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A new trailer for The Giver has hit, and there’s something funny about it. The video, officially released by The Weinstein Company, has a strange sort of déjà vu attached to it. In fact, if the average viewer didn’t know any better, they could say that they’ve seen this trailer before. The surprising thing is, they’d absolutely be right. To the absolute surprise of… well, everyone, the new trailer is almost identical to the one that was released just a few weeks ago.
Most of the major story beats, the dialogue... it's pretty much all here. There are a couple of slight differences, which could be assumed as thrown in to make the trailer a little fresher, but the bulk of this trailer is photocopied from the last one footage-wise. In fact, if you play them side by side, you’ll have a mostly stereo experience. We still get the backstory of "communities" being built for harmony; we get the children dressed in different colors of clothes; and our lead character of Jonas being introduced to the skills (and strange accent) of The Giver.
So what is new about this trailer? Well, as we saw in a previously released featurette, the film is going to fitting with the aesthetic established in the book and is partially photographed in black and white. Also, instead of the shots of action and conflict that were included at the end of the first trailer, we now have a quippy stinger where Jonas refers to himself as a "Receiver" and The Giver drops the title of the film as a response to the question of just who he is. (Cue The Giver theme music.)
Cinematography aside, I think the previous version seemed to work better. The line about Receivers and Givers sounds like it belongs in a more dialogue-heavy theatrical trailer. Just dropping it at the end of the previously released footage only serves to confuse the audience, whereas the action sequences entice the audience to want to see more. Also, where’s Taylor Swift in these trailers? You’d think that given the singer’s popularity, they’d totally be cashing in on her presence and name recognition to draw younger audiences who haven’t read the book or don’t remember what it’s about. (Do they still teach The Giver in English class these days?) Instead, you have to freeze frame the trailer at 0:44 into the old trailer (0:30 into the new one) to even catch a glimpse of her. Is the really that bad of an actress in this film that they relegate her to an Easter Egg in the marketing?
The Giver opens on August 15th.