- Associated Press - Thursday, July 24, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Jeff Bridges keeps on giving at Comic-Con.

The Academy Award-winning actor, producer, director and musician was on hand Thursday with some of his fellow cast members to show off footage from “The Giver,” the upcoming adaptation of the popular young adult novel by Lois Lowry.

An extended trailer shown at the pop-culture convention began with black-and-white footage chronicling the dystopian setting of the book. Comic-Con continues through Sunday at the San Diego Convention Center.

Bridges, known for “Tron” and “The Big Lebowski,” said it took close to 19 years to bring the movie to life. He originally envisioned that his late father Lloyd Bridges would play the titular role, but Bridges ultimately cast himself as The Giver.

“It proved to be difficult, I think because it was quite controversial,” Bridges told the crowd in reference to his struggle to make the film.

Lowry, 77, noted that the book, which was originally released in 1993, caused a stir because there are scenes where a baby is killed and a young boy bathes an elderly woman, the latter of which won’t be in the movie when it’s released Aug. 11.

“I loved it when that scene was cut from the film because Lois, you wanted to play that woman,” joked Bridges.

“He can touch me all he wants,” Lowry said of Brenton Thwaites, the hunky 24-year-old actor who plays the boy, Jonas, in the movie directed by Phillip Noyce.

Lowry said after watching footage of Meryl Streep, who also stars in the film but wasn’t present at Thursday’s panel, she wanted to go back and rewrite Streep’s character of the Chief Elder.

“In the book, it’s a small role,” Lowry said. “She makes it into something so complex and fascinating.”

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