I’m psyched that Jeff Bridges is adapting The Giver – the first dark book you ever read — to film, and starring as the Giver himself. Lois Lowry‘s cautionary tale depicts an emotionless, seemingly utopian society with no knowledge of its history and no familial ties or love. Just as each child is assigned to a place within society, young Jonas gets the unique job of becoming the next Receiver of Memory, the person who takes on all of the community’s traumatic memories.
Double-checking the book on Wikipedia, I realize it’s a very sparse cast; they would either have to include a subplot involving more citizens, or rely on the central cast to carry the story. There’s a big chance that the casting directors will go the Hunger Games route and choose mostly unknowns. We drew from our own favorites in young Hollywood and came up with some more recognizable candidates.
Jonas – Thomas Brodie-Sangster
Who else to play the book’s pubescent hero than a kid we’ve watched grow up since he stole our hearts as the lovelorn, motherless Sam in Love Actually? The only sticking point is his age: He just turned 21. My hope would be that the screenwriter would adjust the characters’ ages so that they turn 15 instead of 12; considering that their sexual urges are suppressed, this wouldn’t be totally unfathomable. And Thomas is skinny enough that he could pass for 15.
Fiona – Liana Liberato
Ever since I saw her in Trust, I’m pushing for Liana Liberato to be in any and all projects. The kind of strange sexuality she brought to Trust — where she played a 14-year-old who has a sexual encounter with an older Internet friend — could inform the character of Fiona. We first learn of her when Jonas has a sex dream about her and his parents tell him to take pills to combat his Stirrings. Liana would nicely play that “look but don’t touch” kind of allure.
Asher – Angus T. Jones
Angus is a hit on Two and a Half Men, and would really embody Jonas’ fun-loving best friend Asher. While Jonas is tasked with taking on all of the community’s awful memories and cover-ups, Asher gets the enviable job of Assistant Director of Recreation. While keeping with the book’s tone wouldn’t turn this into an outright comedy, there could be a few one-liners sprinkled through for Angus to pick up.
My first impulse was to put someone like Jaden Smith, but I forgot that in The Giver‘s society everyone has been genetically altered so that they’re nearly monoethnic — and unfortunately, I assume it’s implied to be white or mixed-race.