‘The Giver’ Official Images: Jeff Bridges the Wise Man & His Protege

Published 9 months ago by , Updated March 5th, 2014 at 7:32 am,

the giver movie jeff bridges images The Giver Official Images: Jeff Bridges the Wise Man & His Protege

Stories where youthful protagonists rebel against “the system” and fight the “power” tend to resonate strongly with young people, so it’s no surprise that most novels aimed at young adults and/or teenagers often provide some direct variation on this premise. One such book is The Giver, which Lois Lowry won the Newberry Medal for writing back in 1994 (the novel was published a year earlier) and has since become a mainstay of middle-school reading lists.

In truth, Lowry’s source novel largely functions as an allegory for how underage people learn to deal with the complicated emotional realities of life, but it still has the same “reject the established order” subtext as its peers – albeit, minus the totalitarian governments featured in modern YA titles like The Hunger Games and Divergent. However, it sounds like the upcoming Giver movie adaptation will tinker with the original book’s narrative/themes, in order to make the story feel more timely for the post-millennial age.

The Giver revolves around Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), a teen who lives in a society where all emotions and individuality is heavily regulated – and thus, life seems perfect and painless for everyone. Things change when Jonas begins his journey to adulthood and is assigned to become the next “Receiver of Memory” – a wise man who keeps all the memories of history (painful and joyful alike) from before the era of “Sameness” – under the guidance of his predecessor: a man who calls himself The Giver, as played in the film by Jeff Bridges (who has been working to adapt Lowry’s novel to the big screen for some two decades now).

Check out the first images of Bridges and Thwaites in The Giver, below (courtesy of EW):

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Joining Bridges in the adult cast is fellow Oscar-winner Meryl Streep as the Chief Elder; judging by the new article from EW, it sounds as though Streep’s character has been promoted to the role of central antagonist in the film (in the source novel, the character is pretty minor). Bridges made sure to keep Lowry in the loop during pre-production on The Giver, and claims that the author wasn’t so concerned about all the facts being the same as in the book [since] the spirit of the story is there.”

Those deviations from the source material include making Jonas a 16-year old instead of 13, which could work out for the better if The Giver movie adaptation is geared more towards a young adult audience than middle-school crowd (which is most likely the plan). Thwaites is looking to breakout with his performance as Jonas after he plays a small role in Disney’s Maleficent this year, but the film also has recognizable faces like Alexander Skarsgård, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift (plus the aforementioned Oscar-winners) as cast members, to sell the movie ahead of time.

As far as writing and direction goes: relative newcomer Michael Mitnick is credited for the script, while The Giver is being realized as a cinematic experience under the guiding hand of Phillip Noyce – a filmmaker who generally specializes in cerebral, if pulpy, action movies like Clear and Present Danger, The Bone Collector and Salt. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle the material; a fairly restrained approach would be nice, though something more conventional (like a dystopia genre melodrama) might be more realistic.

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The Giver opens in U.S. theaters on August 15th, 2014.

Source: EW

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  1. Wow… such a great book, too bad it’s going to be butchered by the sounds of it. Also those production photos don’t look that promising either.

  2. Just to be clear, The Hunger Games isn’t about “rejecting the established order”. It’s about fighting against a tyrannical and corrupt government that abuses its citizens.

    • The Hunger Games’s concepts, themes, and story have been used before from a lot of things but The Giver isn’t one of them. Of course though the studio might try to trick people into thinking this is like The Hunger Games for more money, hence the bizarre casting of a teenager in the role of Jonas.

      • NOT teenagers 20-somethings….Thwaites is 24 and so is Taylor Swift. I’m probably not going to see this in theaters, I might cry.

    • In the Hunger Games world, the tyrannical and corrupt government = the established order, as I see it.

      • That’s improper use of the term.
        It’s an “imposed” order, not an “established” one.

        You wouldn’t describe a film about the Resistance fighting against the Nazis as a story about “revolt against the established order”. It trivializes the conflict.

        Whatever, it’s not my article.

  3. Jonas looks far too old here, as I do remember him being a lot young in the novel. Now the studios are pandering to teenagers because of the Hunger Games craze. Or perhaps I’m wrong, maybe he was this age. I haven’t read The Giver in a little while.

    • He is very young in the book, 11 to be exact. I think…but the thing is, they wanted a kid who could act, so they chose an older kid that could handle such a serious role.

    • He is eleven, going on twelve, if I recall. The upped age is most likely just to appeal to the huge demographic of the 15-30-year-olds, so you cast a more willful antagonist than a prepubescent child….

      Which is sad, cause a lot of strong heroes are born from young kids rather than teenagers, whom we expect to fight the system.

      • It’s not to appeal to 15-30 year olds…It’s because no kid under 13 can handle a huge serious role. So they cast a 15-16, who can handle the role and actually seem serious.

