Would you like to see Jeff Bridges play 'The Giver'?


Image Credit: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Lois Lowry’s The Giver is one of those generation-defining books that practically everyone of a certain age read in grade school and now remembers with a fondness bordering on religion. The fable-like story of an emotionless society where citizens are incapable of seeing colors, The Giver won a Newbery Medal and has sold millions of copies worldwide. Oscar winner Jeff Bridges has been trying to adapt The Giver to the big screen without success for years now, but according to a new report in Variety, Bridges and producer Nikki Silver have reacquired the rights to the book, with an eye towards having Vadim Perelman (House of Sand and Fog) write a screenplay… with Bridges starring in the title role, an aging priest-like man who teaches the novel’s young protagonist about everything missing from their soulless society. (You know: Violence, love, sadness, joy, and everything else that defines humanity.)

Bridges’ reps wouldn’t comment on his participation in the project, but it’s interesting to speculate. With his Big Lebowski beard, Bridges certainly resembles the iconic cover photo of the Giver, and he clearly feels a strong attachment to the project — in Variety, Bridges is quoted as saying that he’d originally imagined his father Lloyd Bridges in the role, but now he feels like he’s reached the age to play the Giver. No one can doubt that Bridges is a great actor, but am I the only one who thinks he might need a bit more mileage before he plays this role? I always imagined the Giver to be an elderly wise man. At 61, Bridges still has a pretty youthful twinkle in his eye. Or maybe I just think Bridges should put a little bit more distance between The Giver and TRON: Legacy, where he played another aging mystical semi-Zen wise man.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Would you like to see Bridges play The Giver? Or do you see somebody else in the role?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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  • Irish

    Fondness for the book? Wow, maybe I read a different book. I remember the ending being depressing as hell. I was so pissed when I finished I threw it across my bedroom and asked my English teacher the next day if there was something wrong with her. She had told all of us it was an uplifting book!

    • Ann

      Yes, it was uplifting, but sad.

    • AK

      I always thought kids were taught “The Giver” too young. I remember all my friends reading it in fifth and sixth grade and not really liking it. It was never assigned to me, so I didn’t read it until high school, after my younger sister read it in her sixth grade class. I thought it was a beautiful and incredibly mature “young adult” book. I think its length deceptively makes it seem like its for a much younger crowd than the actual themes of the novel would suggest.

      • Kelsey

        I can actually agree with this. It approaches topics like sex and infanticide/social engineering that might be better understood at a slightly older age (maybe 13-14 instead of 11-12).
        I can’t for the life of me figure out how the ending could be interpreted as not uplifting, though.

      • anony

        I agree, Kelsey. I read this book at about 11-12 and didn’t interpret the ending as “depressing” at all. I think the life being lived BEFORE the ending was depressing. Not the ending. Perhaps I should look at it again as an adult, though.

        Fans of The Giver might also like “Anthem” by Ayn Rand. Her politics aside, it’s fascinating and a quick read.

    • Kelsey

      Actually, I remember the ending being pretty uplifting. They were going toward the actual singing/music, and away from the echo.

      • Anna

        @Kelsey, that is how I interpreted the ending too, with he and the baby going towards civilization. But I have heard of other people interpreting it differently. Such as he wasn’t actually going towards the music/love, but just giving that memory to the baby.

  • reel_deal

    Could’ve sworn David Yates was working on an adaptation with Beau Bridges…Jeff would probably fit better though

  • Shmoonkey

    I think it could work. As I remember it, the Giver wasn’t too old, but the weight of all of the memories (the good and the bad) made him feel and look older than he actually was. I love this book so much. Can’t wait to see it come to the big screen!

    • Shmoonkey

      And being an eternal optimist (although may mom may disagree) I think this book was beautiful and uplifting. Many of my friends hated me for recommending it to them. They thought it was depressing.

  • gv

    Not that I’m ever against the Dude in anything, I think Donald Sutherland would be a good fit.

  • Swift

    AS far as I’m concerned, Jeff Bridges can play any character and I will go see him. He is easily one of my favorite actors.

    • Diana


  • Sarah El

    Jeff Bridges could totally rock this. The Giver was probably my favorite book when I was a kid. My copy is so worn from the dozens of times I’ve read it.

  • lefty

    I wonder if the project will get some fresh legs under it now that the Hunger Games is doing so well.

  • Kelsey

    I LOVE this book and if I recall, Bridges has been working on it for years. I hope it can finally get made. And yes, I also specifically seeing David Yates’ name floated as a director.

  • julia

    in my head i always say morgan freeman even tho i was 12 when we had to read it and that was a long time ago lol

    • tracy bluth

      I also read it when I was 12. I actually read it right after seeing Return of the King, so I pictured Ian McKellen as The Giver.

  • vin

    I hated that book so much!

  • tracy bluth

    I think he’ll be amazing in this role. Of course, I would watch Jeff Bridges read the phonebook.

  • Katie

    I hate this book I remember reading it in grade 7 and being soo bored!

  • The Other Guy

    I’m not sure, I never thought that The Giver could be a movie. Jeff Bridges is a very good actor, so maybe he could do it. About all this arguement about the ending, the author wrote a sequel where the new place that the main character went to was exactly the same as the old one. So yes, the ending was depressing.

    • Nee Nee

      I didn’t know that about the sequel, but I got the impression that it wasn’t a happy ending, and that no matter where Jonas went, the world would be the same. That ending sucked all the air out of me. And I really couldn’t deal with the killing of babies. I may not watch this movie, after all.

  • Rho

    Amazing book! As for the end, I think it depends on how you interpret it. For some, they think the colors & music meant they made it to safety while for others fmusic & color didn’t exist within their world which meant they had died and done to heaven. When discussing the book w/others my first question is always “So what do you think really happened at the end?”

  • Rho

    Argh.*gone not done. As for Jeff Bridges, with the passion he clearly has for the book/project I think he will be phenomenal.

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