Following its premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 7, The Hate U Give has moved its release date up to Oct. 5 – a full two weeks ahead of its previously scheduled debut – bringing its much-needed message to the public sooner than expected. According to Deadline, the movie will open in limited release on Oct. 5 before opening in wide release on its original premiere date, Oct. 19.
The Hate U Give, is based on the best-selling novel of the same name, which Angie Thomas evolved from a short story she had written in the wake of the 2009 police shooting of Oscar Grant.
The first preview for the film, which Vulture notes was first shown during the BET Awards in June, showcases Amandla Stenberg as a young girl named Starr Carter, who is moved to fight for social justice after her unarmed friend is killed by a white police officer. Early in the film, Starr finds herself amidst a constant battle, switching back and forth between the two worlds of the poverty-stricken, predominantly black neighborhood in which she lives and her primarily white, affluent prep school that she attends. However, she is later faced with the pressures of standing up for what’s right after witnessing the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil.
While Thomas’ book — also, per The Guardian, was inspired by the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Mike Brown, and Sandra Bland — is not a retelling of any event in particular, its narrative is one that has become all too familiar for members of the black community who have been plagued by countless years racism and police brutality.
Despite the increased interest in creating equality and social justice for people of color, tragedies like the ones which have received national attention in recent years are far from new. Though brutality against minorities has taken place since the beginning of time in this country, developments in technology have played a huge role in bringing the issues of racial injustice to the forefront after many of the attacks were captured on camera.
Those graphic images, along with the inception and increased use of social media, helped to establish a brand new commitment to creating change, and have become the catalyst for organizations such as the Black Lives Matter movement. Deeply affected by these events, Thomas has high hopes that her work will shed light on the issues that many Black people in the United States continue to face.
Shortly after the movie’s festival premiere, Thomas shared her thoughts about her book’s adaptation during an interview with the Washington Post, explaining:
Directed by George Tillman Jr. from a screenplay by Audrey Wells, The Hate U Give features a truly outstanding cast with Stenberg being joined by Girls Trip star Regina Hall, who will play her Starr’s mother Lisa Carter. Riverdale’s KJ Apa will take on the role of Chris, Starr’s boyfriend, while The New Edition Story actor Algee Smith will star as Khalil, Starr’s childhood best friend.
Rounding out the phenomenal cats is Emmy Award-nominee Issa Rae, who appears in the film as April Ofrah, an activist who helps Starr find her voice, Academy Award-winning rapper Common, who will play Uncle Carlos, Starr’s police officer uncle and Avengers actor Anthony Mackie who stars as King, a local drug dealer. Also, starring are Russell Hornsby, Lamar Johnson, Sabrina Carpenter, TJ Wright, Dominique Fishback, Megan Lawless and Tony Vaughan.
With its dedication to the issues of class, race, and police brutality, The Hate U Give film and its message couldn’t have come at a more important time.