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'The Giver': Black and white footage and a word from Lois Lowry -- VIDEO

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Remember when we all freaked out that the first trailer for The Giver was in color? Well, a new featurette reveals that we may have jumped to conclusions too quickly.

“I began to think about how important memory is – what would happen if we could manipulate human memory,” author Lois Lowry explains in the video which goes a long way in helping to calm the nerves of longtime fans of her 1993 classic.

Then, we get the money shot of Jeff Bridges as The Giver in black and white preparing to give Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) all the memories of humanity. “You can take comfort in knowing you are completely helpless,” he says.

Check it out after the jump.

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'The Giver' trailer: Meryl Streep! Jeff Bridges! Color?! VIDEO

So this is how you finally make a movie of The Giver after more than 15 years of development hell: By aging up the characters, adding in awesome body-snatching spaceships, and setting the whole thing to a pounding score straight out of the Dystopian YA Handbook.

Lois Lowry’s classic story — one of the first modern dystopic tales written explicitly for a younger audience — takes place in a future where all of the unpleasant, messy aspects of life (war, pain, difference, feelings in general) have been wiped away. (In the book, even the concept of color has been erased… but perhaps because they feared scaring off today’s teens with black-and-white scenes, The Giver‘s team seems to have elected to ignore that part.)

Its main character is Jonas (newly turned 12 in the book, but here played by strapping 24-year-old Aussie Brenton Thwaites), a boy who is chosen to become the community’s new Receiver of Memory — the only person who can recall what life was like before Sameness descended. But as Jonas begins his training under the outgoing Receiver — a.k.a. The Giver (Jeff Bridges, who also produced the film) — he realizes everything his people lost when they elected to soften the world’s hard edges… and decides to take drastic action to change things for good.

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'The Giver': First Look at Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites in Lois Lowry's classic

Jeff Bridges has been trying to make Lois Lowry’s 1993 classic The Giver into a film for nearly 20 years. In that time, his kids became adults, his father Lloyd, who he’d wanted to play the Giver, died, and he got rejection after rejection from everybody in town till Harvey Weinstein came along.

“He said, yeah let’s go man,” laughs Bridges, who took on the role of the Giver and is serving as a producer on the film (out Aug. 15), which recently wrapped its Cape Town shoot. Australian newcomer Brenton Thwaites plays Jonas, a boy living contentedly in a seemingly perfect community of sterilized, controlled “sameness” till he is assigned to receive all the memories of history — sublime and evil alike — from the Giver (pictured above in the Library of Memory — a set specifically constructed for the film on location in an old factory in Cape Town).

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Casting Net: 'The Giver' gets its Jonas; Plus, 'Veep' star heads to 'Inherent Vice,' more

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• It’s been a while since we’ve heard any news about the film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s dystopian novel The Giver, but things are moving forward. Jeff Bridges has been attached to the project for over a year to play the Giver, and now, Brenton Thwaites has been cast as Jonas, the young boy chosen to be trained by the Giver.  Thwaites has appeared on a number of Australian televisions show and is also portraying the Young Prince in Maleficent. Fans of the book will remember we meet Jonas just as he’s about to turn 12. Thwaites is already in his 20s. Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games) is set to direct the project for The Weinstein Company. Filming will commence in South Africa this fall. [Deadline]

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Casting Net: Carey Mulligan is front-runner to play Hillary Rodham Clinton; Plus James Franco, Javier Bardem, Emmy Rossum, and more

A handful of American actresses have been rumored to be in consideration for the role of Hillary Rodham Clinton in upcoming biopic RodhamScarlett Johansson, Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon, Amanda Seyfried, and Emma Stone, most prominently. But now a front-runner has emerged: British actress Carey Mulligan, who most recently starred as Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. Mulligan hasn’t officially announced her candidacy for the role of the former first lady, New York senator, and secretary of state, but THR reports that the 28-year-old actress will soon meet with director James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) about the project. Rodham will focus on the early years of Clinton’s career, including meeting future president Bill Clinton and her position as a lawyer on the committee involved in Richard Nixon’s impeachment. [THR]

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Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges team up in the afterlife in first 'R.I.P.D.' trailer -- VIDEO

Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges are joining a long line of buddy cop duos with upcoming movie R.I.P.D. The twist this time around? These cops are dead.

