Brenton ThwaitesAustralian actor Brenton Thwaites (“Maleficent”) has beat out several of his fellow rising stars for the young male lead opposite Jeff Bridges in the Weinstein Company and Walden Media’s adaptation of “The Giver,” TheWrap has learned.

Based on the bestselling book by Lois Lowry, “The Giver” is a largely introspective fantasy tale set in a colorless dystopian society that enforces Sameness and fears freedom. All memory of human history has been erased, emotion does not exist and citizens’ professions are chosen for them.

Thwaites has been chosen to play Jonas, the community’s Receiver of Memories who spends his days being mentored by the Giver (Bridges), who teaches him to confront and understand the lies that inform society. As Jonas comes to grips with living an unsheltered existence, he begins to acquire a taste for freedom and honesty, becoming an outcast in the process.

Thwaites’ competition for the coveted role included Nick Robinson (“The Kings of Summer”), Tye Sheridan (“Mud”) and Dylan Minnette (“Prisoners”).

Philip Noyce is directing the adaptation of Lowry’s celebrated 1993 children’s book. The movie has been a passion project for Bridges, who is producing with Nikki Silver of Tonik Productions, as well as TWC’s Harvey Weinstein, Dylan Sellers and Julie Rappaport. Production could begin as early as this fall in South Africa.

Taylor Swift joins cast of The Giver

November 19th, 2013 by Paul Martin

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift has joined the cast of The Weinstein Company and Walden Media’s movie adaptation of “The Giver.”

The singer-songwriter is the latest member of the cast that features previously reported stars Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites and Katie Holmes.

Other cast members include “True Blood’s” Alexander Skarsgard, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green’s” Odeya Rush and Cameron Monaghan of “Shameless.”

The film, an adaptation of the popular young adult novel by Lois Lowry, stars Thwaites as a young boy who is selected for life service as the Receiver of Memories. He works with The Giver (Bridges), an old man who teaches the boy to use his sensory gifts.

Streep will play the antagonistic Chief Elder, who assigns the young their tasks, in the film about a society in which there is no sickness, conflict or racism.

Holmes will play Thwaites’ character’s mother.

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Katie Holmes joins cast of ‘The Giver’

September 27th, 2013 by Paul Martin

Katie HolmesKatie Holmes has closed a deal to join Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges in The Giver, a drama from The Weinstein Co. and Walden Media that’s being directed by Phillip Noyce.

Brenton Thwaites is the young star of the sci-fi project, which tells of a society in which there is no conflict, racism or sickness.

Thwaites plays a young boy who is selected for his life service as the Receiver of Memories and works with The Giver (Bridges), an old man who teaches the boy to use his unique gifts of the senses. Streep is the society’s Chief Elder, an authoritative and antagonistic woman who assigns the young their tasks.

Holmes will play Thwaites’ mother, a strict obeyer of the laws that govern what is described as an antiseptic society.

The movie, which is eyeing a budget of around $25 million, is being produced by Nikki Silver of Tonik Productions along with Neil Koenigsberg and Bridges.

Michael Mitnick wrote the most recent script adapting the Lois Lowry YA novel.

A shoot in South Africa is being planned, although it is likely that Steep will shoot her scenes in England, where she is filming Disney’s Into the Woods.

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The Giver

June 26th, 2013 by Paul Martin

The GiverBased on the book by Lois Lowry, The Giver is produced by Walden Media and the Weinstein Company, and features Jeff Bridges, who originally bought the rights with his father in mind for the role he’ll be filling.

In an insular society known as The Community, a culture of “sameness” is embraced. Pain and suffering have been eradicated from daily life, along with any notion of individuality or choice. Members of the Community lead a seemingly perfect existence, unburdened by the harsh realities of the “real” world. A lone man among them has been designated to retain all memories of the way life once was. Now the time has come for that man to pass his knowledge to another.

“It’s all there. The boy. The old man. The baby. The sled. If you loved the book, take my word for it – you’ll love the movie as well.”      

