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 Swift. The Giver opens August 15th.
Fans of the book will note that Jonas’ age has been changed from twelve to sixteen, and while even Bridges was initially skeptical of the change, they say this will allow them to heighten the stakes by bringing a love affair into the movie. As for other changes, The Chief Elder (played by Street) will have an expanded role in the picture. But before fans go freaking out, they should also know that “Lowry has worked closely with Bridges and Noyce to ensure her vision is represented — right down to dressing the extras on set.” Of course, there have been plenty of authors who collaborated on adaptations of their books, and those adaptations turned out to be less-than-stellar. However, after twenty years, perhaps it’s better to have some optimism on this one.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Giver:
The haunting story of THE GIVER centers on Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. The film is based on Lois Lowry’s beloved young adult novel of the same name, which was the winner the 1994 Newbury Medal and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.