Book to Screen: Why THE GIVER Movie Is Nothing Like Lois Lowry’s Novel

by     Posted 28 days ago

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I’ve covered a lot of young adult book-to-film adaptations over the years, and I’ve always made a point of assessing the film as a standalone entity when writing a formal review – but this is not a formal review.  Initially, this piece was intended to be a rather straightforward book/film comparison, but considering Phillip Noyce’s The Giver bears almost no resemblance to Lois Lowry’s award-winning and beloved source material and suffers severely for it, all there is to discuss are differences and the problems they cause.

Hit the jump to read about what the film version of The Giver did different – or rather, did wrong.  [This article contains spoilers for both the book and the movie.] 

Director Phillip Noyce and Author Lois Lowry Discuss THE GIVER, the Adaptation Process and Unused Screenplays

by     Posted 31 days ago

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We live in an age of constant YA Film Adaptations. Chances are if there’s a book series aimed at the tweens, then there’s a corresponding film either made or being made. There’s a strange irony to the fact that The Giver (one of the first dystopian YA book series) struggled for over eighteen-years to make it to the big screen, its film adaptation only coming to fruition after a number of its imitators found huge financial dividends in theaters. This Friday, Lois Lowry’s award winning book finally hits the big-screen. Some of the details may be different – a couple characters have been aged up & a number of roles expanded upon – but tonally it feels of one with Lowry’s introspective and rather downbeat sci-fi tale.

In the following interview with Lowry and director Phillip Noyce, the duo discuss the feature’s fidelity to the source material, the adaptation process and the different screenplays that never came to be. Hit the jump, for the full interview.

THE GIVER Comic-Con Panel Recap: Jeff Bridges and Lois Lowry Discuss the 20-Year Journey of Bringing the Sci-Fi Adaptation to Life

by     Posted 56 days ago

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I had never read The Giver until a few days ago even though I was the target audience when the book came out in 1993; it had just fallen through the cracks for me.  Feeling that I had to read the novel as due diligence, I blew through the book in a matter of hours (I read at a 1st grade level!) I was intrigued by the dystopian story, but it also made me aware that the trailers for the film adaptation were trying to squeeze it into the mold of The Hunger Games.  A sensible marketing decision, but one that may shortchange a solemn story about a young man who realizes his sterile world has wiped away memories of not only pain but also love.  I hoped that the panel would make it clear if the Hunger Games angle was more of a marketing approach or if the book had undergone some dramatic changes.

Hit the jump for my The Giver Comic-Con panel recap.  The film opens in theaters on August 15th.

First Trailer for THE GIVER Starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, and Brenton Thwaites

by     Posted 183 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released the first trailer for director Phillip Noyce’s (Salt) adaptation of the Lois Lowry novel The Giver.  The story takes place in a utopian society where all memories of the past reside with a sage figure known as “The Giver”.  Jeff Bridges plays the titular character and Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent) plays a young boy who has been selected to be the new Giver.  This trailer really wants the movie to look more like The Hunger Games and Divergent even though Lowry’s novel 21-year-old book won the Newbery Medal.  It makes sense that they’re trying to sell the dystopian angle even though I’d like to see more of Bridges.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes, Cameron Monaghan, and Taylor SwiftThe Giver opens August 15th.

First Images from THE GIVER Starring Jeff Bridges and Brenton Twaites

by     Posted 238 days ago

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After nearly 20 years, the film adaptation of Lois Lowry‘s novel The Giver will finally reach theaters this year.  Jeff Bridges has been attached to the project for so long that originally he wanted his late father Lloyd Bridges to play the title character.  Now, Bridges will play the mysterious figure who holds all of the memories of an emotionally sterilized community.  The first images from the film have been released and they show Bridges alongside newcomer Brenton Twaites, who play Jonas, the 16-year-old in the community assigned to receive the memories.  “The past is considered to be potentially polluting,” director Phillip Noyce explains to EW. “This is a world where complications are eliminated. Jonas himself goes on a journey as he finds out what’s missing. He starts to investigate what’s causing it. And that’s the beauty. That’s what makes the book so popular, it’s an investigation in ways of living.”

Hit the jump to check out the images and for more details on the plot.  The film also stars Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Alexander Skarsgard, and Taylor SwiftThe Giver opens August 15th.

