Tag Archives: Suzanne Collins

YA Movie Countdown: Why the Weakest ‘Hunger Games’ Book Could Create Two Great Films

MockingjayFrancis Lawrence did it. He stepped in for Gary Ross and didn’t just churn out another quality Hunger Gamesadaptation — he raised the bar even higher. But now that begs the question: can he do it again?

The odds were in Lawrence’s favor in every respect withCatching Fire. He had a built-in audience, a much bigger budget, all the star power in the world and, most importantly, impeccable source material. After reading the trilogy countless times over, Catching Fire is still the most fluid of the bunch and is absolutely brimming with cinematic quality. Even though Hunger Games is a close second toCatching Fire, from a book-to-film adaptation standpoint, the fact that Catching Fire was able to nix the world-building and hit the ground running gave it the edge, and writers Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt certainly used that to their advantage.

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‘The Hunger Games’ Countdown: The Best of ‘The Hunger Games’ 2012

Best-of-The-Hunger-Games-2012I’d say 2012 is the year of The Hunger Games, but 2011 kind of felt like just that, too, and I have a feeling the same will be true of 2013, 2014 and 2015. We knew The Hunger Gameswould be big the moment the world was consumed by the first film’s casting craze, but now that the film is here and it’s very good, it’s even more likely that Katniss and co. will nestle their way into pop culture and our lives in general, and stick it out for the long haul.

With high hopes for the future, we pause to take a look back at a defining year for the franchise; the year The Hunger Games hit theaters and proved this really could be a series of the highest quality. Here are your Hunger Games highlights of 2012.

Biggest Bummer: Katniss’ Mother Is the Mystery Character: I don’t like kicking things off on a sour note, but ending a piece on a downer is even worse, so let’s get this out of the way fast. Kudos to Lionsgate for putting together a top-notch cast for Catching Fire, but what was with the mystery character? The studio sends the fandom into a tizzy, speculating a minor character is getting a raise, a new character is being introduced, or a Mockingjay character is enjoying an early debut, only to reveal that the mystery character is just Katniss’ mother? Not cool.

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The Hunger Games Countdown: Set Pictures, Shooting Schedule Breakdown and Potential Story Additions

For the first time in months, there is no Hunger Games casting news to report. Well, there was that item claiming that Tim Taylor snagged a part as a Gamemaker, but as Lionsgate has yet to confirm the news, we’re going to let that one be for the time being. So, for two weeks, The Hunger Games has gone without adding any new faces and, well, that’s the nature of filmmaking. Now that we’re beyond the casting stages, there’s other items pouring in, namely reports from the set.

For the past few weeks production has been hot and heavy in Shelby, North Carolina. About a month ago, the crew began invading the town, throwing up roadblocks left and right and since, we’ve been fortunate enough to catch glimpses of Panem coming to life.

Much of the Shelby filming seemed to revolve around the portions that play out in Katniss and Peeta’s home district. One of the first notable images to hit the web was of a structure labeled “District 12,” right beside some train tracks nonetheless. Sure enough, an image of a train car branded with the Capitol logo surfaced soon after, which leads me to believe the rumors are true; Shelby was the shooting location for the reaping scene after which poor Katniss and Peeta board a train to the Capitol for the Games. Also falling in line with this supposed shooting schedule is the appearance of Elizabeth Banks in full Effie Trinket attire. Unfortunately, Lionsgate requested that both the shots of Banks as Effie and the Capitol logo be tucked away for the time being, but if you were lucky enough to catch them while they were live, you know that the production is moving in the right direction – visually at least.

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The Hunger Games Countdown: Katniss Who?


And we’re back! Now that we’ve gotten all of the basics out of the way, let’s focus on our leading lady, Katniss Everdeen. In recent weeks, we got our biggest non-casting update yet, a look at Jennifer Lawrence in costume. You can read more about my thoughts of Lawrence on the Entertainment Weekly cover as Katniss right here, but in this edition of the Countdown, we’re taking it one step further by focusing on who Katniss really is. But, before we get to the nitty gritty, let’s run through all of the latest production updates.

New Panem Residents & President

While the casting craze has certainly died down, we’ve still gotten a fairly steady stream of new faces over the past couple of weeks. Since the addition of Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, Lionsgate has added Alexander Ludwig, Isabelle Fuhrman, Brooke Bundy, Latarsha Rose, Lenny Kravitz, Toby Jones, Amber Chaney, Nelson Ascencioand lastly, Kimiko Gelman.

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‘The Hunger Games’ Countdown: Bringing You Up To Capitol Consciousness

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

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Hailee Steinfeld’s Next Film — Could It Be ‘The Hunger Games?’

Hailee Steinfeld is no longer just the girl from the K-Mart Blingitude commercial or the young actress from a handful of short films for that matter; she’s a critically acclaimed actress and quite possibly even an Oscar contender for Best Supporting Actress (she already won Best Young Actress at the Critic’s Choice Awards). Of course it’s a special thing to be cast in a Coen brothers movie, but in Steinfeld’s case, being cast as Mattie Ross in ‘True Grit’ is life changing.

It should come as no surprise that with this particularly big break will come an assortment of film offers – and rumors of offers, too. Lately, we’ve been hearing quite a lot about Steinfeld potentially portraying Katniss Everdeen in the film adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘ wildly popular book, ‘The Hunger Games.’ From the start, I’ve championed Chloe Moretz for the part not only because she’s a spectacular actress, but also because there was really nobody else who could handle the part. Well, after catching ‘True Grit,’ my ideal casting for the lead role in this potential blockbuster franchise changed and Ms. Moretz has slipped to option #2.

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Should ‘The Hunger Games’ Be PG-13 Or R? Director Gary Ross Weighs In

Back in October it was revealed that ‘The Hunger Games’ film adaptation was going to be stamped not with an R, but a PG-13 rating — and outrage ensued. Yes, Suzanne Collins’ entire series is for young adults, but for anyone who’s read the books – young or old – you know that the kids of Panem don’t play nice; they’re fighting for their lives.

After posting the news here on Cinematical, we got tons of angry responses, one of which going as far as to say, “This book is not appropriate for twelve year olds, but unfortunately, too many parents lack the spine to say so,” and another posting, “This book is nothing without its brutality. Unless the slaughter of those ten innocent kids is shown in the movie, the audience won’t understand why a revolution is needed.” However, we also got quite a few readers defending the PG-13 ruling: “The books are already PG-13. They’re totally innocuous and lacking in much action and certainly any adult themes. The books seem tailored to a PG-13.” Another pointed out, “I grew up on G movies that killed more horribly.”

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