The film, like Thomas’ debut novel, follows teenager Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg, "As You Are") as she navigates her neighborhood and affluent prep school. Her life changes when she sees a White police officer shoot and kill her friend Khalil (Algee Smith, "The New Edition Story"). The trauma upends the tenuous balance between her two worlds and pushes the teenager into activism. The trailer frames this awakening within the context of Carter’s relationships with her friends and family, including her father Maverick (Russell Hornsby, "Fences").
"When you’re ready to talk, you talk," he says over a clip of his daughter at a rally. "Don’t let nobody ever make you be quiet."
Thomas told Ebony last year that she developed "The Hate U Give" in response to the killings of Trayvon Martin and Sandra Bland, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement and the criminalization of Black girls. She tweeted the following about the trailer:
I’m a black girl from Mississippi who sometimes didn’t have lights. Sometimes my family was on welfare. I’m straight from the hood, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
rnttThe trailer just dropped for a movie based on a book I wrote.
rnttNothing is impossible.
rnttWith that, bye Twitter ?
rnt— T’ChAngie Thomas (@angiecthomas) June 25, 2018
rnt"The Hate U Give" also features Regina Hall ("Girls Trip"), Issa Rae ("Insecure") and K.J. Apa ("Riverdale") in supporting roles. George Tillman Jr. ("Notorious") directed the film from an adapted screenplay by Audrey Wells ("Shall We Dance"). The film arrives in theaters on October 19.