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Why I Have High Hopes For ‘The Hate U Give’ Movie Adaptation

By Michael Jarvis

Image Courtesy of Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give is basically the YA contemporary novel of the year.

After seeing her friend Kahil get shot by a police officer, the novel follows 16-year-old Starr Carter as she learns to navigate the world. The story (which is literally ripped from American news headlines) is executed so well that a movie adaptation was quickly snagged by 20th Century Fox with Amandla Stenberg signed on to play the lead.

When the movie was announced, I was pretty ecstatic. A female of color is going to be center stage in a film about such a pertinent and impactful issue. It’s a moment that only comes once in a blue moon with movies such as Girl’s Trip and Moonlight.  There are several reasons why this will be a huge movie release for me.

Hopefully, Fox has learned from Percy Jackson

Ugh, I hate thinking about the failure of a movie I had such high hopes for. The first Percy Jackson movie was, in my opinion, deplorable, because it changed the storytelling aspects of the source material while simultaneously not working well with what was being created. (Making the characters older, showcasing poor cinematography, failing to push the actors for better performances.) However, thanks to international and DVD sales, a sequel was released. Fans (myself included) were still disappointed with the sequel but did see great potential for the rest of the series’ future. Unfortunately, Logan Lerman told MTV a while back that the project was officially dead. The series is finally getting the treatment it deserves, but I digress.

Hopefully, 20th Century Fox has learned how to do a great adaptation that is worthy of even award-season buzz.

The Cast and Crew Is Stellar

Image Courtesy of Variety

The cast is looking pretty — scratch that, VERY — optimistic. Sabrina Carpenter (Formerly of Girl Meets World) will be playing one of Starr Carter’s best friends, Hailey Grant. Issa Rae (of HBO’s Insecure fame) will also star as April Ofrah, and none other than George Tillman Jr. (of the 2002 mega-hit Barbershop) will be directing. And as mentioned before, the one and only Amandla Stenberg will be playing Starr Carter. I’m hopeful that the incredible cast members, along with some superb direction, will deliver the adaption to its fullest potential.

Image Courtesy Of Flavorwire

Faith in the source material

Call me optimistic all you want, but I can just feel in my gut that this will be a really groundbreaking adaptation, mostly because the book itself is so groundbreaking. With powerful anecdotes about life like “Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right” and “Once you’ve seen how broken someone is it’s like seeing them naked—you can’t look at them the same anymore,” the movie has to be handled with the utmost of maturity. If the studio plays by the same rules it did with Percy Jackson (cookie-cutter cinematography paired with problematic acting), the result will be monstrously lackluster. Fans are so in love with the book, they will willingly flock to the movie if it does the story justice.  

I’m too over-ecstatic about the book to not be excited about this movie. I feel like it will do so much for visibility and representation of people of color and will give America profound material to think about. Let’s all go see this movie and let the world know that people of color are not just sideline cheerleaders in the game of diversity.  Let’s show them that we are a lot more than the hate given to us.   

The movie just finished filming and a release date is yet to be determined. While you wait, if you haven’t yet, you can buy the book here.

Check out: The Hate U Give Banned By Texas School District”

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Written by michael jarvis

I'm a 19-year-old writer with a flair for pop culture and social justice.
Follow me on Twiter @wokenerdblog to keep up with the craziness that is my life.

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