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.
House of Sand and Fog helmer Vadim Perlman was most recently attached to direct the pic, but Variety now reports that Noyce is eyeing the director’s chair. The film has an existing script that Perlman wrote when the project was set up at Fox and Walden Media, but it’s unknown if Noyce will be asking for a rewrite.
Given the long development, Lowry has been pessimistic about The Giver ever coming to the big screen. Now that the dystopian adaptation The Hunger Games is such a massive success, however, the timing may be just right to finally get the film off the ground. Lowry penned two loosely-related companion novels Gathering Blue and Messenger, with a fourth novel called Son hitting bookstores earlier this year that tied everything together in one grand conclusion. TWC and Walden Media are hoping that this first film will kick off a lucrative franchise.
I’ve watched this project go through the ups and downs of development over the years so I’m not holding my breath just yet, but I really think the story provides a great character for Bridges to inhabit so hopefully this thing can come together sooner rather than later.
Read the synopsis for The Giver below:
Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world.
When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does Jonas begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back. [Amazon]