There has been talk about a film adaptation of author Lois Lowery's The Giver for almost as long as the book has been in publication, Bill Cosby purchasing the rights to the book all the way back in 1994, but only now does it actually seem like the movie is going to happen. According to Box Office Mojo, The Weinstein Company has officially given the film a release date and is now scheduled to have The Giver in theaters on August 15, 2014.
Set to be directed by Philip Noyce, the story centers on a young man named Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) who lives in what is believed by all to be a utopian society. All emotion, history and even color has been purged from the world, and when boys of girls come of age they are assigned their lot in life. When it is Jonas' turn he is told that he is to become the new Receiver of Memory, a highly-regarded position in society who, as the title implies, becomes the keeper of history and memory. He becomes the tutor of the former Receiver of Memory, now known as The Giver (Jeff Bridges), and his world is opened up as he is suddenly able to understand the meaning of color and emotion. But with Jonas' position also comes the burden of knowing the horrifying secret behind his society and what it takes to remain as it is.
The film also stars Meryl Streep as the Chief Elder in the society and the central antagonists, Alexander Skarsgard as Jonas' father and Cameron Monaghan as Asher, Jonas' best friend.
The August release date is a surprise move by The Weinstein's, as that is the same weekend that will see the debut of the blockbuster Expendables 3, but looking back at recent history it's not too hard to understand the studio's strategy. Going back to 2010 you'll notice that mid-August has actually somehow become a nice home for some more adult-oriented material, be it Ryan Murphy's Eat, Pray Love, Tate Taylor's The Help, David Frankel's Hope Springs or this year's Lee Daniels' The Butler. Not only is there a chance that the Weinstein's will capture that audience with The Giver, there's also a chance they could get the attention of all the young people who have read and loved the book. But while I understand that strategy, why not release the movie during the school year so that teacher's who are having their students read it can take a field trip?
With the newly-announced release date less than a year away we can assume that The Giver will be going into production very soon, meaning that if they haven't filled out the cast completely yet we should be hearing a few more bits of news about the film in the coming weeks. For now, you can get a more in-depth perspective on the source material with the interview with Lowry
below at the source.