The title stands for Rest in Peace Department, a group that defends the living from “deados,” monstrous bad souls that have managed to escape judgement. In the supernatural comedy, based on the Peter Lenkov comic book, Ryan Reynolds plays Nick Walker, a police officer killed in the line of duty, who finds a new job waiting for him in the afterlife. Soon after his death, Nick starts tracking down bad souls alongside experienced deados hunter Roy Pulsipher, played Jeff Bridges in a performance rather reminiscent of his turn as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit.

Check out the first trailer for the film below: READ FULL STORY

Jeff Bridges' movie adaptation of 'The Giver' -- will it ever happen? Lois Lowry says...

Fans of canonical children’s book The Giver were torn when word broke last year that Jeff Bridges’ big screen adaptation of the novel was finally moving forward in the development process. On one hand, Bridges’ twinkly eyes and grizzled wisdom make him a natural fit for the titular role; on the other, The Giver‘s unique, simple charms may not translate well to celluloid. But one year later, those who felt ambivalent may no longer have to worry that Hollywood will ruin their favorite story — Giver author Lois Lowry doubts that the long-incubating film will ever get made at all.

“The film rights have been out there for 15 years now,” Lowry tells EW. “And every now and then, some big studio gets involved, and some major player gets involved. And then time passes, and it all collapses again,” she says with a laugh. “So it’s out there, and I should be feeling excited, as if now is the time it’s actually going to be made. But this has happened so often before that I’ve become kind of sanguine about it.”

So why does Lowry think that the book has languished in development longer than its protagonist, 12-year-old Jonas, has been alive?  READ FULL STORY

Seth Rogen is not 'The Big Lebowski' -- he's The Dude, man -- EXCLUSIVE

UPDATE: If you are in Los Angeles, you should swing by the L.A. County Museum of Art at 7:30 p.m. Though the theater is sold out, Reitman and Film Independent plan to broadcast the show into the courtyard. No rioting, please.

For one night only, Bunny Lebowski’s life is in Seth Rogen’s hands.

The Knocked Up star will be taking over Jeff Bridges’ iconic role for Jason Reitman’s live-read tonight of the Coen brothers script for The Big Lebowski. So call him The Dude. You know… that or, His Dudeness, or Duder, or El Duderino (if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.)

Tonight’s Film Independent event at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will be the sixth and final of Reitman’s staged readings of classic movie scripts before a live audience (at least for now.) By recasting iconic characters with different actors, the events are basically a movie-lover’s experiment, and — sadly, due to rights issues — not recorded for later distribution.

It’s designed to get movie fans talking. Who would you cast in an alternate universe version of the movie? The Up in the Air and Young Adult filmmaker tells EW his picks for The Big Lebowski

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Oscars 1972: Peter Bogdanovich on 'The Last Picture Show' and that legendary Charlie Chaplin tribute

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In 1968 Esquire film writer and MoMA film curator Peter Bogdanovich decided to follow the example of critics-turned-filmmakers François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard and try his hand at directing. Four years after moving to Hollywood, Bogdanovich’s second feature film, The Last Picture Show, received eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and personal nods for Best Director and for co-writing the Adapted Screenplay. Though the film lost the top prize to The French Connection, the Academy did honor The Last Picture Show with Oscars for Supporting Actor Ben Johnson and Supporting Actress Cloris Leachman at the ceremony on April 10, 1972 hosted by Helen Hayes, Alan King, Sammy Davis Jr., and Jack Lemmon at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. However, the 44th Academy Awards may be best remembered for the loving tribute to Charlie Chaplin after his 20 years in exile, which Bogdanovich himself organized to honor the man many consider the first true movie star. Bogdanovich shares his memories of that night with EW.

I had been to the Oscars once before in the late ’60s. I can’t remember which one. They all merge together. Unless you’re nominated, the Oscars are no fun to go to at all. You can see it better on TV. At least you don’t have to go through that horrible red carpet.

I can’t remember who hosted the night I was nominated in 1972. They weren’t Bob Hope. READ FULL STORY

'The Big Lebowski' reunion: 5 things we learned from last night's event

Last night, I had the great honor of moderating a reunion of the Big Lebowski cast — Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, and the film’s music archivist T Bone Burnett — at New York’s Hammerstein venue. I learned a lot of things during the course of the night. Here’s the top 5…

1. People really love The Big Lebowski
Okay, as a veteran of several Lebowski Fests, this is something I thought I knew already. But I don’t believe I fully appreciated quite how much love this film inspires until I was faced with a sea of Dudes, Maudes, and Walters going berserk every time they heard the words “Lebowski,” “The Dude,” or “occasional acid flashback.”

2. These days, Walter raises pigeons READ FULL STORY

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