They had been developing a feature version of the popular book for nearly a decade before it wound up at Warner Bros., which ponied up nearly $1 million to set up the tome with Red Wagon’s Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher in 2007.
When the rights became available again, Bridges and Silver stepped up to reacquire them and produce through family film and TV shingle On Screen Entertainment.
Bridges will co-produce with Silver and Neil Koenigsberg, the thesp’s longtime manager. Silver and Koenigsberg produced documentary “The Dude Abides,” which kicked off the 25th anniversary PBS “American Masters” series in January celebrating Bridges’ 40-year plus acting career.
“The Giver” follows a 12-year-old who lives in a futuristic utopian society where all memory of human history has been erased. His life is thrown into turmoil when he is designated to inherit the role of the Giver and bear his community’s vast range of human emotions, which causes him to realize that living a pain-free life comes at a high cost.
Bridges was introduced to the book, which has sold more than 10 million copies, by his daughter, who was reading it in high school.
“I originally thought of the role of the Giver as a vehicle for my father, the late Lloyd Bridges; however, at 61 years old, I feel the time is right for me to do it,” he said.
“The Giver” was first published in 1994, when it was optioned by TV syndicator Lancit Media and then family program producer RCN Entertainment (behind PBS kidlit series “Reading Rainbow”). Silver was an exec at both Lancit and RCN.
Bridges and Silver came close to getting the film made in 2006, when Fox and Walden Media were interested in giving the project a greenlight, with Perelman at the helm.