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Lois Lowry's The Giver is a beloved, award-winning, incredible piece of dystopian science-fiction, and it would appear that the upcoming film adaptation from director Philip Noyce is going to be equipped with a cast that the quality of the story deserves. With Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges already on-board to both produce and play the titular character and Brenton Thwaites cast as the film's protagonist, today we learn from both Deadline and The Wrap that Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgard and Cameron Monaghan have all signed deals to board the highly-anticipated project.
First published in 1993, the book tells the story of Jonas (Thwaites), a young man living in a supposedly utopian society where all emotion, history, and even color has been completely eliminated. When Jonas is of age he is informed that he has been chosen to become the new Receiver of Memories, a position that sees him become the mentor of the former Receiver of Memories, now known as The Giver (Bridges). During his training Jonas has his eyes opened to the wonderful world of color, emotion and drive, but with the important job also comes the burden of knowing what it takes to make the society what it is - and it's a truly horrifying secret.
Deadline, which first reported the Streep news, says that the actress will be playing the key role of Chief Elder in the movie, an antagonist and "authoritarian charged with keeping order in [the] society." Skarsgard will play the role of Jonas' father - also a very important role in the story - and Monaghan will portray Asher, Jonas' best friend, according to The Wrap. While Hollywood has been trying for years to turn The Giver into a feature (Bridges has owned the film rights for two decades), this is easily the closest they've ever come to getting the job done (likely due to the fact that dystopian fiction is so popular among young people these days thanks to books like The Hunger Games and Divergent). The Weinstein Company and Walden Media are producing the movie, though there's no mention anywhere when the production is planning to start rolling.
This is actually the second piece of Streep casting news we've heard today, as just a few hours ago it was announced that the Oscar-winning actress is planning to reunite with Robert De Niro for their fourth film together, an adaptation of the best-selling novel The Good House. Later this year she'll be found in both John Wells' August: Osage County and Tommy Lee Jones' The Homesman. She will also soon start production on the all-star ensemble musical Into The Woods.
Skarsgard and Monaghan, meanwhile, both have careers going strong on premium cable networks, the former still regularly featured as Eric Northman on HBO's True Blood and the latter on Showtime's Shameless. Skarsgard will soon be back on the big screen in the horror/thriller Hidden while Monaghan recently completed production on the adaptation Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters.