Lionsgate has released a new trailer for The Hunger Games. For everyone who was confused on the set-up and the premise, this trailer will get you up to speed. Unfortunately, that’s about all it will do. While it’s clear that director Gary Ross has not shied away from the garish fashion and make-up of the Capitol’s residents (I imagine some are going to be jarred out of the experience by Elizabeth Banks looking like she’s 80 and speaking with a British accent), there’s still no hint of the violence and brutality of the books. I can understand why they would leave that out of the trailer, but I’m absolutely baffled as to why there’s almost no footage from the actual Hunger Games. That’s the meat and potatoes of the set pieces, and I have no idea why they wouldn’t at least throw in some quick flashes of the action scenes. My best guess is that they’re still working on the special effects and didn’t have anything 100% finished to put into the trailer (or they’re saving those scenes for the next one).
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, and Donald Sutherland. The Hunger Games opens March 23, 2012.
Here are some numbers for you to chew on: The Twilight Saga has so far accumulated over $2.3 billion in global box office and DVD revenue (with two more films to be released) and the eight-movie Harry Potter series has amassed over a whopping $7.7 billion in global box office revenue alone. Lionsgate Entertainment is banking on The Hunger Games four-film series potential to join that elite class and reverse the four-year downward trend that has seen a 45% drop in stock value. Regarding a franchise earnings prediction between $220 million and $733 million, analyst James Marsh had this to say:
“The Hunger Games could be the biggest catalyst for Lions Gate’s profits and share price during the next decade. It could be a game changer for them.”
The first installment of The Hunger Games comes in at a cost of $80 million (Lionsgate’s most expensive solo production ever) and stars Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, a teenage gladiator in a dystopian future. The Hunger Games opens on March 23, 2012 and with it rests the hopes of Lionsgate Entertainment. Hit the jump for much more.
Earlier this month, we reported the surprising (and delightful) news that director Steven Soderbergh was directing some second-unit work on Gary Ross’ highly anticipated adaptation of The Hunger Games. While cool to hear, the news seemed a bit odd, as it’s not every day that you get an Academy Award-winning director to oversee your second-unit shooting. At the time, we noted that Soderbergh and Ross are good friends, so it was likely a case of one director doing a favor for another, as Ross has to get the film finished in time for a March release date and having a trustworthy friend onboard makes things go a bit smoother.
Soderbergh recently commented on his work on the film, explaining how he ended up in the position of second-unit director. In addition to recounting what brought him to the shoot, the technophile director also talked a bit about the second-unit shooting process. Hit the jump to see what he said.
You can count me among the fans of the book who were underwhelmed by the nondescript Hunger Games teaser that was released earlier today. And, if my intuition is in tune, you can include director Gary Ross in that group, too. Ross explains that the content of the clip was very limited by the amount of film in the can:
“Look, we’re still shooting. So unfortunately, it’s just a teaser. We could only give you a little bit because we’re still down here making the movie… There’s a lot of things to come that I think are going to be hugely epic and very emotional and incredibly powerful.”
Ross also gushes over star Jennifer Lawrence, discusses the limited presence of Gale (Liam Hemsworth) in the first book/movie, and talks about “bringing the Capitol to life.” Hit the jump for the video commentary, plus more on the viral website that Lionsgate launched.
In our WTF story of the day, Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh is apparently shooting second unit work on Gary Ross’ highly anticipated adaptation of The Hunger Games. While this certainly comes a bit of a surprise, especially given that Soderbergh isn’t exactly sitting around doing nothing (he plans to shoot Magic Mike, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Liberace before the end of next year), the team-up isn’t necessarily as out of left field as one might think: Soderbergh and Ross have been good friends for a number of years, with Soderbergh producing Ross’ Pleasantville and Ross frequently giving feedback on Soderbergh’s scripts. Hit the jump for more on Soderbergh’s involvement.
Oscar-nominees Carey Mulligan (An Education) and Gary Ross (Pleasantville) will join forces in the sci-fi action pic Outback. Per Variety, Nissar Modi (Z for Zachariah) will pen the script based upon an original idea developed by he and Ross. Tobey Maguire will co-produce Outbreak alongside Ross. Graham King and Tim Headington will also co-produce under King’s GK Films moniker. Details regarding the film are close to the vest at this point with the report only divulging that it will be set in the Australian outback.
Mulligan is filming director Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby this summer with Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Isla Fisher. She can next be seen alongside Ryan Gosling in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive which is slated to hit theaters on September 16th. As for Ross, the director is currently filming The Hunger Games for Lionsgate.
The process of adaptation is a difficult one. Yes, the story framework is in place and there’s usually a built-in fanbase as well, but screenwriters must wrestle with what they can include, what they can excise, and what they can change. A popular adaptation can’t alienate the fans but it also can’t exclude those unfamiliar with the source material.
Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy of young adult novels. Lionsgate hopes they have the next Twilight on their hands even though the plots of the two books couldn’t be more different. I’ll break down what works in the book, what will succeed in the movie, and where director Gary Ross will have difficulty in his adaptation.
About a month ago, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, and Lenny Kravitz were rumored for unspecified roles in buzzed adaptation of The Hunger Games. Harrelson was later identified as the movie’s Haymitch, and Tucci was cast as Caesar Flickerman, leaving Kravitz untethered in Panem. Tonight, Lionsgate announced that Kravitz will play Cinna, as many speculated. Director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) commented on the choice:
“When I saw Lenny’s work in PRECIOUS I was just knocked out. It was quiet and strong and understated and open hearted; all qualities which define this character.”
Quiet and strong and understated and open hearted are spot-on descriptions for Cinna, the stylist who guides Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) as the dictatorship pushes her into battle against 23 other teenagers. Kravitz is a fine choice, though much older than I imagined for Cinna.
Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, and Wes Bentley also star in The Hunger Games, scheduled for release on March 23, 2012. Hit the jump for the official announcement, as well as photos and video of construction on a District 12 set.
When Jennifer Lawrence was cast as protagonist Katniss Everdeen in Gary Ross’ adaptation of The Hunger Games, there were seriously people who complained that Lawrence was a blonde while in the book Katniss is a brunette. These poor souls never heard of a hair dye so they’ll be pleased to know that this magical new invention has been used to turn Lawrence’s hair the proper color. The new issue of Entertainment Weekly features Lawrence in her full Katniss get-up complete with bow, arrow, and golden pin that’s featured on the cover of the book. Speaking of the book, I just downloaded it to my Kindle and plan to read it in the very near future. If I don’t like it, I’m blaming all of the fans.
Hit the jump to check out the full image of Lawrence as Katniss. The film also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, and Woody Harrelson. The Hunger Games opens March 23, 2012.
Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) is attached to direct a contemporary version of the legend surrounding Cyrano de Bergerac. Bergerac was a French dramatist in the 17th century best remembered for the works of fiction loosely based on his life, most notably the 1897 play by Edmond Rostand. In Rostand’s play, Bergerac is a romantic whose large nose prevents him from expressing his love to Roxane, the woman of his dreams. Instead, he secretly helps a more handsome suitor woo the Roxane. According to THR, Ross’ take on the material is set in the present day reimagines the story using “today’s vast and complex social media tools.” I suppose that’s as good as any modern entry point into the classic tale. The fictional Bergerac would have been a great tweeter.
John Whittington will write the script. The project is set up at New Regency with Nina Jacobson (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and Ross’ producing partner Alison Thomas (The Tale of Desperaux) producing. Prior to this project, Ross and Jacobson will work together on the adaptation of The Hunger Games, scheduled for release March 23, 2012. Read a full synopsis for Cyrano de Bergerac after the break.
I guess it’s time for our daily Hunger Games casting story. It now looks like Woody Harrelson will be taking on the coveted role of Haymitch Abernathy, the only tribute from District 12 to ever win a Hunger Games competition who becomes Katniss’ mentor. John C. Reilly was previously being pursued for the role of the alcoholic Abernathy, but it appears that Harrelson will end up with the part. The actor was previously mentioned for a role in the film back in April, and now Heat Vision confirms his involvement.
Gary Ross is directing the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ wildly popular book trilogy. Set for release on March 23rd, 2012, The Hunger Games also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Wes Bentley, Elizabeth Banks and Stanley Tucci. Hit the jump to read a synopsis.
Stanley Tucci will play interviewer Caesar Flickerman in Gary Ross’ adaptation of The Hunger Games. Here’s how the press release describes the role:
Caesar Flickerman is utterly familiar to all the citizens of Panem as the host of the Hunger Games. Known for his outrageous appearance and buoyant personality, his upbeat interviews of the 24 tributes – a boy and a girl from each of the country’s 12 districts – are presented on every television in the nation. He is famous for turning any conversation around to the positive and finding humor in even the most dire circumstances.
It sounds like Tucci is playing the well-worn smarmy announcer character we’ve seen time and time again. However, I do take comfort in the fact that a talented actor like Tucci has taken the role and will likely bring something new to it. Hit the jump for the full press release. The film also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Wes Bentley, and Elizabeth Banks. The Hunger Games opens March 23, 2012.
It’s been over a decade since Wes Bentley wept at the quiet majesty of dancing trash but a string of flops since his performance in American Beauty have kept his career from truly taking off. However, Bentley has now landed a supporting role in one of the biggest films of 2012. Lionsgate has announced that Bentley will play head gamemaker Seneca Crane in Gary Ross’ adaptation of The Hunger Games. This is real Hunger Games casting news as opposed to yet another “Unknown Actor Cast as District X Tribute Who Probably Has No Lines in the Film Anyway” (which is why I stopped writing up those stories after the first couple of announcements). I haven’t read the novel yet but I assume that the gamemaker of The Hunger Games is a somewhat relevant role.
Hit the jump for the press release. The Hunger Games stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth. The film opens March 23, 2012.
A couple weeks ago, we reported that Elizabeth Banks was in talks to join Gary Ross’ adaptation of The Hunger Games. Today, Heat Vision confirms that she has officially signed on to play the role Effie Trinket, the “flaky bureaucrat who escorts her district’s young death-match contestants to their fate.” Banks joins Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, and Willow Shields along with an expanding cast of young actors playing tributes from various districts.
Banks will be seen in theaters later this summer in the indie comedy Our Idiot Brother. She’s also signed on to play the alcoholic sister of Chris Pine’s character in Alex Kurtzman’s Welcome to People. Hit the jump for the official synopsis for The Hunger Games, which opens March 23, 2012.
How many characters are there in The Hunger Games? Answer: Too many. There are too many characters. It’s getting to the point where we can start reporting a new cast member every hour on the hour. Earlier today we reported that Paula Malcomson (Deadwood) had been cast as Mrs. Everdeen. Now Vulture is reporting that John C. Reilly is in talks to play Haymitch Abernathy, the only tribute from District 12 to ever win a Hunger Games competition. Since his victory, Haymitch has descended into alcoholism but ends up becoming a mentor to new District 12 tributes Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). Reilly had been in talks to co-star alongside James Franco in Sam Raimi’s Oz, The Great and Powerful, but those talks have stalled due to his Hunger Games negotiations.
Hit the jump for the official synopsis. The film also stars Liam Hemsworth, Willow Shields, Amandla Stenberg, Dayo Okeniyi, Leven Rambin, Jack Quaid, and possibly Elizabeth Banks. The Hunger Games opens March 23, 2012.