The Hunger Games just wrapped up its third weekend in theaters and, naturally, Catching Fire chatter is already taking over. Making a movie is a very temperamental process, so while the Hunger Games sequel does have a definitive due date, November 22nd, 2013, the road to that release could veer in all sorts of directions.
Search for a Director
We’ve been whipped around quite a bit with this whole Gary Ross/Catching Fire issue, but just last night it came to an official close. After a lengthy back and forth, some reports claiming Ross was a no-go for Catching Fire and then others saying it was still possible, we received the man’s definitive decision: Gary Ross will not continue to direct the franchise.
According to Deadline, Ross’ exit “shocked” a Lionsgate executive. In a personal statement, Ross said, “I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.” He goes on to talk about how much he enjoyed making The Hunger Games and refutes claims that he’s had difficulties negotiating with the studio. In fact, Ross noted, “They have also been very understanding of me through this difficult decision.”
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The pressure is on. The time has come and now the world really is watching. Does The Hunger Games live up to the hype that’s preceded its release? Most certainly.
The nation of Panem consists of 12 districts and the Capitol. As punishment for a rebellion, each district must pay penance to the nation by sending one boy and one girl, between the ages of 12 and 18, to the Capitol to compete in the annual Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death.
When Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) younger sister Prim’s (Willow Shield) name is randomly selected during the District 12 reaping, Katniss does something no District 12 citizen has ever done before; she volunteers to take Prim’s place in the Hunger Games. And so it is done; Katniss is forced to say her goodbyes and board a train to the Capitol alongside her fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), to fight for her life.
The concept in itself is enough to get just about anyone hooked. No, the idea of children killing each other in order to preserve their own life isn’t appealing, but it is intriguing. However, what’s even more captivating than that is the world that’s built around it – the people in it, the districts that keep it running and the values that make the nation of Panem what it is when we enter The Hunger Games.
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Whoa. We’re really getting close! With only two Hunger GamesCountdowns to go before the big release (and hopefully many more to come thereafter), we’re putting the spotlight on those coveted midnight screenings. But before we get to the meat of this weekend Countdown, how about a brief run-through of all the recent Hunger Games news?
With the big opening fast approaching, the cast and director Gary Ross are out and about promoting. We’ve got Isabelle Fuhrman (Clove) on the cover of Girls’ Life Magazine, Wes Bentley (Seneca Crane) and Leven Rambin (Glimmer) in a photo shoot together for Genlux Magazine, Liam Hemsworth on the cover of GQ Australia and more. Sure these magazines are great and it’s something tangible you can keep, but talk show appearances are far more exciting. Why? Because talk show appearances generally require clips. We just got that oneof Katniss firing an arrow at the Gamemaker’s pig and, now, thanks to Lenny Kravitz’s appearance on Ellen, we’ve got clip #2, Cinna’s pre-opening ceremony advice for Katniss. And, of course, the Hunger Games mall tour is also currently underway. The gang already hit LA and Atlanta, are due to visit Phoenix and Chicago today, and will make it to Miami, Dallas, Minneapolis and Seattle by Saturday.
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A Little Mockingjay Told Me: Welcome!
Apparently I’m not the only one who can’t get enough of this series, so in honor of the craze that is The Hunger Games book-to-film adaptation, we’re dedicating an entire column to the event, brought to you by yours truly. Welcome to The Hunger Games Countdown!
Every other week (till we get closer to release) we’ll deliver the latest in Hunger Games news, an introspective look at how particular scenes could potentially come to life on the big screen, a taste of what’s happening throughout the realm of Hunger Games fan websites and much more. To kick-start the series, we’re going to take a look back at the history of the big-screen adaptation from the very first announcement proclaiming that The Hunger Games movie was on the way.
But first, for those of you who have yet to read the book (and I maintain there’s no excuse for that), here are The Hunger Games basics …
Read more: ‘The Hunger Games’ Countdown: Bringing You Up To Capitol Consciousness | Featured Article | Movies.com