The Hunger Games film was much anticipated due to the best selling novels. Having read, in three days, all of the books in the trilogy I was one of those individuals who was caught up in the casting of the film. After reading a book you have your own images of the character based upon descriptions in the book. It can sometimes be hard to reconcile that image in your head with who gets cast in the final film.
Often casting isn’t based on descriptions in books at all. I think back to the casting of Paula Patton in Precious as Blue Rain the antithesis of who was described in the book; a dark woman with a nice face, big eyes and locs. Or the more recent casting of Thandie Newton in Half of a Yellow Sun as a woman who was described as; “the lush color of rain-drenched earth” “eyes . . . large and slanted” “. . . curvy, fleshy body . . .” “hair was long; each of the braids that hung down to her neck ended in a soft fuzz” “ . . . illogically pretty . .”
In fact the whole tone of the original work can be ignored. My thoughts go to Tambay’s recent thoughts on the original script for Hancock. The Hunger Games Trilogy, while a novel for young adults, is violent and dark. I expected something completely different on screen than the end product. The film that was made seemed only to graze the surface of the reality presented in the books.
All of this came up when I was checking out The Quiet Earth and saw a pitch reel from director Kevin Tanchereon (Mortal Combat:Legacy and Glee 3D Movie) for the film The Hunger Games. I thought, just like agentorange at Quiet Earth, “this is the film I wanted to see.” Included in the reel were what I understant to be Tanchereon’s choices for casting in the film. Interestingly enough Amandla Stenberg was his choice for Rue, the same young actress who would go on to get the role. Wonder if that seed was planted from this pitch reel?
I say all this because I started wondering what other films had great ideas at their foundation only to have the execution falter . . . thoughts?