The first trailer for “The Giver,” the adaptation of Lois Lowry’s beloved, Newbery Medal-winning children’s novel, is finally here, and it’s surprisingly colorful.
Now, it’s hardly the norm for mainstream modern movies to be in black and white, with the exception of gems like “The Artist” and “Nebraska,” so it would be easy to shrug off the murmurs going ’round the Web about the decidedly Technicolor trailer. However, as the millions who have read the wildly popular book can attest, the novel is set in a world comprised of shades of gray (more than 50, thanks). Step aside, “Hunger Games” and “Divergent,” because “The Giver” is the O.G. dystopian young adult story.
Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is a young boy who lives in a place known only as The Community, a closed society where children are divided according to their age and live according to strict rules, including the morning ritual of receiving a mysterious injection into their arms. Everything is structured for learning and conformity, even dress is regulated and institutionalized: At one age, children must wear shirts that button up the back to teach them to ask for help from one another; later they wear shirts that button in the front to learn independence.
One day, each of the children in Jonas’ age group receives the job assignment they will hold for the rest of their lives. Many become handymen or teachers or doctors, but Jonas receives a unique assignment: Receiver of Memories. This means the end of injections, daily one-on-one time with the mysterious current Receiver (Jeff Bridges) and the revelation of the truth about his society. Jonas faces a choice: Unleash the truth, and all the pain that comes with it, or live with the knowledge while his peers remain oblivious?
In the book, as the scales fall from Jonas’ eyes, he begins to see color and notice individual differences. In the above trailer, all the footage is in color. Will there be a big opening-day reveal that the film is in black and white with a transition to color, a la “Pleasantville,” or has this major element been changed in the hopes of widespread appeal?
“The Giver,” which is set to hit theaters August 15, also stars Taylor Swift, Katie Holmes and Meryl Streep.