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Good News Everyone!

Meryl Streep In Talks for The Giver

Jeff Bridges‘ long awaited adaptation of Lois Lowry‘s The Giver has its first good sign that it’s actually happening: a major Hollywood star (other than Bridges himself) is in talks to participate.

Bridges has been interested in putting The Giver on the big screen for a long time now, first coming across the story of a community that has abandoned emotion and memory for safety and consistency when his daughter read it in high school. Published in 1993, Lowry’s novel was ahead of the curve when you consider the current trend of dystopian science fiction in young adult literature. Streep is reportedly in talks to play a community elder:

Streep is in talks to join a shoot that starts in eight weeks in South Africa, in a co-production between The Weinstein Company and Walden Media… Streep will play the chief elder, the authoritarian charged with keeping order in a society that seems utopian.

Deadline also names Brenton Thwaites as the actor tapped to play Jonas, the book’s twelve year old protagonist, and since Thwaites is twenty-four, I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be seeing a much more solidly teenage Jonas. Perhaps someone was uncomfortable with the idea of a society that feeds its eleven year olds pills to suppress their nascent sexual desires? Or the idea of making a YA novel adaptation without a main character that teenagers could develop a crush on? Bridges will be playing the titular Giver, a role he originally had reserved for his father, before the latter passed away.

(via Deadline.)

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  • Renee Carter Hall

    I’m hoping for the best but still pretty leery of Jonas being made older, as it does strike me as a decision that’s being made in order to be able to pander to teen audiences with a heartthrob. I guess it’ll have to be the Ceremony of, what, Sixteen now?

  • Lindsay Beaton

    Today in “Books I’d rather see locked in a basement for all eternity than destroyed by the silver screen”…

    I have hope because I have buckets of faith in Jeff Bridges, but I really want this to be a 100% faithful adaptation. Which, you know, doesn’t happen. Ever. So.

  • Allison Hoekwater

    The Giver is already a visual book. Just read the book. It plays out like a movie in your head!!

  • Anonymous

    I’m curious to know how they handle the color thing. When you read the book, color isn’t addressed UNTIL Jonas sees red…you don’t realize that there are no colors until then. In the movie…I assume they’d just have it be black and white? In which case, the audience will already be expecting the color reveal moment, since they’ve seen it before in The Wizard of Oz and Pleasantville. Actually, there is a lot about The Giver that is going to make people say, “This is just a Pleasantville rip-off!”

  • Lindsay Beaton

    That’s one of the (many) things in the book that I think will make or break the movie depending on how they handle it (I’m assuming black and white, as well). I honestly think there’s an opportunity to make a movie that will absolutely wreck the audience in the best possible way…as long as it does its own thing and doesn’t give in to the Hollywood currents running right now with regards to adaptations for books in this age group and this genre.

    Jonas being older (presumably; you’re not going to convince me that a 24-year-old can play a 12-year-old, I don’t care how good your makeup artists are) is already a strike. He’s supposed to be young, it’s supposed to make you feel weird and uncomfortable. Man, that book kept me up for WEEKS when I first read it in elementary school.

  • Amanda Burke

    I would prefer a sepia color scheme to black or white, I think.

  • Xomyx

    Maybe if they just filmed it in dull gritty colours, like its an aesthetic (like Burton’s colour schemes or any kind of film that’s trying to be gritty) so when the red comes, it really pops out, but you might not notice the lack of colour til then.

  • Magic Xylophone

    Uh… why? Doesn’t that undermine the thematic resonance of black and white?

  • Magic Xylophone

    Yeah, except that trope is used CONSTANTLY for movies where people’s boring, conformist lives are interrupted by something new and authentic.

  • Magic Xylophone

    Rosemary’s Baby is 100% faithful. It’s possible with the right material and creative team, it’s just that usually Hollywood thinks they know best and muck it up. Occasionally they’re right (Blade Runner, Jurassic Park), but usually they ruin what we liked about the book in the first place.