You can officially check off the "pop star" and "childhood classic" squares of your YA Novel Film Adaptation bingo card: Taylor Swift is reportedly set to join the cast of The Giver, which is based on Lowis Lowry's highly acclaimed book. She was reportedly offered a supporting role by producer Harvey Weinstein after she and the film's star, Brandon Thwaites, hit it off at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Giver's story follows Jonas, a 12-year-old boy who lives in a dystopian society where life is strictly regulated and emotions are suppressed. Things change, though, when he is given the job of Receiver of Memories and his training with the Giver starts to open his eyes to the dark realities of his community and of life itself.
The decision to cast Swift is a surprise primarily because her acting experience and talents lie in more comedic roles, like 2010's Valentine's Day or her Season 2 guest spot on New Girl. The Giver would be a much darker and more serious project than she has previously undertaken, and it's frankly hard to imagine what kind of role she will play in the film, or if she will be able to pull off the kind of performance the heavy material requires. However, Swift has dabbled in drama before, when she appeared in a 2009 episode of CSI, so there's a chance that she could surprise everyone and turn out a solid performance.
The real issue with The Giver, however, is not Swift's casting, but rather the fact that it is being made into a film at all. The story is a highly emotional one, and most of the things Jonas learns from the Giver are communicated through memories. Finding a way to effectively communicate them and what they represent for Jonas and the Giver will not be an easy task. Even more difficult, then, will be finding a way to visualize the emotions that Jonas discovers during his training, as the significant changes in his perspective come from actually feeling things for the first time. It's hard for us to picture any way in which the heavily internal nature of the novel will be able to translate itself onto the screen without losing impact — whichever director decides to take on this project will definitley have their work cut out for them.
On top of all of that, Jonas is supposed to be 12, and Thwaites is most certainly not. Although characters are often aged up in film adaptations, the character's age is important to the plot and message of the novel, and so Thwaites being in his early 20s causes a problem there. There is one thing, though, that we take no issue with: casting Jeff Bridges in the title role. The Dude can do no wrong.
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Spears Tops Aussie Mag's Sexy Women List
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Swank-y Calvin Klein Ads
Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank has signed on to be the exclusive celebrity model for the Calvin Klein Sensual Support intimate apparel collection, AP reports. "Hilary is the perfect choice for this campaign. She looks absolutely beautiful and easily conveys the sensuality that we want," Kim Vernon, senior vice president of global advertising and communications for Calvin Klein Inc., said in a statement Wednesday. The new collection will be available in July.
Tribeca Film Fest Announces Slate
The Tribeca Film Festival unveiled its lineup for its third annual New York event, including six international premieres and 10 U.S. bows. The festival opens May 1 with Garry Marshall's Raising Helen, starring Kate Hudson and runs through May 9. Other films featured include Dear Frankie, starring Emily Mortimer and Gerard Butler; Whore starring Daryl Hannah and Denise Richards; and Poster Boy, starring Karen Allen and Michael Lerner.
Alias' Garner Gets a Sister
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Costello Writes the Books
Taking his popular song "Everyday I Write the Book" to heart, singer-songwriter Elvis Costello cinched a deal with publisher Simon & Schuster to write two books, Reuters reports. The first, due in the fall of 2005, promises to be a work of "intimate narrative chapters taking their cue from the styles, themes and characters" found in Costello's lyrics, the publisher said. The second book, titled How to Play the Guitar, Sing Loudly and Impress Girls ... or Boys, is described as a "work of comic philosophy," Reuters reports.
Role Call: Beckham Bends Panther; Bridges Becoming Mogul
Soccer star David Beckham is in negotiations to make his feature film debut in the upcoming comedy remake The Pink Panther. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the story follows bumbling French detective Inspector Clouseau (Steve Martin) as he investigates the murder of a famous soccer coach and the theft of the Pink Panther diamond and also stars Kevin Kline, Beyonce Knowles and Jean Reno. Beckham would play a cameo role as a soccer player, natch…Jeff Bridges is set to star in the indie The Moguls, a comedy about a small town that bands together to make a porno film. Writer Michael Traeger (Dead Man on Campus) will make his directorial debut.