"Look, my slippers are black okay? I can so wear them to the funeral!"


"Look, my slippers are black okay? I can so wear them to the funeral!"

THE GIVER

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. BLACK AND WHITE FUTURE COMMUNITY THAT LIVES IN SKYLAND APPARENTLY

OPENING TEXT

After the Ruin, all the original openings for movies were destroyed. YA blockbusters were forced to redo the opening from "The Hunger Games" over and over and...

BRENTON THWAITES (V.O.)

...and over and over again. And now we're using text, pictures and voice over narration all at the same time! I sure hope you like being talked to like you're still watching Sesame Street!

BIG BIRD

Hey kids! D stands for...Dystopia!

BRENTON THWAITES (V.O.)

Anyway, we live in a community where everything and everyone is the same. Difference is despised, uniqueness is...really? We're going to spell everything out in the FIRST MINUTE!?

DIRECTOR PHILLIP NOYCE

Yep!

(turns to audience)

No one is allowed to wear different clothing! Clothing is the fabric you cover your body with to keep out the cold.

BRENTON THWAITES (V.O.)

But the slowly dawning realization that everything is fucked up was half the fun of the book!

(sighs)

Never mind. Let's just get to the story.

BRENTON is riding his bicycle with his friends and fellow teenagers ODEYA RUSH and CAMERON MONAGHAN.

ODEYA RUSH

We have the personalities of cardboard! Whee!

CAMERON MONAGHAN

Although unlike almost every other movie ever, we have a legitimate excuse! The next time I see an M. Night Shyamalan movie I'm going to assume everyone in it has been brainwashed by a dictatorial cult.

BRENTON THWAITES

Guys, I've been getting these...feelings. Like I'm special. Different. Not like everyone else.

ODEYA RUSH

Oh that's just Young Adult Novel Adaptation Syndrome! A few mind-numbing injections each day should kill those emotions dead!

CAMERON MONAGHAN

Isn't this movie about how you learn to stop thinking and feeling like everyone else? If you're already different, doesn't that immediately kneecap your character arc?

BRENTON THWAITES

Yeah, but I get a perverse sense of satisfaction in knowing that a metric ton of exposition about how everyone's the same just got shot in the foot.

INT. BRENTON'S BLACK AND WHITE HOME

BRENTON has dinner with his family.

KATIE HOLMES

So Brenton, how was your day?

BRENTON THWAITES

Stressful, but good. Life's pretty sweet in a personality-destroying cult. But I guess you'd know all-

KATIE HOLMES

(pulls out knife)

Go ahead. Make the Scientology joke. I fucking dare you.

INT. BLACK AND WHITE GRAND CEREMONIAL HALL

The entire COMMUNITY has been gathered. MERYL STREEP takes the stage.

MERYL STREEP

Good evening. I'm here to give this movie a villain, because some things don't change no matter what book you're adapting. The time has come to select two Tributes for this year's Hunger Ga-

DIRECTOR PHILLIP NOYCE

Wrong movie.

MERYL STREEP

What? Oh okay. The time has come for every sixteen-year-old to choose a Faction...

DIRECTOR PHILLIP NOYCE

Wrong again.

MERYL STREEP

Goddammit! Why does every YA movie have a scene like this? The time has come to select careers for the new adults.

(beat)

Also I'm a hologram. That's distracting. Were the anti-gravity drones and city in the clouds not futurery enough?

BRENTON THWAITES

You know, for a film that purports to celebrate individuality, we sure do a great job at being just like every other movie.

The TEENAGERS are selected for their new careers one by one.

CAMERON MONAGHAN

Hey I'm a drone pilot! The satirical possibilities for this are endless, if this movie was even slightly interested in doing something new or original.

BRENTON THWAITES

Oh boy! I can't wait to see what I get!

(gets passed over)

What? Why didn't I get picked? Why am I being left out on the stage in front of my entire community? What did I do wrong?

MERYL STREEP

Nothing! We just waited until the end to announce you for the new Receiver of Memory, the specialest, most super job of all!

BRENTON THWAITES

And you left me in suspense the entire time? You were just happy to let me think I'd screwed up the most important moment of my life? You asshole!

INT. JEFF BRIDGES' BLACK AND WHITE HOUSE

BRENTON arrives for training.

JEFF BRIDGES

Hello Brenton. I am the current Receiver of Memory. Throughout your training you will experience things you have no way to expect or comprehend. I should probably give you a moment to brace yourself for- Ah fuck it.

(grabs Brenton's arm)

SURPRISE MIND FUCK!

BRENTON receives a FLASHBACK of sledding!

BRENTON THWAITES

Aaaaaaaah!!! What the heck was that!??

