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'The Giver': How will the movie adaptation be different from the book?

Actor Jeff Bridges, who is starring in the film, cautioned that the movie is 'taking a lot of licenses.'

By Staff Writer / January 30, 2014

Jeff Bridges is starring in the film adaptation of 'The Giver.'

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

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Actor Jeff Bridges, who is starring in the film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s novel “The Giver,” recently gave some insight into exactly how the movie will be different from Lowry’s work.

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Bridges is playing the title role in the film and “Maleficent” actor Brenton Thwaites is playing Jonas, the young adult who is sent to study under the Giver, while Meryl Streep is portraying the community’s Chief Elder and singer Taylor Swift, who has previously acted in “Valentine’s Day” and supplied voice work for the movie “The Lorax,” is playing Rosemary, a young girl living in the same community as Jonas.

Some fans had already expressed displeasure over the decision to make Jonas older in the film than he is in the novel. According to Bridges, Jonas is now 16 rather than 12, a decision the actor said “I originally kind of balked at” in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

What else will be different about the film? Bridges cautioned fans who want a word-for-word adaptation of Lowry’s work.

“The movie will not be an exact duplication of the book,” he said. “It’s taking a lot of licenses.”

Streep’s character will play more of a part in the story than the Chief Elder does in the novel, said Bridges, and director Phillip Noyce said there’s more romance.

“In the book, the younger pubescent Jonas has a flirtation with a young girl of his age,” he told EW. “That’s almost a love affair in the film.”

Bridges reassured readers that Lowry worked with the film’s crew to make sure aspects were as she pictured them.

“I was happy to hear from Lois that she wasn’t so concerned about all the facts being the same as in the book,” he said. “The spirit of the story is there.”

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