An adaptation of Lois Lowry’s beloved young adult novel, The Giver would have to reach impossible heights to come close to matching the expectations that millions of multi-generational readers have. What we saw in the first trailer for Philip Noyce’s upcoming film was rather disappointing, and the new teaser seen above does the previous clip a solid by looking even worse in comparison. Taken out of context, we’re basically dealing with what looks like an okay movie with a solid cast, but The Weinstein Company doesn’t seem at all invested in marketing it properly.
Let’s shine a big old spotlight on the elephant in the room here. The Giver follows a young man named Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) who lives in a future world kept peaceful by the Sameness, a lifestyle that removes all pain and stress from the world at the expense of eradicating all other emotional highs and lows as well. The world is black and white to him, and the first trailer failed to dig into that side of the sensory deprivation that was such a major aspect of Jonas’ transition.
So it should have been extremely pleasing for fans to get a look at some colorless footage in this new promo, right? In a perfect world, perhaps. It definitely looks like they just slapped a black-and-white filter on previously existing footage, but the first instance, where the Giver (Jeff Bridges) passes on memories to Jonas, is a completely different version of the same scene that appeared in the first trailer. Not only are the angles different, but the voiceover has also changed, with a much deeper voice heard in the color version and Bridges’ more familiar voice heard in the most recent iteration.
The only other addition to the trailer is another B&W switch that comes at the end, when the Giver answers Jonas’ question with a self-reference that also happens to be the title of the movie. Catchy, but it still looks like a poorly planned switchover. Gone from this trailer are all references to the baby Gabriel and to the spaceship that sucks Jonas up with its tractor beam. Can’t imagine why they’d want to leave that part out this time.
Also starring Meryl Streep, Odeya Rush, Alexander Skarsgård, and Taylor Swift, The Giver will invite you to follow Jonas on his journey of discovery when it hits theaters on August 15. You can find the Sameness-defying all-color trailer below.