NEW DELHI: The Giver -a sci-fi epic, based on the dystopian Y A novel by Lois Lowry, the winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal that sold over 10 million copies worldwide – will release on 15 August.
Produced by the Weinstein Co. and Walden Media, The Giver stars Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites as members of a society in which there is no conflict, racism or sickness.
The heart-wrenching story of The Giver centres around Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), a young man who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colourless world of conformity and contentment. Yet as he begins to spend time with the Giver (Jeff Bridges), who is the sole keeper of all the community’s memories, Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community’s secret past. With this newfound power of knowledge, he realises that the stakes are higher than imagined – a matter of life and death for him and those he loves most. At extreme odds, Jonas knows that he must escape their world to protect them all – a challenge that no one has ever succeeded at before.
Bridges plays the pivotal role of The Giver, he is weary because he carries the burden of preserving all the memories of humanity while the story is told through the eyes of Jonas played by Thwaites, a young boy who is unique in the community of sameness; he is mature, perceptive and compassionate. Streep’s Chief Elder leads an isolated society where emotions, privacy, and basic colours have all been stripped away from its citizens. She sums up her philosophy as, “When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong.” Her portrayal of the Chief Elder looks like it combines the icy detachment of The Devil’s Wears Prada with the unbending determination of The Iron Lady. Among the members of the community, only the Giver is capable of real love, and after years of loneliness he experiences an intense emotional connection with Rosemary played by Taylor Swift.
The motion picture adaptation of The Giver represents the fulfillment of a 20 year-long dream for actor Jeff Bridges, who also serves as a producer on the production. “My daughters read the book, but before I had known that they had read it, I was looking for some material to direct my father, Lloyd Bridges,” he recalls. “I also wanted to make a movie that my kids could watch at the time. I was looking through a catalogue of children books and I came across this wonderful cover of a book, with this old, grizzled kind of guy on the cover and thought, ‘Oh yeah, my dad can play that guy!’”
Co-producing partner Walden Media spent over a decade developing the project and chief operating officer Frank Smith says, "The Giver is the crown jewel of children's literature, and we are proud to add this film to the list of other great book to film adaptations we have produced like Holes, Charlotte's Web, Bridge to Teribithea, Because of Winn Dixie, Ramona and The Chronicles of Narnia."
The Giver, with a budget of about $25 million, is being produced by Nikki Silver of Tonik Productions along with Neil Koenigsberg and Bridges. Vadim Perelman wrote the adapted script; Michael Mitnick penned the latest draft.