JEFF BRIDGES

That was a memory from a different time. A time where we had color vision and weather and freedom.

BRENTON THWAITES

So why the hell would the totalitarian government keep those memories around?

JEFF BRIDGES

Read the book. We sure as hell don't explain it.

(rolls back sleeves)

Ready for some more?

BRENTON THWAITES

Will it involve thinking?

JEFF BRIDGES

Nope! Almost all philosophical discussion about the pros and cons of freedom will replaced with frantically-edited montages!

BRENTON THWAITES

Yay! "Project X"-style filmmaking!

(flashbacks through a dozen National Geographic clip shows)

INT. BRENTON'S COLORED HOME

BRENTON discovers his father ALEXANDER SKARSGÅRD has had a BABY delivered home.

ALEXANDER SKARSGÅRD

The Elders have asked me to look after this little guy for a while! If I fail, he'll be released to Elsewhere.

BRENTON'S LITTLE SISTER

Oooh, you mean that place we send all our elderly and unproductive citizens? Neato!

BRENTON THWAITES

(beat)

Okay, does ANYONE believe that Elsewhere is anything other than government-sponsored murder? Anyone?

ALEXANDER SKARSGÅRD

Oh, don't be so cynical Brenton! This could be the first time in cinema that ominous disappearances are linked to lands of candy mountains and chocolate rivers!

INT. JEFF BRIDGES' COLORED HOUSE

BRENTON and JEFF continue working their way through deleted scenes from "BARAKA".

BRENTON THWAITES

I'm experiencing so many new things...People with different cultures, different skin colors. What happened to all those people? How did everyone who isn't white disappear?

JEFF BRIDGES

Let me tell you about a man named John Hughes...

EXT. COLORED COMMUNITY CENTER

BRENTON mopes.

BRENTON THWAITES

How can I talk to anyone about what I'm going through under Jeff? How can I make my brainwashed, emotionally stunted friends understand?

ODEYA RUSH

Hey Brenton, want to show me what you're doing with Jeff?

BRENTON THWAITES

Boy do I!

(grabs two trays)

Let's sled down the side of this building!

They sled down the DOME, which is only TEN MILLION MILES HIGH.

ODEYA RUSH

WHEE! WE SHOULD HAVE HIT TERMINAL VELOCITY ONE HUNDRED MILES AGO!

BRENTON THWAITES

WE'RE GOING TO BE FLATTENED INTO A PANCAKE! YAHOO!

They miraculously DON'T DIE.

BRENTON THWAITES

I guess the answer to my previous question is: surprisingly easily.

INT. JEFF BRIDGES' COLORED HOUSE

BRENTON receives the memory of a SOLIDER IN WARTIME.

BRENTON THWAITES

Dear God, is that war? It was so awful...the ridiculous shakycam, the grainy film stock, the hyperactive editing...War is hell.

JEFF BRIDGES

These memories can be grueling. I remember how they caused the previous Receiver-in-Training to commit suicide. At first I tried to only feed her happy memories, but then she started demanding the darker stuff...

BRENTON THWAITES

So what did you do? Start her off with something small, a broken arm, something like that?

JEFF BRIDGES

I gave her the memory of a child snatched away from her loving parents forever.

BRENTON THWAITES

...Jesus guy.

JEFF BRIDGES

Oh, and did I mention she was my own daughter? And played by Taylor Swift?

FLASHBACK TAYLOR SWIFT

Hi! Hope seeing me doesn't completely jerk you out of the reality of the film!

(fades)

Afterwards they watch a HOLOGRAM of ALEXANDER SKARSGÅRD murdering the weaker of a PAIR OF BABY TWINS.

BRENTON THWAITES

Holy shit!

JEFF BRIDGES

I know right?

BRENTON THWAITES

I mean, if twins are forbidden for being identical, why don't you just abort the fetuses in utero? Why wait months just to murder a baby?

EXT. COLORED FUTURISTIC COMMUNITY

BRENTON is confronted by ODEYA.

ODEYA RUSH

Brenton! I am your love interest now! Even though you only taught me what love is five minutes ago!

They MAKE OUT.

ODEYA RUSH

Now I'm ready to reject sixteen years of brainwashing! Hail Brenton!

BRENTON THWAITES

Holy shit, I must be the greatest kisser on the planet!

BRENTON discovers the BABY is about to be "RELEASED" and rushes to the NURTURING CENTER.

BRENTON THWAITES

Odeya would you mind distracting the guards by running in the opposite direction?

ODEYA RUSH

Sure! I'll just count on the guards not being competent enough to chase two people.

