And no, this isn’t a post about the Hunger Games sequels. It’s about Lois Lowry’s 1993 classic The Giver, which was probably your first favorite dystopian future YA novel, which may be finally on a path to a theater near you. The novel, which centers on a young boy named Jonas, who lives in a utopian society and is assigned as the reciever of the community’s memories, has been the subject of possible film adapation for nearly two decades, beginning in 1994 when Bill Cosby and ASIS Media bought the rights to the film. Walden Media, the company behind the recent Chronicles of Narnia films, also was slated for an adaptation at some point. But now author Lowry has confirmed in an interview with Studio 360’s Kurt Andersen that yep, this time it’s actually happening.
“I’ve just heard within the past couple of days that The Giver, which they’ve been trying to make into a movie for 15 years, is finally on the road,” Lowry told Andersen in the interview, which will air in full on January 4th. “Things have racheted up, and they have producers and money and a director and a star. They hope to start shooting it in the spring.”
The star in question is Jeff Bridges, who has been a part of the conversation around a movie version of The Giver since the ’90s (remember them?) and who initially wanted to produce the film and have his late father, Lloyd Bridges, star as "The Giver," the community’s previous Reciever of Memory who must give the community’s memories to Jonas. Dystopian youth-lit has been big for a couple of years now, and if a series about teenagers murdering each other for spectacle can take off and become wildly successful and get the young people to read and think, then gosh darn it, it’s as good of a time as any to revisit The Giver and feel those same feelings you felt reading it the first time. Bridges as The Giver works too—the grizzled, seen-too-many-things look he cultivated for True Grit was just practice. A director hasn’t been confirmed, but Philip Noyce (Salt, The Quiet American) and scriptwriter Vadim Perelman (House of Sand and Fog) are two names that have been cycling ’round the film blogs.