At least one Sopranos star is looking to exit the small screen for a fancy big-screen lifestyle. The Hollywood Reporter tells us Michael Imperioli (aka Christopher on the show) has signed on to co-star in the highly-anticipated adaptation of The Lovely Bones, to be directed by everyone's favorite gorilla Peter Jackson. The film (like the book) revolves around a young girl who is murdered, but continues to watch her grief-stricken family, as well as her murderer (as he gets ready to kill again), from heaven. Imperioli, unfortunately, will not be playing the nephew of a crime boss in the film. Nope, instead, he'll be on the opposite side of the law -- taking on the role of Len Fenerman, the detective in charge of investigating the little girl's death.
Imperioli joins a star-studded cast that already includes Ryan Gosling (as the girl's father), Rachel Weisz (as her mother), Stanley Tucci (as her killer), Susan Sarandon (as her grandmother) and newcomer Saoirse Ronan (as the girl in question). Adapted for the screen by Jackson and his two Lord of the Rings cohorts (Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh), Paramount will distribute The Lovely Bones next year; most likely during the fall so that it can start knocking on Oscar's door. I haven't read the book yet, but my wife has said plenty of fantastic things about it. It was part of my summer reading material until I opted to go for I Love You Beth Cooper instead (what can I say, I love me a good teen comedy). That being said, I can't say for sure how good the casting choices are. I will, however, tell you that I love all the actors involved and look forward to seeing Jackson return to telling smaller stories, rather than giant epics.
Random sidenote: Had Christopher not died, how much fun would it have been to see a spin-off show called Christopher Goes to Hollywood?