Lois Lowry Talks The Giver Movie, Says Many of the Changes “Work”

B-but it's change! I fear that!

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Being the author of a book that’s being made into a film must be a really weird feeling, especially when it’s a formative book that influenced a lot of young readers, and all the trailers make those readers super concerned and uncomfortable with how the movie’s gonna end up. But Lois Lowry wants you all to know that The Giver isn’t as bad an adaption as you’re worried it will be—heck, there’s even some stuff in there that she wishes she’d thought of first.

In a San Diego Comic-Con panel this weekend, Lowry sat down with the cast and crew of the upcoming movie to discuss how it will deviate from her original 1993 book. Both she and Jeff Bridges, who plays the titular Giver and has been rallying for a film adaptation for years, had to come to terms with the idea of aging the central characters up. Bridges said:

“I was one of the ones who said we’ve got to keep them 12. I came to a point where I had to decide whether to stay on board or leave and wish them good luck. Because as I said I had planned to direct it and I had these opinions. As the Dude would say, ‘That’s just like, your opinion, man.'”

Ultimately Bridges did not want to give up on the project and so decided to “jump on board knowing it was going to be very different and then just take it as it goes.”

Lowry, on the other hand, got behind the age-up once she saw Brenton Thwaites’ footage as Jonas. “I thought, oh yeah, it works,” she told panel attendees. “Right away you see that he’s the same as the 12 year-old, he’s young, he vulnerable, and it doesn’t matter that he’s a few years older.”

Speaking of things that Lowry liked, she’s on record as very much enjoying the tension between The Giver and the community’s political leader, The Chief Elder (Meryl Streep). “I wish I could go back an add it in,” she said.

The one change she can’t abide by, though? The scene where Jonas bathes an old woman, because Lowry wanted it to be her. “It’s the only old woman in the movie, it was my cameo!”

Producer Nikki Silver also briefly discussed the lingering presence of Rosemary, Taylor Swift’s character, who is supposed to be gone by the time the events of the story begin but remains present through the “magic of technology.” We’re guessing that means (book spoiler) Silver also noted the character had already been written as a piano player before Swift was brought on.

“An executive from the Weinstein Company was at one of her shows and was like, ‘This is crazy, but it might work,'” added Silver. Anyone else feel like we’ve been hearing a lot of that rhetoric around this movie lately? Let’s hope they’re all right; I really, really do not want this to feel like a Divergent rip-off, considering the book’s history and cultural impact. Please be good, movie!

(via io9)

Previously in The Giver

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