‘The Giver’ Trailer #2: The Dangers Of Choice In Dystopia

Published 11 months ago by

If you went to Middle School during the 1990s, then there’s a pretty good chance you’re already familiar with the travails of Lois Lowry’s science fiction novel The Giver; first published in 1993, it spread like wildfire throughout junior high schools across the US, introducing countless emerging adults to the sort of dystopian themes recounted in literature ranging from George Orwell’s 1984 to Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Fast forward to today, and the influence of Lowry’s work is apparent in the burgeoning YA niche, from page to screen.

So it only makes logical sense that as franchises like Divergent and The Hunger Games (and, sooner than later, The Maze Runner) take the multiplex by storm, so too should The Giver be brought to cinematic life. And so we have an adaptation of the book making its way to theaters this summer, courtesy of The Weinstein Company and Australian filmmaker Phillip Noyce. Two trailers have been released to date for the film’s promotional campaign; now, a third trailer, seen above, has made its way online, vastly expanding on the footage seen of the picture thus far.

For those who missed out on The Giver, the story takes place in a future version of our own society, where all of humanity’s ills and joys have been snuffed out by a process called “Sameness”. It’s literally a world of black and white, at least until our protagonist, Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is chosen as the successor to the Receiver of Memory, the titular Giver (Jeff Bridges); it’s the Receiver’s job to store all knowledge of human history before “Sameness”, and to pass down that knowledge to his replacement.

The Giver Bridges Thwaites The Giver Trailer #2: The Dangers Of Choice In Dystopia

But when the Giver bestows his wisdom upon Jonas, the young man must decide whether to adhere to the mores of “Sameness” or deviate and flee, to seek out a life of choice and danger. The trailer gives us glimpses of both in near-equal measure, though it puts more emphasis on the latter quality; that’s understandable, as The Giver has to live up to the action-oriented bent of its blockbusting progeny (not just Divergent and The Hunger Games, but even films like 2002′s Equilibrium).

How closely will any of this mesh with Lowry’s original work? Hard to say; stylistically, Noyce’s film looks awful similar to its competition, though the color transitions offer a flourish that’s unique to the genre. If anything, it’ll be the cast that helps lift The Giver up and differentiate it from its peers – particularly Bridges and Meryl Streep, who give the movie some veteran thespian firepower to support Thwaites (who is all over the place in 2014 between this, Oculus, The Signal, and Maleficent) in his role as leading man.

We’ll see if The Giver can take the YA crown back from the films that have used it as a blueprint, this August.


The Giver hits theaters on August 15th, 2014.

Source: Yahoo! Movies

Follow Andy Crump on Twitter @agracru
TAGS: The Giver
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  1. I see quite a few differences between the book and the film now. I can’t judge the film until I see it, but I’m worried the changes may be too much.

  2. Don’t know what to think. Artistically this is the way to do it it looks like. But they have drastically changed the story. Looks like Gabe is 100% gone? Hmm, not sure I like that

    • Maybe not. ON IMDB one of the pics is of Jonas carrying Gabe. Though it’s still possible they took out those scenes

  3. Oh my goodness! That trailer is WAY too spoilery! Having read the book, I don’t mind as much, but seriously WHY do they have to make trailers like this!

  4. I was just starting elementary school the year this came out lol…but um…since this came out in the 90′s, does that mean Equilibrium ripped most of this book off? It all seems very M.

    • No, it didn’t rip it off. Equilibrium took a lot of homage from a bunch of dystopian future books and films. If you see anything in Equlibrium similar to “The Giver” then it’s because it’s taking those ideas. It also has stuff from ’1984′ and “Fahrenheit 451.” It’s not a rip-off because they certainly give credit and don’t try to say everything in the film is theirs.

  5. It’s looking more interesting. Though I’m still irked that Jonas is so old. I can understand if they didn’t want to go with a 12 yr old actor but this guy is 24! They couldn’t find a boy around 15-17 yrs old?

  6. Took a lot of liberties. I’m afraid they took liberties that make this more like every other YA dystopian movie instead of just sticking with the source material.

    • That is exactly what I thought about the trailer! It kind of ruined this movie for me. I shouldn’t judge, but they are trying to turn Jonas into Katniss! He was the ORIGINAL Katniss, but didn’t fight like she did!
      At this rate, I will only see it if my friends tell me how good it is.

  7. It’s ALL WHITE PEOPLE in this movie isn’t it?

    What do these moviemakers think that Minorities are too stupid too read a book like The Giver?? Which by the way just about every elementary school student or junior high student in america has at least heard of! The last time I checked, this country is made up of 37% non-whites! So why the hell do we continue to see movie after movie stuffed exclusively with white folks!? I have read that article on here that talks about what kind of demographic movies are marketed for but I still feel like this is complete BS and it may not seem like a big deal, but artistic mediums such as movies are reflections of USA’s subconscious, in the case of the current movie industry i am convinced the subconscious comes from these rich white pricks who think only their kind have appreciation for the arts and intellectual material! Today’s director’s talk about Diversity and inclusion in their films, but they don’t understand that it goes beyond skin color, it has to do with culture! Whenever I do rarely see a minority in a major film he/she’s either an ignorant black/hispanic or a WHITE-WASHED black/hispanic. There is no in between, and Im sick of it because it’s 2014 and the U.S should know better

    • I’m sorry you sound like you have read the book. Remember its a dystopian novel. The whole point of the world is that it has no diversity. Its what makes the world uncomfortable, too much control, no culture, no individuality. Its driving a point. The point that the movie shows this doesn’t mean there is preference among the directors and producers in spite of diversity. Its to represent the world of the book, which is supposed to make us un easy and upset. You do have a valid argument against the movie industry and their actions as a whole sometimes. But to this project you make no sense in the context of what this is.

      • What exactly is the point of seeing everything in shades of gray if everyone is already alike (in that they’re white) though? They might as well had color vision and engineer everyone so that they’re blonde or brunette.

  8. I saw one or two black people. Granted they’ll probably have u5 lines but they’re there $_$

  9. Will not be seeing this. Read the novel in junior high as part of our English course, and found it EXTREMELY disturbing. The film, while different, seems to be equally as unnerving.

  10. So a boy is finally going to change the world. Usually it’s a girl that everybody has to rescue. i welcome the change.