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Filmmaker Peter Jackson has never been shy about putting gore and violence into his movies. Before becoming one of the best-known directors working today, the New Zealander was famous, or infamous, for a string of wacky, and very gory, horror comedies. They called the genre "splatstick."

But after he received an Oscar nod for 'Heavenly Creatures,' the film that introduced Kate Winslet to the world (thank you, Peter), Jackson backed off of the gore and embraced the big-time. His 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy grossed nearly $3 billion dollars internationally and won dozens of Oscars, including Best Picture. But at its heart, 'Lord of the Rings' was a redemptive tale, the hero's journey. The films had their share of violence and suffering (poor Frodo), but violence and suffering wasn't the point.

But at a recent screening of his new film, 'The Lovely Bones' (based on Alice Sebold's best-selling novel), Jackson was taken aback when a character's death scene received a lackluster reception. "They were simply not satisfied," Jackson said. "They wanted far more violence." Suddenly, the violence and the suffering were the point, and Jackson was quick to oblige. The filmmaker went back into the editing room "to basically add more violence and suffering ... to give people the satisfaction they needed." Filmmaker Peter Jackson has never been shy about putting gore and violence into his movies. Before becoming one of the best-known directors working today, the New Zealander was famous, or infamous, for a string of wacky, and very gory, horror comedies. They called the genre "splatstick."

But after he received an Oscar nod for 'Heavenly Creatures,' the film that introduced Kate Winslet to the world (thank you, Peter), Jackson backed off of the gore and embraced the big-time. His 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy grossed nearly $3 billion dollars internationally and won dozens of Oscars, including Best Picture. But at its heart, 'Lord of the Rings' was a redemptive tale, the hero's journey. The films had their share of violence and suffering (poor Frodo), but violence and suffering wasn't the point.

But at a recent screening of his new film, 'The Lovely Bones' (based on Alice Sebold's best-selling novel), Jackson was taken aback when a character's death scene received a lackluster reception. "They were simply not satisfied," Jackson said. "They wanted far more violence." Suddenly, the violence and the suffering were the point, and Jackson was quick to oblige. The filmmaker went back into the editing room "to basically add more violence and suffering ... to give people the satisfaction they needed."

'The Lovely Bones' stars Academy Award nominee (for 'Atonement') Saoirse Ronan as Susie, a 14-year-old girl who, after being brutally murdered, watches her mother and father from her new vantage point: heaven (or, as Sebold refers to it, "the in between"). Played by Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz, Susie's parents mourn and struggle to bring her killer to justice, and not necessarily the kind that involves the law.

It's unusual, and potentially risky, for a filmmaker to up the violence in a film. Jackson acknowledged that it was important for his film to receive the Academy's PG-13 rating, rather than the more restrictive R. Many in Hollywood view PG-13 as the golden goose of ratings. They feel that PG-13 films can reach the widest possible audience. And a bigger audience means a bigger B.O. take, something that becomes particularly important when a film's budget gets anywhere over $50 million.

Jackson has made some epic films and spent equally epic amounts of money to make them. The cost to make 'The Lovely Bones' is rumored at a relatively affordable $65 million. So, will a more violent death tip 'The Lovely Bones' into the R camp? We'll have to wait and see. Jackson may well have to make one more trip to the editing room before his latest film hits theaters this December.