Jonathan Mostow Replaces Phillip Noyce as Director of Sam Worthington Thriller FOR THE DOGS

by     Posted 1 year, 21 days ago

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A director swap has occurred on the adaptation of Kevin Wignall’s novel For the DogsSalt director Phillip Noyce was previously attached to direct the thriller with Sam Worthington onboard to star, but Variety now reports that Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines director Jonathan Mostow will be taking the helm.  Mostow most recently directed 2009’s Surrogates and was also behind the 2000 submarine thriller U-571.  Scripted by Oren Moverman (Rampart), For the Dogs centers on a solitary assassin who helps a young college girl seek revenge for the murder of her parents and brother.  Worthington is set to play the assassin, while Hailee Steinfeld is onboard as the college girl.  Producers are hoping to start production on the film this fall.

Phillip Noyce in Early Talks to Direct Adaptation of THE GIVER Starring Jeff Bridges

by     Posted 1 year, 314 days ago

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The long-in-development feature film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s lauded children’s book The Giver is taking a big step forward.  Variety reports that director Philip Noyce (Salt, Patriot Games) is now in early talks to helm the adaptation for The Weinstein Company, Walden Media, and star Jeff Bridges.  The book concerns a utopian society where all memories of the past reside with a sage figure known as “The Giver”.  When a 12-year-old boy is selected to be the new Giver, he learns of the hypocrisies and hidden truths of his world.  Bridges nabbed the rights to the book 20 years ago with the intention of developing it as a starring vehicle for his father, Lloyd, but now he intends to produce and star.  Hit the jump for more.

Nicole Kidman Confirmed to Star in Phillip Noyce’s MY WILD LIFE

by     Posted 2 years, 320 days ago

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The long-in-the-works feature film based on the life of animal conservationist Dame Daphne Sheldrick is finally coming together. We reported back in May that Nicole Kidman was eyeing the starring role in My Wild Life for Salt director Phillip Noyce, and now THR reports that both Kidman and Noyce are officially attached to the project. Sheldrick is a Kenyan wildlife conservationist who is best known for her work with elephants, as she hand-reared more than 70 of the creatures and perfected a milk formula used for baby elephants and rhinos. According to producers, National Geographic photographers Dereck and Beverly Joubert will be on-hand to photograph the elaborate nature sequences for the film.

The project has been in the works for quite some time, attracting actresses like Julia Roberts and Kate Winslet. It looks like it’s finally a go with Kidman, as production is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2012 in Africa with an eye towards a holiday 2012 release. Mandalay Pictures is currently in negotiations with Universal to handle domestic distribution. Noyce is also attached to direct the thriller The Arrangement and the sci-fi drama Timeless, while Kidman recently acquired the novel The Family Fang which she will produce and star in.

Phillip Noyce to Direct Thriller THE ARRANGEMENT

by     Posted 2 years, 329 days ago

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Phillip Noyce is set to direct the thriller The Arrangement. THR reports that Noyce has inked a deal to helm the pic for Mandate Pictures, with a script written by Brian Tucker. The story centers on an interracial married couple—the husband is white while the wife is half-black half-white—“whose unity is tested when another man, who happens to be black, takes a liking to the wife and begins to create problems.” There are no other details on the plot at this time, but Tucker is said to “write post-Obama stories that force audiences to question themselves,” so it certainly sounds like Noyce will be tackling some racial themes.

The Clear and Present Danger director was previously attached to the submarine action-thriller Hunter Killer but he recently dropped out. Noyce is poised to direct the romantic sci-fi drama Timeless with Liam Hemsworth in the lead role, but it’s unknown if plans on helming The Arrangement before that pic. Tucker also scripted Allen Hughes’ upcoming Broken City with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe.

Liam Hemsworth in Talks to Lead Phillip Noyce’s TIMELESS

by     Posted 2 years, 339 days ago

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Liam Hemsworth’s fame is likely to explode next March when he co-stars in the adaptation of the popular young adult novel The Hunger Games.  So it’s a smart choice for a production to get him on board before his quote becomes more expensive.  According to Moviehole, Phillip Noyce’s romantic sci-fi drama Timeless has made that smart choice.  Hemsworth is in talks to star in the film, and if he takes the role he would play a recently married man who loses his wife and then discovers she left him a fortune. Haunted by an unresolved issue between himself and his beloved, the man invests the money to build a time travel device, just to see her one last time.  I suppose it’s worth disrupting the space-time continuum if it’s for love.  While the concept sounds a little corny, it comes from Enchanted screenwriter Bill Kelly so I have some hope.

I’m interested to see if Hemsworth is the real deal or just another pretty face.  I’ll find out when The Hunger Games opens on March 23, 2012.  Hemsworth is also signed on to co-star in The Expendables 2, which opens August 17, 2012.

