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‘Hunger Games’ Will Begin To Play On March 23, 2012

'Hunger Games' Will Begin To Play On March 23, 2012

Bummed that both the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” franchises are coming to an end? No need to be, as Lionsgate, who know a thing or two about turning a book series into a mega-success, are set to bring “Hunger Games” — the first installment of a trilogy based on the sci-fi novels by Suzanne Collins — to the big screen. And soon.

THR reports that the first part will land in theaters on March 23, 2012 — a weekend in the already crammed schedule that remains open. The project has a script from Billy Ray, and Lionsgate is hoping this series adaptation can do for them what ‘Twilight’ did for Summit, who have grown infinitely from the financial successes of said vampire series. “Hunger Games” is set in the near future and follows the story of 16-year-old heroine Katniss Everdeen who takes the place of her sister, who has been enlisted for a national televised blood sport, in which the 12 newly formed states of North America each supply two teenagers to fight. And this thing has an audience. Book sales are huge, with the latest installment, “Mockingjay,” moving huge numbers since it hit stores on August 24th.

Gary Ross (“Pleasantville,” “Seabiscuit“) will be directing, with the production start in late spring/early summer. The role of Katniss Everdeen is considered a plum part for any young actress in Hollywood and there have already been swirls of chatter about who will land the gig. Some writers for The Playlist are avid fans of the books, insist it’s no “Twilight,” and claim that there is some real substance to it, so let’s hope the things that make it great will translate over to the big screen. But with that in mind, this teens-fighting-to-the-death-story is aiming for a PG-13 rating so things won’t get too brutal (then again “The Dark Knight” was PG-13 too, which shows you can push things to the limit).

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I’m interested in seeing how popular this series gets. I just started the first book. I’m not sure it’ll reach the level of popularity as Harry Potter, never mind Twilight, the main reason being both HP and Twilight were popular BEFORE the movie. The pre book hype release resulted in IMMENSE popularity. The first book came out in 2008 but I don’t think anyone heard about it until last year when the LAST book came out. HP was popular shortly after the first book and Twilight really became popular after the second. The bright side is that at least if it does reach immense popularity, it’s a pretty good book as opposed to Twilight. I’m not sure it will though. I’m interested in seeing what happens though.

Leah Zak

I finished reading the first book a few days ago and they are going to need a damn good team on the adaptation or this is going to be total schlock.

It’s an engrossing adventure (I might or might not have lost track of time and read the entire second half in a night/early morning) but very internal, and as a young adult novel, prone to the same over-the-top melodrama/romance that makes the Twilight movies so ridiculous… The same guy behind both Pleasantville and Seabiscuit at the wheel doesn’t isn’t giving me too much hope that this will go above and beyond what I saw on the page, which makes me sad, because a little polish and this could have great potential to rise above Young Adult novel fare.

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