-Lois Lowry, author of The Giver

SYNOPSIS:

The haunting story of THE GIVER centers on Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), a young man who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Yet as he begins to spend time with The Giver (Jeff Bridges), who is the sole keeper of all the community’s memories, Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community’s secret past. With this newfound power of knowledge, he realizes that the stakes are higher than imagined – a matter of life and death for himself and those he loves most. At extreme odds, Jonas knows that he must escape their world to protect them all – a challenge that no one has ever succeeded at before. THE GIVER is based on Lois Lowry’s beloved young adult novel of the same name, which was the winner the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Katie Holmes, Alexander Skarsgård, Odeya Rush, Cameron Monaghan, Taylor Swift, Emma Tremblay

Directed by: Phillip Noyce

Produced by: Nikki Silver, Jeff Bridges, Genevieve Hofmeyr, Neil Koenigsberg

Executive Produced by: Scooter Braun, Alison Owen, Ralph Winter

Written by: Michael Mitnick, Robert B. Weide, Lois Lowry (book)

Release Status: Coming to theaters August 15th, 2014!

Release Date: August 15, 2014

Rating: PG-13

Distributed by: The Weinstein Company


The GiverWe’ve been waiting for this movie for a very long time, and there was a short time that we thought the movie had been passed on by Walden Media.  Turns out, we were wrong, and we’re happy to be, as Walden is definitely moving ahead, and soon.

Among the hottest open roles in Hollywood right now is the young male lead in the Weinstein Co. and Walden Media’s “The Giver,” the long-gestating adaptation of Lois Lowry’s acclaimed novel that will star Jeff Bridges as the title character.

Over the weekend, rising stars Nick Robinson (left), Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Dylan Minnette and Brenton Thwaites were asked to test with Jeff Bridges for the role of Jonas, the young protagonist who was 12 years old in the book but will likely be aged up for the movie, according to individuals familiar with the project.

Miles Heizer (“Parenthood”) and Dylan Sprayberry (young Clark Kent in “Man of Steel”) earned callbacks from a prior casting session and read again for the coveted role on Saturday.

Long attached to play the title role, Bridges bought the rights to “The Giver” two decades ago, originally envisioning it as a vehicle for his father Lloyd. Bridges was introduced to the book, which has sold more than 10 million copies and won the 1994 Newbery Medal, by his daughter, who was reading it in high school.

Vadim Perelman (“House of Sand and Fog”) penned the most recent draft of the script and had been eyed to direct back in 2006 when Walden Media (“The Chronicles of Narnia”) and 20th Century Fox nearly greenlit the movie before deciding against taking the risk.

Times have changed and studios are now high on branded properties including “The Giver,” which also offers franchise potential. Lowry wrote two loosely-related companion novels, “Gathering Blue” and “Messenger,” while a fourth novel, “Son,” ties all three storylines together in an epic conclusion.

With casting under way, director Phillip Noyce, whose last movie “Salt” grossed $300 million worldwide, is one step closer to bringing “The Giver” to life. Production could begin as early as this fall in South Africa.

-via The Wrap

‘The Giver’ gets a Release Date

September 25th, 2013 by Paul Martin

The GiverThe Weinstein Co. and Walden Media have scheduled Phillip Noyce‘s sci-fi epic The Giver on August 15, 2014.

Based on the dystopian YA novel by Lois Lowry, The Giver stars Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites as members of society in which there is no conflict, racism or sickness. TWC and Walden are partners on the film.

Thwaites plays a young boy who is selected for his life service as the Receiver of Memories and works with The Giver (Bridges), an old man who teaches the boy to use his unique gifts of the senses. Streep will play the society’s Chief Elder, an authoritative and antagonistic woman who assigns the young their tasks.

The Giver, with a budget of around $25 million, is being produced by Nikki Silver of Tonik Productions along with Neil Koenigsberg and Bridges. Vadim Perelman wrote the adapted script.

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