'The Giver': Jeff Bridges' Long-Awaited Controversial Project

Before "Hunger Games" and "Divergent," actor tried for 18 years to bring the edgy novel to the big screen.
3:15 | 08/15/14

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Transcript for 'The Giver': Jeff Bridges' Long-Awaited Controversial Project
It is the movie that one Hollywood star fought for two decades to get made. A tale for teens, based on a book so controversial, it's been banned in some schools. Now, this movie, "The giver," is a reality. It's chock full of celebrities. And tonight, my "Nightline" co-anchor, juju Chang, has the story behind the story. Reporter: Long before ckatniss triumphed in "The hunger games," there was "The giver." The award-winning novel, launched a genre. Joining them now on the silver screen is "The giver," about a society, where all pain, jealousy and violence have been erased. So, too, have passion, joy and love. The characters literally see the world in black and white. No color. The story is required Reading in some schools. But banned in others. Jeff bridges, who plays the title character, has been trying to get this movie made for 20 years. I think some of the financiers were concerned about the fact it was a banned book. Originally wanted to direct my father, Lloyd bridges, in the film. When I saw this cover and I saw this grizzled guy. Reporter: What's it like to step into those shoes and be the giver? I turned into that grizzled guy on the cover of the book. I look more and more like me. I could do that part. Reporter: Meryl Streep gives a wicked performance as the chief elder, enforcing the society's strict rules. You must know that Jonas has become dangerous. Reporter: Katie Holmes plays a brain-washed mother, whose character seems chillingly processed. Your injection levels are extremely low. I can correct this. Reporter: Taylor swift makes a cameo. In this video, the singer, who is known for her blonde trusses, is unrecognizable, here in this brown wig. She's the one they're all talking about. ? On my fingers ? She was wonderful in the part. We jammed a little bit between scenes. Broke out our guitars and sang a bit. Reporter: Jeff bridges plays the giver, the only person in society, who holds memories of pain. But he begins to question the rules, as he passes the secrets on to his young protprotege, the receiver. We can be envies you, angry, consumed with hatred. Reporter: There's interesting things like euthanasia, and the call to rebellion. Those are the movies I like to see. Reporter: A trio of rising stars is led by Quentin rate. It's cool to find an identity. Reporter: At its core, the story remains an edgy, cautionary tail. We can get lost in our comfort. But that costs us our humanity. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm juju Chang, Beverly hills, California.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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