Sam Mendes, Gary Ross, and David Slade Emerge as Frontrunners to Direct THE HUNGER GAMES

     September 3, 2010

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Directors Sam Mendes (Away We Go), Gary Ross (Seabiscuit), and David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) are Lionsgate’s top choices to direct an adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ novel The Hunger Games.  The book is the first in a trilogy and Deadline argues that the series could be the new Twilight due to its appeal to both young and adult demographics.  The story centers on “Katniss Everdeen, an enterprising 16-year old from a poor territory that was once Appalachia, who becomes a teen gladiator in a reality show event that is a battle to the death against other teens from the 12 districts that make up what is left of the USA, which is run by a cruel totalitarian government.”  If this premise causes you to have flashbacks to Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royale, you’re not the only one.  The books have been a smash hit for Scholastic and the final novel in the trilogy, Mockingjay, has already sold 450,000 copies since hitting shelves on August 24th.

Hit the jump to learn about other projects Mendes, Ross, and Slade are connected to.

Mendes is still attached to helm the next James Bond movie, but that’s in stasis until MGM claws free of its financial quagmire.  He’s also considering a stage musical version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and an adaptation of On Chesil Beach with Carey Mulligan in talks to star.

Ross is working on a biopic of Robert F. Kennedy with Matt Damon attached to star (although with Damon’s busy schedule, it’s unknown when that project would go before cameras).

Slade has become a hot commodity since Eclipse and he’s reportedly 20th Century Fox’s top choice Wolverine 2.  With that film set to shoot early next year, it’s doubtful Slade would be able to direct both.

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