The Giver is one of the few science fiction novels that pretty much everybody has read, since it’s been on pretty much every required reading list (and every list of books “challenged” by parents) since it came out in 1994. It’s actually a fairly heavy book even by the standards of dystopian science fiction, and as a result, it’s been in development for coming up on twenty years. But they might finally have a lead for the movie.
For the five of you who haven’t read it, The Giver follows Jonas, a young boy who is about to be assigned a job in his Community. The Community is a controlled microcosm, and as such is about as soulless as it gets: Everyone is assigned a job at twelve, works it until they die, are assigned a spouse, have to apply for children, and have their emotions suppressed. They can’t even see colors.
Jonas’s job, it turns out, is to be the Receiver of Memories, essentially the person who knows what it’s like to be human and to serve as a sage if the Community faces something it doesn’t understand. Jonas… does not take it well. As you can guess, the story hinges on having a strong lead actor, and apparently they’ve found it in Brenton Thwaites. Wait, who?
Thwaites starred on the Aussie TV series “Home and Away” before he was tapped to play the Prince alongside Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning in Disney’s “Maleficent.” He recently wrapped the indies “Oculus,” “Son of a Gun” and “The Signal.”
In other words, a total unknown, but somebody who’s about to become pretty popular. But the movie won’t be lacking for star power, considering that Jeff Bridges is signed on for the title role and is also a producer. With Philip Noyce as a director, it looks like twenty years of development hell is finally up. Now let’s just hope the movie’s good, or otherwise there will be a whole lot of angry grade schoolers and former grade schoolers on their hands.
image courtesy Houghton Mifflin