Phillip Noyce In Talks to Direct Jeff Bridges in ‘The Giver’ Adaptation

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:46 pm,

giver movie adaptation Phillip Noyce In Talks to Direct Jeff Bridges in The Giver Adaptation

Lois Lowry’s dystopian young adult novel The Giver was published back in 1993, won the Newbery Medal a year later, and has sold more than 8 million copies since its initial publication. A film adaptation has been an on-again/off-again venture for the past 15 years. That can largely be attributed to the matter of how Lowry’s book is more introspective than action-driven (literally, since a good chunk of the story takes place in shared memories – more on that later).

David Yates (Harry Potter 5-8) was loosely attached to direct a couple years ago, but we just learned he’ll be directing the new Tarzan movie instead. Jeff Bridges purchased the Giver book rights back in the 1990s and originally wanted his father Lloyd (who passed away in 1998) to portray the titular character. The Oscar-winning actor now plans to headline and produce the film on his own.

Variety reports that Phillip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger, Salt) is currently negotiating with The Weinstein Co./Walden Media to direct The Giver. However, the site’s source are indicating that these talks are “very early, as there are a lot of moving parts to this.” Moreover, Noyce has also been linked over the past year to direct the sci-fi/romance Timeless and Bloodsport remake at some point in the future (meaning there’s a chance he’ll end up passing on The Giver).

Phillip Noyce directs Angelina Jolie on the set of ‘Salt’ 

The Giver is told from the perspective of Jonas, a 12-year old boy who lives in a peaceful and (literally) colorless community that thrives on ‘Sameness,’ a practice where emotion and feelings have been removed from citizens of the population – save for an elderly individual known as the ‘Receiver of Memory,’ the one person with recollections of life before ‘Sameness’. When Jonas is selected to being the next Receiver, he begins sessions with his predecessor: a man able to physically transfer memories of sensations and experiences (pain, happiness, war) to young Jonas, with world-changing results.

It should come as little surprise to learn that Lowry’s novel has been compared to famous titles such as Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and Brave New World, with regards to its subject matter and plot elements. However, here that basic story is recounted through the eyes of an adolescent, so that it may resonate better with younger readers; moreover, philosophical themes are emphasized over the socio-political elements of other installments in the dystopia sub-genre.

Lowry was interviewed by EW last month, where she mentioned her having read some four different Giver scripts over the years. As it were, her favorite draft is the one penned by writer-director Vadim Perelman (House of Sand and Fog), which is currently being used to attract a director to the project. However, the author also admitted that she is not actively involved with development on the adaptation. The last update she received was that Perelman’s draft is either going to be rewritten or abandoned (which may or may not still be the case).

Tron Legacy 3 Phillip Noyce In Talks to Direct Jeff Bridges in The Giver Adaptation

Jeff Bridges will become ‘The Giver’

By all accounts, this is a passion project for Bridges and it seems unlikely that he’ll allow it to slip through the cracks yet again (even if Noyce ultimately does not sign on as director). A Giver movie would certainly offer an intriguing alternative to the comparatively action-packed Hunger Games series, as it’s a much quieter piece of thought-provoking sci-fi fare geared towards a young adult audience – though, that could also mean it makes for a less-engaging filmgoing experience.

As far as franchise potential (which, obviously, is always the rage in Hollywood): Lowry has written three other books that take place in the same futuristic era as The Giver – with the most recent, Son, having been published just this year. Giver is foremost a standalone story, but we’ll see if that changes in the movie version (once it fully comes together, that is).

More on The Giver as the story develops.

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Sources: Variety, EW

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TAGS: The Giver

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  1. Great news. Loved this book in 7th grade.

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  2. I remember reading this in school as a kid. Can I remember anything about it? No. :P

    • Well that’s what The Giver is for. lol.

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  3. One of my favorite childhood books…if they keep it dark like in the novel it will be an excellent adaptation.

  4. I am from the same boat as you guys, this is one of my favorite books I read it in 8th grade and thought it was brilliant. Though I think Sir Ian McKellan would be great casting, Bridges is a very good actor (loved him in iron man and True Grit) and I hope this movie is good. I hated Salt very much but hopefully the movie will be as great as the novel

  5. Unsure how well it will translate into movie form, but I’m willing to give it a try. I wonder how they will interpret the ending…

    • Would def have to be set in the future…Im thinking the colony should be evil (kinda like the federation from Serenity) & firefly. It could translate well to film but it def needs a PG 13 rating.

    • Im gonna have to reread the book…all I remember is them escaping to another community (whether that community was good or bad) I dont remember. It was jacked up what they did to the old people…should make for a compelling movie.

  6. I think this movie would be awesome. I love this book. I reread it again a few years ago. What would make it epic would be to have Wes Anderson or the Wachowski brothers where to direct it.

  7. I really hope if this gets off the ground it will be done well. I really enjoyed the story and still have the book somewhere! :D

  8. I’m a huge fan of Jeff Bridges, but even when i was reading the book i always thought that Anthony Hopkins would be perfect for the role.

  9. I own this book. I love this book. It’s so good. I’m going to see the movie.

  10. I recently just finished this book in school as a class reading. I absolutely LOVE this book! Literally can not wait until the movie comes out. Hopefully its just like I imagined it. Does anyone know who is going to play Asher?

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