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Lois Lowry’s ‘The Giver’ gets closer to big screen

It appears that Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” will finally make it to the big screen. The local author’s dystopian novel for children, which won the 1994 Newbery Medal and paved the way for popular series such as “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent,” has been optioned for film for more than a decade. But there’s been little or no movement on the project, except for an announcement a few years ago that Jeff Bridges would play the Giver character. Last week, however, the project took another step forward. Deadline.com reports that Brenton Thwaites (right), an Australian actor in his 20s, has been cast as Jonas, the boy who receives his society’s memories from the aging Giver. (Jonas is 11 years old in the book.) The casting of Thwaites suggests that producers want the novel’s hero to be much older in the film. Reached by e-mail over the weekend, Lowry told us she doesn’t know much about the production, only that it’s set to film in South Africa later this year, and that she’s a fan of the director, Phillip Noyce, of 2002’s “Rabbit-Proof Fence.”

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