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'The Giver,' Starring Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges, Heads Into Production

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood September 27, 2013 at 12:39PM

The Weinstein Company has announced that principal photography on the big-screen adaptation of Lois Lowry's 1994 dystopian YA classic and Newberry Medal winner "The Giver" heads underway on October 7. The film stars quite the cast: Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites ("Maleficent"), Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes, Cameron Monaghan ("Vampire Academy") and Taylor Swift.
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Cover detail of "The Giver"
Cover detail of "The Giver"

The Weinstein Company has announced that principal photography on the big-screen adaptation of Lois Lowry's 1994 dystopian YA classic and Newberry Medal winner "The Giver" gets underway on October 7. The film stars quite the cast: Weinstein Oscar fave Meryl Streep ("Iron Lady"), Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart"), Brenton Thwaites ("Maleficent"), Alexander Skarsgard ("True Blood"), Katie Holmes ("Batman Begins"), Cameron Monaghan ("Vampire Academy") and singer Taylor Swift. Bridges could use a lift after the ignominious flop "R.I.P.D." this summer. 

Aussie Phillip Noyce ("Salt") is set to direct, with the adaptation penned by Michael Mitnick ("The Current War"). It will be shot on location in Cape Town, South Africa.

Meryl Streep
Streep at 2012 Oscars

For those of you who need a refresher on the story's plot: 12-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal, but colorless, society that has converted to "Sameness," which has eliminated emotional depth from its inhabitants' lives. Assigned as the Receiver of Memory, Jonas' job is to store the collective memories of society from the time before Sameness was enacted. He receives these memories from the Giver, a process that causes him to radically alter his views on the way of life around him.

TWC is eyeing a theatrical release for August 15, 2014.

As usual around this time of year, Streep has lots going on. She's generating some serious Oscar buzz for her performance in the big-screen adaptation of "August: Osage County" (she stars opposite Julia Roberts, also a strong contender), and Rob Marshall's adaptation of Sondheim's "Into the Woods" is underway at Disney. A first-look image was recently released of Streep as The Witch.

This article is related to: News, casting, Meryl Streep, Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Jeff Bridges, IN THE WORKS, The Weinstein Co.


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.