the two kids are the same age.

      And Emily Watson has been perfect in everything I’ve seen her do. She plays older and younger than her age and does tons of accents. If she needs to be older they can put makeup on her. She’ll be wonderful. I can’t wait!

      A movie lover

      no the boy does play rudy i saw the movie before it came out (my friends parents produced it or something) wow prep school moments. he’s older in the movie


    Oddly, I don`t like the girl they cast for Liesel. As a huge fan of the book I am fairly disappointed in her. Her hair is wayyyy too blonde and her eyes are not brown. The book was very specific about the meaning of her eye color.

    A movie lover

    rudy is that boy i saw the private showing its such a sad movie please go see it but if you are younger than 10 i wouldnt go.


    that movie is so good


    Film yang berisi muatan sejarah di Jerman dengan Nazinya. Film ini juga terdapat kisah cinta yang lugu dan polos yang hanya dapat dirasakan oleh serang pemuda dan pemudi yang katakanlah belum dewasa. Dimana keduanya hanya bisa saling jujur menyatakan dan lucu dalam berbicara. Tetapi, Cinta yang lahir menjadi keberanian dalam diri Liesel dan keberaniannya itu bisa mengubah kehidupan semua orang di sekelilingnya.


    Just seen the movie, made me laugh, made me cry, excellent movie


    I loved the movie, its amazing


    I love rudy aka nico


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