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Of all the “darker” young adult series to emerge in the wake of the “Twilight” novels, none has caught on like Suzanne Collins‘ “Hunger Games” trilogy. And unlike “Twilight,” these novels have actually received praise outside of the teenage girl demographic. As such, The Hunger Games is one of 2012’s most anticipated films, so right on schedule we have a trailer premiere the week of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1.
The Hunger Games, directed by Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) stars Oscar nominee and rising star Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone, X-Men: First Class) as Katniss Everdeen, a teenage girl living in the nation of Panem, a dystopian world said to have emerged from the ruins of North America. The nation is divided into districts and every year each district has two “tributes” chosen to fight in the Hunger Games, an annual reminder of the iron grip the Capitol has on its people in the form of a battle to the death. When Katniss’ little sister is chosen for the games in only her first year of eligibility, Katniss volunteers to fight in her stead. She must leave her family and best friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth) behind and prepare to survive with fellow tribute Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), though only one tribute can survive and win the games.
The trailer sets up this scenario rather well and leads right up to the moment the games begin, so as much as it shows, so much is left to our imagination and that’s what a trailer of a book adaptation should do. As a reader (and fan) of the books, I was genuinely interested/excited for the film, but now I’m amped up. I suspsect Lionsgate will finally score big with this one.
Jennifer Lawrence already looks like she’s brought so much credibility to the film. The potential for melodrama is high in this series, so someone like her who can make it real was an important casting decision. She might be “too pretty” for Katniss, but I’m over it.
My bigger question for this adapation was how they would choose to blend the down-trodden gritty feel of Panem with the flashy futuristic pageantry (and absurdity at points) of the Capitol. It seems Ross and his team have done exceptionally well imagining both from the look of it so far.
The Hunger Games begin on March 23.