So, apparently dystopian Young Adult (YA) fiction is the flavor of the year as far as movies go. Sure, the Hunger Games probably kicked it all off, and then shoved it into high gear with last year's Catching Fire, but this year looks to be filled with YA dystopian movies.
We already know that part 1 of the Hunger Games finale, Mockingjay, in due for release in November of this year, but this week will also see the next series of YA dystopian feature films with the release of Divergent. Summit Entertainment, which owns the rights to Divergent and its sequels, will mostly likely make each book into feature film. So, we have that to look forward to, right? Not only will Divergent kick off, but another film based off a YA fiction story placed in a dystopian setting will release this year in the form of The Maze Runner. You can see the trailer for that one here.
This trend of feature films based off YA fiction novels based in dystopian societies could almost completely be blamed on Lions Gate Entertainment. Not only are they responsible for what will eventually be the entire Hunger Games series of films, they also own Summit Entertainment. Summit will be responsible for each installment in the Divergent series, as well as The Maze Runner. However, The Giver, which is a YA fiction again... set in a dystopian future, is being produced and released by the Weinstein Company.
The Giver, which happens to be my wife's all-time favorite book, precedes this current crop of YA fiction novels based under dystopian premises by well over a decade, and is also considered a classic by many. And, if you've read it, the story itself is what sets itself apart from series like Divergent and The Hunger Games. The trailer, however, for The Giver doesn't do much to set itself apart from the likes of its partners in YA fiction films. It's glossy, shiny, and well produced. I think the folks at The Weinstein Company have done well, however, to follow in the footsteps of its partners in assembling a talented cast. Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep? Both seasoned, respected, and legendary thespians in their own right. This is why it really puzzles the mind when you consider they cast Taylor Swift in The Giver (she is not seen in the trailer, at least I didn't see her).
Time will tell if this stands up against other films cut from the same literary cloth. The Giver truly is an interesting read and, based on current trends, was ahead of its time. My wife will undoubtedly want to see this film, and I will be obliged to gladly take her to see it. Until then, enjoy the trailer, and lets all hope they do the book justice with the final release.