        • Asa Butterfield would have been a much better Jonas, in my opinion,(even if they were making him a bit older). The age thing is obviously just to appeal to a teenage audience. “Instead of having Jonas be a prepubescent boy, lets have be played by a handsome 20-something.” And wasn’t Jonas’ eyes being pale blue a MAJOR PLOT POINT? This guys eyes are brown. Why completely ignore source material and pump out a god awful movie, rather that sticking to it and giving audiences a fairly decent film?

          • I agree with Asa being Jonas, but, I however still stand my ground, and say, that the serious role can’t be played as a real 11 year old, so yes they cast a much older handsome(I still hate using handsome as I am a guy, yes the Sphynx name throws everyone off…)boy as Jonas to make the role more serious and to draw in the crowd. It’s just not to appeal, it’s a legit reason to not want an wooden 11 year old boy play a lead role. One reason why the Harry Potter characters, found their treasure during the 4 and 5th movie. It’s just not practical to have such a young actor in a serious and a lead role. I agree that they are ignoring major plot points, I was actually hoping they filmed this in black and white because the apple changing to red…another plot hole

            • Or they could have just casted a really talented 13/14 year old actor that could pull off an eleven year old. I think Chandler Riggs from the walking dead would have been perfect for the role. Yeah, they would still have to bump up the age of the character to 13, but it would have been more fitting for the character Jonas than just making him 16.

            • I think the Harry Potter crew did just fine. Not to say that the books are similar but they did just fine in their movies at the age of 10-11. Also I understand not using 11-year-olds but Thwaites is 24 and Jonas isn’t supposed to be a heartthrob.

  4. You guys seriously need an overhaul of your image gallery, or lack thereof. I should be able to see a full resolution image super-imposed on the same page, with something like lightbox or one of the many other photo galleries out there.

  5. The Giver is, without a doubt, my favorite novel. And unfortunately, from looking at these two images, all I see is the filmmakers completely missing the opportunity at making something truly great. I’ll admit that’s probably because I love the book so much, so it’s easier for me to judge the very little much easily. It’s just the look of Jonas, the look of The Giver – not digging it. And I swear on everything holy if this thing isn’t in black-and-white like it is in the novel I’m going to rip someone’s throat out.

    • Welp if it makes you feel better it will be in black and white, at least the majority of it…but the rest was blown to hell.

  6. Yeah i loved this book i hope they dont kill it but it wouldve been nice if they did the movie in black and white with certain things showing up in color as the main character gained knowledge like in the book i just think that wouldve been great on screen

  7. Studied this book for a term in high school… It’ll probably cloud my judgement, ‘cos whether it’s good or not, I’ll still hate it.

  8. I love the book, and am only looking forward to the movie for Jeff Bridges performance. Don’t get me wrong, I usually don’t mind it when a film adaptation of something deviates from the source material for the purpose of making a better film (like Lord of The Rings, for example). But, the changes here seem like they are more intent on making the film successful at the box office.

    Jonas, for example, is SUPPOSED to be young. Part of the plot is showing a very extreme coming of age story. Making him 16 completely gets rid of that (not doubting the actors performance, but they are missing a lot of key story details by making him older). And do we really need a minor character from the book to be this big villain? Part of the magic of the book is not having one definitive “villain”, a unique element that appears to be stripped away in this film. It would be like making a 1984 film with Big Brother actually being shown.

    Look, I don’t want to come off as a hater, as I am still optimistic about this. I WANT this movie to be good, but the only thing that’s really sounding good about it is Jeff Bridges.

  9. Thinking of actors who could have played a younger Jonas, Ty Simkins comes to mind (he’s 12 now). He was the kid from Iron Man 3 and the Insidious movies.

  10. The old man on the cover looks a lot like Julian Glover.

  11. Wow…first time hearing about this. Regardless of the age changes and plot changes in the script, still very looking forward to this. I LOVED Catching Fire, but, The Hunger Games Trilogy was YA for this “Gen”. The Giver was a book that I was forced to read 10-12 years ago and was the YA book for my “Gen”, though technically I guess I’m still the same gen. Regardless, Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep are obviously two great actors, so I’m excited to see a book that every person my age was forced to read in middle school come to life on the big screen.

  12. *** POSSIBLE BOOK SPOILERS AHEAD ***

    If I remember correctly, isn’t color an integral part of the book? How will they include the plot point about the apple if the film is in color?

    Does anyone know if they plan on filming the scene of Jonas’ father and the twin babies? I wonder if the filmmakers will avoid it?

    • I agree.

      ==============SPOILERS AHEAD================

      Lets not forget his petty dream about a girl in a tub and his desire to join…they should handle this seriously imo. They should’ve filmed it in Black and White. Although, the 1st pic could be after he starts to see color(which happens in the book) and the 2nd pic is obviously after that part as well. So maybe they did, I don’t know, but I sure hope so. Please tell me about the scene of Jonas’ father and the twins, don’t remember it? Was it nudity, or the part where he injects them with the serum?

    • It is in black and white.

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