Steven Soderbergh is Directing Second Unit on THE HUNGER GAMES

     August 4, 2011

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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.

hunger-games-movie-image-josh-hutcherson-01The Playlist connected the dots, as sources confirmed the director’s involvement to them after a production designer and an electrician tweeted about the nature of Soderbergh’s presence onset. The report also pointed out the long-standing friendship between the two directors as evidence that the pairing isn’t as strange as it sounds. In addition to the added bonus of working closely with a friend, Ross is in a very tight time crunch. Fans of the book are nearly foaming at the mouth to see if the director has done Suzanne Collins’ novels justice, and the film is set to be released in a mere seven months. Soderbergh is someone Ross can trust to do great work very quickly, and it’s a rather genius move to bring him on board.

Ultimately, this is great news. I’m a big fan of the books, and if done right they’ll make fantastic film adaptations. Soderbergh’s eye seems perfectly suited for some of the action scenes set in the arena, so hopefully he gets the chance to tackle some of those set pieces. The Hunger Games opens March 23rd, 2012. If you missed the batch of high resolution images from the film that were released the other day, click here.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games.  Part twisted entertainment, part government intimidation tactic, the Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.

Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy.  If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

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