If you've never quite believed that good things come in small packages, "The Giver" trailer might change your mind.
This first peek into yet another cinematic dystopian world based on a book includes eerie injections, body-snatching helicopters, and one frighteningly composed Meryl Streep. Oh, and it's all set to an eerie musical score that, even on its own, would probably make your skin crawl.
In case you managed to miss out on reading this YA novel (which pre-dates both "Hunger Games" and "Divergent"), the story is set in a future where all of the unpleasant parts of life — war, heartbreak, and pain — have been washed away. But there is one catch: The Giver. Played by Jeff Bridges, the Giver is the one person left in civilization who can remember what life was like before the great sanitation of feelings.
Jonas, the hero, (played by Brenton Thwaites), has been selected to be the next Receiver, and sets out to be trained. But Jonas starts to realize his people lost a whole lot when they elected to eliminate pain, and he starts thinking his world isn't so perfect after all. (And we're pretty sure that evil Meryl Streep isn't going to like his train of thought so much.)
While it is to be expected that Streep and Bridges get a lot of screen time, it's interesting that Katie Holmes is prominently featured, too. The ex-Scientologist gets her close-up as the brainwashed housewife who is Jonas's mother and proves that she has mastered the deer-in-headlights gaze. Even though she doesn't have any actual lines in this preview, she's so perfect for the part it's (almost) scary.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, a dark-haired Taylor Swift is technically in the clip: Her face flashes onscreen in the midst of a superfast montage for about one second. In other words, if you're not paying close attention, you'll miss her entirely.
It appears that the flick remains reasonably true to the award-winning novel by Lois Lowry — except for this whole being-in-color thing (maybe the powers-that-be didn’t think audiences would be down with black-and-white?) and the fact that Jonas is about twice as old as Lowry intended. In the book, the hero is the incredibly awkward age of 12, but here he is played by Thwaites, 24. We already knew this from the casting, but it does make the story play a little differently onscreen.
Still, from what we can see here, the casting is spot on, which is making us more eager than ever to see what happens when people skip their daily injections in "The Giver," in theaters on Aug. 15.