BRENTON THWAITES

Thanks. I'll ignore the fact that I'm almost definitely setting you up for execution. Now to steal one of those baby-carrying electric bicycles they keep unlocked and fully charged in case someone needs to kidnap an infant!

BRENTON makes off with the BABY. But PSEUDOTROOPERS give chase!

BRENTON THWAITES

I'm so happy we introduced all those anti-gravity vehicles only to end up having a chase on very slow bicycles!

BRENTON drives off the CLIFFS surrounding the COMMUNITY, falling hundreds of feet into the CLOUD BANK below!

MERYL STREEP

Well, that's our job done for us. There's no way he could have survived...

BRENTON, the BABY and the BIKE are all fine!

MERYL STREEP

But...how!? That had to be a fall of hundreds, maybe thousands of feet...

BRENTON THWAITES

(actual explanation)

It was a miracle!

MERYL STREEP

FUCK YOU! Even Michael Bay would have produced SOME explanation!

INT. SUDDENLY BLACK AND WHITE AGAIN COMMUNITY HEADQUARTERS

CAMERON meets with MERYL.

MERYL STREEP

We need someone to go out there and "eliminate" Brenton. Cameron, why don't use your drone to do it?

CAMERON MONAGHAN

What? I've been his best friend since childhood! Why would you trust me to kill him?

MERYL STREEP

Your experience and training make you the best for the job.

CAMERON MONAGHAN

I've been training for a few months at best! This is a terrible plan!

MERYL STREEP

(walking away)

Excellent, glad you agree. Be at your drone piloting station by eight a.m...

EXT. COLORED DESERT

His iBICYCLE having long run out of charge, BRENTON carries the BABY through the blistering heat. Suddenly he's faced by CAMERON'S DRONE!

BRENTON THWAITES

Cameron, if you ever were my friend, don't shoot!

CAMERON MONAGHAN

Okay.

BRENTON THWAITES

I know it sounds- Wait, just like that? No inner conflict, nothing? But all I've done is punch you in the face!

(narrows eyes)

We haven't been making out too have we?

CAMERON MONAGHAN

Nah, I'm still mad about you punching me, so I decided to shit on your character development by going through your entire arc in five seconds.

CAMERON'S DRONE scoops up BRENTON with its TRACTOR BEAM.

BRENTON THWAITES

What are you doing!?

CAMERON MONAGHAN

Helping you!

BRENTON THWAITES

By slamming me and a fragile baby into a metal drone at God knows what speed?

CAMERON MONAGHAN

By dumping you in a nearby river! Hope your exhausted bodies can swim in raging currents!

(drops them)

Somehow they don't DROWN. BRENTON and BABY continue slogging through the heat.

BRENTON THWAITES

This desert...it seems to go on forever...when is it going to end? When is it going to-

EXT. COLORED BLIZZARD-BLASTED ICY LANDSCAPE.

BRENTON and BABY continue slogging through a snowstorm.

BRENTON THWAITES

-end? Well THAT changed quickly.

(keeps trudging)

It's a good thing I held on to those heavy winter clothes back in that blistering desert.

(keeps trudging)

Actually, how DO I have heavy winter clothes? Our society doesn't even know what a chilly breeze is!

INT. BLACK AND WHITE EXECUTION CHAMBER (SERIOUSLY, CAN THIS MOVIE STICK TO A COLOR SCHEME FOR FIVE FUCKING MINUTES!?)

The ELDERS are about to watch ODEYA RUSH get a LETHAL INJECTION.

ODEYA RUSH

I'm ready to die for Brenton's beliefs! Yow!

(rubs neck)

That one eighty degree turn in character was so sudden it gave me whiplash!

JEFF BRIDGES

You have to stop this! This is inhumane!

MERYL STREEP

Why did we let you in here? We had you in a perfectly good cell just before.

Suddenly, BRENTON THWAITES crosses the distant border of the COMMUNITY. And that causes all his IMPLANTED MEMORIES to hit the ELDERS...somehow?

MERYL STREEP

(crying)

This high-defintion stock footage has taught us the error of our ways. Release Odeya!

ALEXANDER SKARSGÅRD

Certainly!

(injects needle)

MERYL STREEP

Not like that!

EXT. COLORED BLIZZARD-BLASTED ICY LANDSCAPE.

BRENTON uses an abandoned sled to ride to CIVILIZATION!

BRENTON THWAITES

I did it! We're saved!

BABY

OR considering that this is EXACTLY like the very first memory you received, you're freezing to death in a snowdrift and these are your dying hallucinations.

(freezes to death)

BRENTON THWAITES

Gosh you're right!

(freezes to death)

BIG BIRD

"The Giver" was brought to you today by the letter "F"! And the letter "U"!

(freezes to death)

END.

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