Amandla Stenberg (Hunger Games) is set to star in the film The Hate U Give, based on debut novel by Angela Thomas inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement. Film rights have sold to Fox 2000, Temple Hill and State Street, and George Tillman Jr. (Notorious, Beauty Shop) will direct the film adaptation from a script by Audrey Wells (Under the Tuscan Sun).
The adaption is based on Thomas’ story and follows a 16 year old girl named Starr who grew up in a poverty stricken slum, but now attends a suburban prep school. After she witnesses a police officer shoot her unarmed best friend, she’s torn between her two very different worlds as she tries to speak her truth.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Thomas started working on the story in 2011 while studying at Belhaven University. She found her literary agent, Brooks Sherman, on Twitter, asking if a book based on the Black Lives Matter movement would get any traction.
“I knew it was timely, but it’s such a sensitive topic. I was too scared to even send out queries.” – Angela Thomas
One year later the book was involved in a heated bidding war (last week) as multiple studios, producers, and over 13 publishing houses were eager to get a hold of the project considering the timely subject matter.
“I was struck from the very first pages. What an accomplished debut. [Thomas] painted a picture of this girl, this family, and this community in such an authentic way that I rarely see in YA literature.” – Donna Bray, Balzer + Bray Books
Stenberg, who had a successful run in the Hunger Games, has been a leader in speaking out against police violence on social media and has served as an outspoken advocate for justice. When protests broke out in Baltimore last year in response to the death of Freddie Gray, she tweeted.
“My prayers go out to all my brothers & sisters in Baltimore. This battle is hard but crucial. The revolutionary youth will change the world.” – Amandla Stenberg
Full production details have yet to be released, but this film is definitely on our radar!