For years, the book has floated around in development hell. After it was published, it was picked up by Lancit Media, and then RCN Entertainment, but both businesses tanked. Nicole Silver then grabbed it with Jeff Bridges, holding onto the film for nearly 10 years. House of Sand and Fog scribe/director Vadim Perelman wrote a script, and was to direct The Giver starring Bridges, until Walden Media bowed out. Now, Warner Brothers has nabbed the rights in a much better deal — high six figures against $1 million.
I think the big challenge to this adaptation is that Jonas’s journey is largely internal, based in his thoughts, actions, and feelings. It’s long on emotion but short on the kind of action that could translate easily into visuals. I’d hate to see this movie turn into a big effects spectacular of the kind that Walden Media (Narnia, Bridge to Terabithia, and the upcoming The Dark is Rising) specialize in. It would be great to see someone like Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) or Brad Anderson (The Machinist) tackle this one, because it needs an arthouse approach. I doubt that’ll ever happen in a million years, though.
I’m a little backed up on posting for the work reads I’ve done this week, but this post is in honor of a better-than-average YA novel about a friendship gone bad.