The upcoming film adaptation of Lois Lowry 1993 children’s novel The Giver has the misfortune of being released at a time when the release schedule is flooded with movies that have similar concepts (The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner etc.) The timing isn’t coincidental; The Weinstein Company greenlit the movie in 2012, after The Hunger Games opened in the usually quiet month of March and grossed almost $700 million worldwide.
Whether The Giver will be able to tap into the market of moviegoers who are hungry for more young adult dystopian sci-fi adaptations or whether it will end up suffering the same fate as Ender’s Game and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (among others), remains to be seen, but at the very least fans of Lowry’s novel will finally get to see it realised on the big screen.
The Giver is set in a society where everything is perfect: there’s no suffering, no war, no hunger, no hate, no love, no color… OK, it’s not completely perfect. Brenton Thwaites plays Jonas, the movie’s Chosen One, who is assigned the heavy burden of being his community’s Receiver of Memory: the one person who carries all the memories of what life was like before “Sameness.” Jeff Bridges is the previous Receiver of Memory who must pass on this knowledge, which makes him – you guessed it – the Giver.
Directed by Phillip Noyce, The Giver also stars Alexander Skargard, Katie Holmes, Odeya Rush, Taylor Swift, Cameron Monaghan and Meryl Streep. The Weinstein company has now released a set of character posters for them, along with three new stills from the movie.
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The slices of color in the character posters are an interesting way of representing Jonas’ change of perception as he receives memories. For the first time in life he is able to see colors, and so The Giver will be visually (and thematically) similar to Gary Ross’ 1998 movie Pleasantville, which used the addition of color to a monochrome world as a metaphor for burgeoning liberation. Ross, incidentally, later went on to direct the first installment of The Hunger Games.
The trailers for The Giver so far honestly haven’t been all that exciting and it’s hard to imagine this movie attracting a mass audience and becoming a blockbuster franchise. As a standalone story, however, it looks decent enough to warrant a watch this summer.
The Giver is out in theaters on August 15th, 2014.
Source: The Weinstein Company