Katie Holmes has finalized a deal to join the cast of the big screen adaptation of Lois Lowry’s young adult novel The Giver. She comes on as the mother to the protagonist, to be played by Brenton Thwaites. In the story’s seemingly utopian society, the mother (who goes unnamed in the book) is a member of the Department of Justice who works to reform criminals and prevent their “release,” i.e. euthanasia. Holmes joins Thwaites, Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood), Odeya Rush (The Odd Life of Timothy Green), Cameron Monaghan (Shameless), and Emma Tremblay (Elysium). It’s possible that Streep’s role, a character added to the book to give the oppressive nature of the society a more direct force and face, could be Holmes’s direct superior, in turn exerting pressure on Thwaites’s Jonas, a young man of twelve who has been selected to take over the repository of the society’s memories.
Unlike a number of other teen book adaptations making their way theaters these days, The Giver is not a contemporary work; it was originally published in 1993, and, perhaps reflective of the rise of the internet over the last two decades, features a much more contemplative protagonist than, say, The Hunger Games. Certainly the source material has produced a more lasting impact, but we will have to see if big screen audiences used to nonstop action will turn out for what figures to be a movie with a much slower pace. As was recently announced, The Giver hits theaters next August.