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.
Cautiously OptimisticThese days, it seems like Hollywood has finally discovered that dystopian young adult fiction is a trend that can make bunches at the box office, thanks to The Hunger Games. We can also look forward to The Host and the long awaited advent of a big budget Ender's Game adaptation. But older young adults in their twenties and thirties can sit around saying "In my day, we walked fifteen miles to the library to pick up copies of Garth Nix's Shade's Children and Lois Lowry's The Giver. And then we wrote our book reports with pencil and paper! And then gave it to our parents to spellcheck!" But I actually had The Giver read to me at bedtime before I was ever assigned it in school, so I guess I have the most hipster dystopian YA cred of all.
Power GridAnyone else get the feeling that Hollywood is out of ideas? Take a look at this summer’s studio releases. What do you see? A lot of entries into pre-existing franchises (The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus), a sequel or twelve (Men in Black III, Madagascar 3), some additions to the “edgy kid’s story” genre that’s refused to die since Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland made bank, two movies based on self-help books (Think Like a Man, What to Expect When You’re Expecting), and one that draws its inspiration from a board game (Battleship). Look, I’m not here to pooh-pooh the idea of sequels, prequels, reboots, remakes—there are some ridiculously unnecessary ones, sure, but if I told you my level of anticipation for The Dark Knight Rises is not positively stratospheric I’d be lying. I’m not asking that Hollywood start coming out with original content or anything, because A) that’s what indie movies are for, and B) it would be unrealistic. Hollywood exists to make money. If people pay to see Madagascar 3, they’re going to make Madagascar 4. That’s how it works. But still. Movie versions of Candy Land (and Adam Sandler is attached, oh goodie!), Stretch Armstrong, and the Ouija board are in the works. Hollywood, I implore you: If you’re going to adapt something, can’t it be something good?
And So It Begins
In 2006 Jeff Bridges and director Vadim Perelman (House of Sand and Fog) came very close to producing a film adaptation of Lois Lowry's classic The Giver. The film never got off the ground, however, and in 2007 Warner Bros. took over the rights. Now, Bridges and producer Nikki Silver have re-acquired the rights and are planning to try again.