Amandla Stenberg first broke out on the big screen in 2012 with her performance as the doomed Rue in “The Hunger Games,” and she seems to be making a specialty of big-screen adaptations of young-adult novels. Last year she starred in the film version of “Everything, Everything,” and now she’s headlining an adaptation of another best-selling young adult novel, “The Hate U Give.”
In the timely drama, which has just released its first trailer, she plays Starr Carter, a teenager who lives in a working-class, predominantly African-American neighborhood and attends a largely white prep school. When she sees her lifelong friend Khalil (Algee Smith) get shot and killed by a police officer, Starr finds herself under pressure from a variety of forces.
Angie Smith’s book was adapted by the screenwriter Audrey Wells (“The Truth About Cats and Dogs”) and directed by George Tillman Jr. (“Soul Food”). The supporting cast includes Common as Starr’s police-officer uncle, Anthony Mackie as a criminal who threatens her, and the “Insecure” co-creator-star Issa Rae as an activist who inspires her to speak out.
“The Hate U Give” will reach theaters on Oct. 19.