Whether you’re a serious YA fan or not, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about Angie Thomas’s debut novel, The Hate U Give. The book has sold over 100,000 copies, and it quickly became a New York Times bestseller after its release. What you might not have heard is that The Hate U Give is soon to be adapted into a full-length feature film! If this is news to you, then get ready — we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about The Hate U Give movie so you’ll be in the know when it finally hits the big screen.
Thomas’s story follows 16-year-old Starr Carter, a black girl who navigates two worlds — that of the low-income neighborhood where she lives, and that of the elite high school she attends. The book’s central conflict revolves around a tragedy that Starr witnesses firsthand: the death of her unarmed friend after he is shot by a police officer. As the only witness, Starr must decide in whom she can confide and find the courage to take a stand — even if it puts her and her family at risk.
The Hate U Give movie will feature a star-studded cast that includes Insecure’s Issa Rae, rapper-turned-actor Common, and Amandla Stenberg as Starr. Stenberg is already familiar to fans of YA fiction — she made a splash for her brief yet powerful performance as Rue in The Hunger Games adaptation. We can’t wait to see what she brings to this role!
Here are a few photos from The Hate U Give set:
Other cast members include Algee Smith as Starr’s childhood friend Khalil, Regina Hall and Russell Hornsby as Starr’s parents, and Lamar Johnson as Starr’s brother, Seven. Recent additions to the cast include Kian Lawley as Chris, Starr’s boyfriend, and Anthony Mackie as King, a local drug dealer.
The film will be directed by George Tillman Jr., whose previous work includes The Longest Ride, as well as episodes of This Is Us and Luke Cage. Audrey Wells will be taking on the challenge of adapting Thomas’s novel and turning it into a script.
The Hate U Give pulls directly from events that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. When asked what inspired her to turn her draft into a full-fledged novel, Angie Thomas cited the hurt and anger she felt over the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and Ramarley Graham. In an interview with Teen Vogue, she said:
“This type of incident — police brutality — has been going on for decades in the black community, but nobody was recording it.”
The novel serves as both a way of recording and testifying to these incidents, and also a means of giving black children the opportunity to finally see themselves depicted in the books they read. In the same interview, Thomas went on to say,
“For that girl who sees that people are buying a book about somebody like her, that gives her more value and helps her feel like she matters.”
The title of the book is a direct quote from late rapper Tupac Shakur, and Thomas explains that as a young girl unable to find herself in literature, she often turned to hip hop as a means of feeling seen.
When can we expect The Hate U Give movie to hit theaters? Right now we’re still not sure. However, rumor has it that production has finally wrapped, and in the meantime, we’ve got our fingers crossed for a release date in late 2018 or 2019!
Are you excited for The Hate U Give adaptation? Let us know in the comments!