The Giver does not hit theaters until August 15, but audiences are getting several sneak peeks into the film adaptation of the popular young adult novel. The most recent clip of the movie debuted tonight at the Teen Choice Awards, and according to Zap2It.com, emphasizes the romantic aspect of the story.
This is ironic, considering today’s New York Daily News report claimed producers of The Giver wanted to prevent the film from becoming a mere teen romance.
A previously-released scene of the film, which features Taylor Swift playing piano opposite Jeff Bridges, had no obvious romantic elements. The film is based on the Lois Lowry novel based in a society that has eliminated strife along with emotion. Jeff Bridges has been trying to get the film made for nearly two decades, planning to cast his famous father in the central role. Delays in getting the film made meant Bridges ended up playing the role himself.
In an interview with The Boston Globe this weekend, Lowry responded to the interviewer’s frustration that The Giver was made after films that explore similar themes, such as Divergent and The Hunger Games:
“They were easier to make, I think. I mean, they may have been more expensive to make, but they had a lot more action. The book of ‘The Giver’ is a pretty introspective, quiet sort of book compared to, say, ‘The Hunger Games.'”
Lowry and The Giver stars Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush also told The Boston Globe that when promotional materials for the film first began to trickle out, it was clear fans of the book were not to be swayed by significant changes to the novel’s themes. Fans were upset, for example, when the first trailer was in color, while the society in the book is in black and white. While the movie does include this black and white aspect, the first trailer failed to reflect it. As Thwaites put it:
“The [fans] want what the book represents. It was almost like they wanted the original story, not the ‘Hunger Games’ stuff. Which was kind of a relief and surprising to us.”
As Washington Post writer Michael Gerson noted in July, the fact that the novel version of The Giver has been challenged in schools because of its difficult themes — totalitarianism and suicide among them— “unintentionally [re-asks] the book’s central question: How comprehensively should children (and other humans) be protected from risk and pain?”
In addition to Bridges, Swift, Thwaites, and Rush, The Giver also stars Katie Holmes and Meryl Streep.
[The Giver Image: Google]