'The Giver' One Step Closer to the Big Screen

Jeff Bridges 'The Giver'

Fans of dystopian young adult books and their subsequent film adaptations have yet another potential franchise to look forward to, and this one sounds promising. Variety's Jeff Sneider reports that The Weinstein Co. and Walden Media are close to locking down director Phillip Noyce (Salt, Patriot Games, Dead Calm) for a cinematic version of Lois Lowry's 1993 novel, The Giver. Even better, Jeff Bridges is slated to produce the movie (with Nikki Silver) and star in the titular role.

For those of you unfamiliar with the book, Sneider offers a pretty excellent summary:

The Giver is a largely introspective fantasy tale set in a colorless dystopian society in which all memory of human history has been erased, emotion does not exist and citizens' professions are chosen for them. When a 12-year-old boy is assigned to serve as the Receiver of Memories (i.e. the next Giver) he discovers that all is not as it seems.

I haven't read this or any of Lowry's follow-up novels, but the premise sounds intriguing, and, like the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series, could appeal to both kids and adults. In fact, Jeff Bridges, himself a grown man, has championed the adaptation for about two decades now, ever since discovering the source material through his daughter. With fervor for such age-defying properties high right now, it looks like Bridges may finally get his wish.

The Weinstein Company hasn't confirmed anything yet, though sources close to the project say Noyce has definitely been approached. Early details also indicate Vadim Perelman, who previously adapted Andre Dubus III's heady novel House of Sand and Fog for the screen, wrote the most recent draft. Since The Giver concerns itself less with physical action, more with intellectual drama, Perelman and Noyce seem like good choices. Plus, you know, Jeff Bridges.

So, who's excited about this news? Any fans of the novel think the talent involved is up to the task?

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EricMBacon's picture
EricMBacon from Vermont is reading The Autobiography of a Corpse November 8, 2012 - 8:06am

I would trust Jeff Bridges to recreate any literary character on the silver screen. The man is a true artist. I hadn't heard this film was going to be made, but now I am anxious to see the final product.

Gregory Marlow's picture
Gregory Marlow November 8, 2012 - 8:35am

First things first: You've never read The Giver, or any of Lowry's other work? I don't care what you had planned for today, you should cancel it and immediately work on rectifying this issue. Number the Stars, The Willowbys, anything from the giver quartet, Silent Boy, Gossamer, or really anything she has ever put her name on. I can say, without the slightest bit of exaggeration, that she is one of the world's greatest living writers.

Second, I am both excited and terrified at the prospect of this book. It has a very non-Hollywood-friendly way of wrapping up, and I worry that will tempt the director to "improve" it, in the same way they tried to fix I am Legend or Jumper. If Lowry's material is respected, then I can't wait.

Thanks for reporting this!


Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated November 8, 2012 - 11:52am

The Giver abides.

Zackery Olson's picture
Zackery Olson from Rockford, IL is reading pretty much anything I can get my hands on November 8, 2012 - 6:20pm

If Jeff Bridges can make the movie better than the book, good for him. I loved the book as a child, which was of course before I had sufficient critical analysis skills to examine it. As an adult, I think it's pretty terrible. It's a completely self-righteous story with no forsight at all. It's basically the literary equivalent of telling children, "We don't do those kinds of things kids, and we're better than people who do." It is yet another oversimplified story that underestimates and talks down to children. Some of Lowry's other books are much better.