Beastly sorry to demand your attention, dear reader, but if you are a devoted fan of the dystopian young adult novels of Suzanne Collins, then this information will certainly be of interest. So far, all we've seen from the film adaptation The Hunger Games have been images of the principal trio, with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth mostly hanging out in an otherwise unremarkable forest. At this weekend's MTV Video Music Awards, Lawrence herself will introduce the first actual footage from the film. Presumably, this footage will be a brief tease, to be aired between self-consciously outrageous musical acts and Kanye West demonstrating his signature unparalleled humility.
So far, all but one of the images Lionsgate has released from The Hunger Games have featured the lead characters doing pretty much nothing in the woods. The only non-wooded picture was of a guy standing in front of a bakery. That's not a slight on the stills, by any means, but the film is set in future dystopia and everything we've seen so far has held back on representing that visually, presenting instead Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth in what is presumably their rural home district. A new image of Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne suggests, however, that the Age of Wooded pictures may be passing, and we'll slowly be introduced to the more ostentatious locales of Panem, specifically the Capitol, which remains unseen by our plebian eyes.
Lioinsgate owns the rights to a trilogy of young adult novels by Suzanne Collins, and these novels proved to be crossover bestsellers in multiple demographics, combining dystopian science fiction with an emotionally accessible love triangle. The first film, The Hunger Games, is in the midst of production, but the studio no doubt wants to make sure this film series gets running in a timely fashion. Do you think they're just going to sit back and wait to get your sequel moving when they could throw down a release date, letting the world know just how serious they are about this franchise? Lionsgate has just inevitably done the latter, as Catching Fire has been announced for November 22, 2013.
For months, anticipation for The Hunger Games was maintained with a seemingly interminable stream of casting announcements. On a minute-by-minute basis, town criers the world over heralded even the most minor addition to the cast, shouting with no small amount of puffery, "Hear ye, hear ye, Annie Thurman will be play District 9 Tribute Girl!" With the adaptation of Suzanne Collins' bestselling young adult novel fully cast and in production, though, these announcements have been replaced by occasional images of the young cast in wooded environs basically doing nothing. As your digital town crier, I do declare, "Look ye upon two new images from The Hunger Games; one of loveliest Jennifer Lawrence looking concerned and one of Josh Hutcherson lounging about in the out-of-doors!"
Yesterday brought the world its very first official look at Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson in costume as Gale Hawthorne and Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games, the adaptation of Suzanne Collins' novel, the first in a trilogy. That image didn't inspire a huge amount of enthusiasm, however, as it was simply the two of them standing in the woods. Today brings three new, equally official images from the Gary Ross-directed film, currently filming in North Carolina. Once again, one features Hemsworth and Hutcherson in the woods, but this time they're strutting. The other two are more interesting: Peeta in front of his familial bakery, and Hawthorne with bow-toting protagonist Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence.
As in Suzanne Collins' hugely popular dystopian novel on which it is based, The Hunger Games will no doubt keep its female protagonist Katniss Everdeen front and center. Since Katniss is a strong and beautiful young woman, though, she naturally has a potential love interest or two. One is her childhood best friend Gale Hawthorne and other is Peeta Mellark, her partner in the titular survival games who has long been in love with his fellow gladiatorial combatant. Two months ago, we got our first look at Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence in costume as Katniss, and today, fervent fans of the novel trilogy can finally take a peek at Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson as Gale and Peeta, respectively.
Last week, Danny Elfman revealed that he would in all likelihood, compose the score for The Hunger Games. This was no huge surprise, since Elfman is a reliable, A-list composer for big franchise films and Lionsgate is going all-out on their adaptation of Suzanne Collins' phenomenally popular young adult novel that successfully caught on outside its target demographic. Now, the Oscar nominee has been confirmed for The Hunger Games, along with the surprise announcement that he'll be composing with Oscar winner T. Bone Burnett, the renowned musician, composer and music producer best known for his work with The Coen Brothers, especially O Brother, Where Art Thou.
Danny Elfman is one of the few film composers who, like John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith, is actually a recognizable name to the general public. The former Oingo Boingo frontman is known for his collaborations with Tim Burton, as well as scores for the likes of Spider-Man, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Chicago, as well as the main title theme from The Simpsons. The inimitable Elfman spoke about his upcoming projects, revealing that he's in talks to score Gary Ross' The Hunger Games, and is set to compose for Sam Raimi's Oz The Great and Powerful, Men in Black III, and (unsurprisingly) Tim Burton's Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie.
Pop quiz hotshot. You're a studio with the rights to a phenomenally popular series of young adult books that actually have a cross generational fanbase, Harry Potter or Twilight, for example. You're on a gravy train with biscuit wheels, but there are only so many novels to adapt and you're running out. What do you do? You find a way to make one book into two movies, usually the climactic installment, like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, both of which have Parts 1 and 2. For their soon-to-be franchise The Hunger Games, adapted from a trilogy of three novels by Suzanne Collins, Lionsgate is pre-emptively planning not three, but four films.
Another day, another bit of casting news on The Hunger Games, the currently-filming adaptation of the crazy-popular novel by Suzanne Collins. After last week saw the addition of Lenny Kravitz and Toby Jones to a much-discussed cast that already included Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Wes Bentley, Stanley Tucci, and about two dozen tributes, we may finally be at the end of all this incessant casting pageantry. Today, Donald Sutherland has officially joined The Hunger Games as President Snow.