The first official photo has been released from The Hate U Give, George Tillman Jr’s anticipated adaptation of Angie Thomas’ best-selling YA novel.
Above, you can see Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) starring as the film’s principal character, Starr Carter, and Algee Smith (Detroit) as her childhood best friend, Khalil. Here they’re in a car together, appearing carefree — but to anyone who’s read the book or is familiar with its story, the image has ominous undertones.
Starr lives in a poor, predominantly black neighborhood and attends a wealthy, predominantly white prep school. Her struggle to balance existing in the two worlds compounds dramatically when Khalil, unarmed, is shot and killed by a police officer while she’s seated right beside him, bearing witness to the tragedy. The story traces Starr’s determination to find her voice and stand up for what’s right.
Tillman Jr. (Notorious) directs from a script by Audrey Wells, best known for adapting Under the Tuscan Sun and A Dog’s Purpose. The cast around Stenberg and Smith includes Regina Hall and Russell Hornsby as Starr’s parents, and Common, Issa Rae, Anthony Mackie, and KJ Apa in other key supporting roles.
The Hate U Give novel is currently listed in the top spot on the New York Times best-seller list for Young Adult, and has ranked on it for a remarkable 60 consecutive weeks. The film adaptation, distributed by 20th Century Fox, will be released later in 2018.