In 2016 there was a bidding war for Angie Thomas‘ very first manuscript. A little over two years later, that book is an award winning novel with a feature film adaptation – The Hate U Give. The movie features Amandla Stenberg as Starr Carter. She’s a 16-year-old living in a mostly black, working-class community but attends school in a mostly white, affluent neighborhood. She manages to pull off being two different “Starrs” for the most part, behaving one way in Garden Heights and another way at school, but when she witnesses the senseless shooting of her childhood friend Khalil (Algee Smith), Starr knows she must embrace who she is and stand up for what’s right.
While in Toronto for the World Premiere of The Hate U Give, I got the opportunity to sit down with Thomas and director George Tillman Jr. We discussed how Twitter helped Thomas score a publisher, deciding what to keep and cut during the adaptation process, and also a little something the cast affectionately calls Tillman’s “monitor dance.” You can catch all of that in the video interview at the top of this article.
Click here to read Adam Chitwood’s glowing review of the film which also stars Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, KJ Apa, Lamar Johnson, Issa Rae, Sabrina Carpenter, Common, and Anthony Mackie. The Hate U Give hits select theaters on October 5th, expands on October 12th and is in theaters nationwide on October 19th. Give the trailer a watch below:
Here’s the official synopsis for The Hate U Give:
Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right. THE HATE U GIVE is based on the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller by Angie Thomas and stars Amandla Stenberg as Starr, with Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Issa Rae, KJ Apa, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter, Common and Anthony Mackie.