Phillip Noyce Leaves HUNTER KILLER; Will THE LONE RANGER Ride without Gore Verbinski?

by     Posted 3 years, 27 days ago

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We have a few director-related stories for you this morning.  First up, Moviehole is reporting that Phillip Noyce (Salt) has left the submarine action-thriller Hunter Killer.  Noyce had been officially on board since February, but apparently just realized that the story—which is about an American sub commander and a Navy SEAL team that must rescue the Russian president and defeat a renegade admiral who’s attempting a coup—was too similar to his previous films (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger).  He’ll now turn his focus to the time-travel romance Timeless and newly-announced project, Above Suspicion, a thriller written by Chris Gerolmo (Mississippi Burning).  We previously reported that Noyce was also attached to a remake of Bloodsport, an adaptation of Tim Winton’s Dirt Music, and the drama Our Wild Life.

Hit the jump for more intrigue revolving around The Lone Ranger.

Director Phillip Noyce Set for Remake of BLOODSPORT

by     Posted 3 years, 124 days ago

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You know what I was thinking the other day?  A lot of things, but not among them: “The world needs a remake of the 1988 Jean Claude Van Damme action flick Bloodsport.”  But we’re getting it anyway as ScreenDaily reports that director Phillip Noyce (Salt) will helm the remake (or as it’s being called, a “reinvention”, which is a fancier way of saying remake) for producers Ed Pressman and Alberto Lensi.  The original film was about a soldier who goes AWOL to fight in a tournament so he can uphold his master’s honor. Robert Mark Kamen (Taken) wrote the script for the remake, which will follow “an American who goes to Brazil to recover from the violence he has experienced in Afghanistan who gets involved in a martial arts contest.”  Yes, that logic makes no sense.

Noyce is also attached to direct an adaptation of Tim Winton’s Dirt Music, the time-travel flick Timeless, the submarine action-thriller Hunter Killer, and the drama Our Wild Life.  It’s not surprising that he would be attached to such a diversity of projects although he usually traffics in the thriller genre with an edge towards espionage.

Nicole Kidman May Star in OUR WILD LIFE

by     Posted 3 years, 138 days ago

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Nicole Kidman is apparently eyeing the lead role in Our Wild Life. The drama tells the real life story of Dame Daphne Sheldrick, a Kenyan wildlife conservationist best known for her work with elephants. In fact, Sheldrick hand-reared more than 70 elephants and perfected a milk formula used for baby elephants and rhinos. The Wrap reports that though Kidman isn’t officially attached, she’s taken a liking to the script by Jeff Stockwell (Bridge to Terabithia).

Phillip Noyce (Salt) is attached to direct, with Mandalay Pictures producing the film which has a budget north of $50 million. The sure way to acquire financing of that sort would be to lock in an actress of Kidman’s caliber. Production is expected to get underway in September.

Confirmed: Phillip Noyce to Direct HUNTER KILLER

by     Posted 3 years, 213 days ago

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Earlier this week, we reported that director Phillip Noyce (Salt) was in talks with Relativity Media to helm the international action-thriller/submarine flick (yep, it’s a real genre) Hunter Killer. Today, we have confirmation on that report as Noyce has officially signed on to the project. Per THR, Noyce is looking to begin shooting the picture later this year.

In case you missed it last time, Hunter Killer is based on the upcoming novel Firing Point by George Wallace and Don Keith. The film, penned by Jamie Moss (X-Men: First Class), Arne Schmidt (Chain Reaction), and John Kolvenbach (Coney Island), conjoins an American submarine commander and a Navy SEAL in an attempt to rescue the Russian president from a renegade admiral. Neal Moritz and Toby Jaffe of Original Films will team-up with Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh and Tucker Tooley to produce Hunter Killer.

Phillip Noyce in Talks to Direct HUNTER KILLER

by     Posted 3 years, 216 days ago

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Salt director Phillip Noyce is in talks to direct the action-thriller Hunter Killer.  According to Moviehole, the Black Hawk Dawn-style script is based on the novel Firing Point by Don Keith and George Wallace.  The story centers on “an American sub commander and a Navy SEAL team that must rescue the Russian president and defeat a renegade admiral who’s attempting a coup.”  If this film had come out during the cold war, it would’ve be a huge slap in the face to the USSR.  “Yeah, that’s right!  How awesome is America?  We’ll rescue your leaders for you.  You’re welcome, commies.”

Noyce, who previously directed Clear and Present Danger and Patriot Games, and recently turned down the director’s chair for Salt 2, is also attached to the sci-fi flick Timeless and an adaptation of Tim Winton’s Dirt Music starring Russell Crowe.  Hopefully, someone will get Hunter Killer into production (and with a better title) because I love me some submarine flicks.

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