Today’s movie spotlight focuses on the upcoming first of four movies that will visually tell the story of the three novels in the best-selling series by author Suzanne Collins! (Yes, you read correctly…3 books, but 4 movies, as they plan to split the third book into 2 films.) The three books of the trilogy are entitled: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.
I, perhaps like yourself, kept hearing about so many story and cast updates to this film, but had very little understanding as to what it was all about. Thankfully, my friend, TheSilkSpectre, who has read all of the books, decided to fill me in. Along with additional research of my own, her help has proven invaluable in allowing me to update you all on The Hunger Games. This post is thankfully dedicated to her.
So, what is The Hunger Games [from Lionsgate studios and directed by Gary Ross (Big, Pleasantville)] all about?
Based in the not too distant future, a war has left the continent of North America in ruins. The countries that once thrived there have since been replaced. The nation of Panem now lies between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The nation of Panem is a great and shining Capitol which is surrounded now by Districts 1-12 which are controlled by the Capitol. Each District is responsible for providing certain goods and materials for the heavy-handed and greedy Capitol to have and control.
(An artist’s independent thoughts on the layout of Panem)
Every year, the Capitol requires each of the Districts to make a tribute of 1 girl and 1 boy between the ages of 12-18 to represent their District and compete in an arena to fight to the death. The Tributes are chosen by way of lottery and are obligated to compete in the arena if chosen. This arena, which changes location year after year, is not a closed coliseum, but instead is an area of treacherous terrain with dangerous animals, landscapes, weather, and obstacles throughout. The televised arena of the Hunger Games showcase the 24 contestants (2 per District) as they battle the competing Districts for the highly valued win. The winning tribute’s reward (aside from a lifetime of provisions including housing, money, and food): more food and supplies for the contributing District over the following year until the next Hunger Games.
Each set of Hunger Games begins with all 24 tributes facing each other circling a stash of weapons. At the start of the games, a mad dash for weapons ensues as some immediately die, some form alliances, and some run to let the chips fall where they may and then only fight the few remaining. Not only must they fight against each other, but they must also be aware of the fact that there are some in Capitol that will control the arena by adding in further elements of danger if desired or necessary for excitement. Very Romanesque.
The Hunger Games begins with the 74th Hunger Games soon to commence. Panem, ruled by President Snow, prepares for the broadcasting of the 12 Districts and their Tributes. The tribute of interest: 16 year old Katniss from District 12 (the higher the District number=the poorer state it is in). Katniss, proficient with the bow and arrow, and her male counterpart from District 12, Peeta, hope to win the Hunger Games this year since District 12 has been winless for the past 25 years. Will she make her way through to the end of the Hunger Games as the victor and provide food and more to her District and her family?
Here’s a look at the Characters and Cast for the first film:
Katniss Everdeen (Protagonist of the story): 16 yr old Tribute from District 12. Provider for family after father’s death in the coal mines and her mother’s subsequent depression. Has a younger sister, Primrose. Played by Jennifer Lawrence.
Peeta Mellark: 16 yr old Tribute from District 12. Son of the Baker (Baker=wealthiest). Cares for Katniss. Played by Josh Hutcherson. (Alex Pettyfer from I Am Number Four was in talks for the part initially.)
Gale Hawthorne: Katniss’s hunting partner. 18 yr old idealistic member of District 12. Also cares for Katniss as they share a bond…Gale’s father also died in a mine explosion. Has volunteered his name for the lottery over 40 times in hopes of winning to provide for his 3 siblings and mother. Played by Liam Hemsworth.
Haymitch Abernathy: the only living Hunger Games victor from District 12. (He won the 50th games at age 16). An alcoholic, Haymitch trains and mentors all District 12 Tributes before the games begin each year…usually to watch them die. Played by Woody Harrelson.
President Coriolanus Snow: Dictator of the Capitol and all of Panem. A politician, Snow’s facade of being laid back and well-meaning hides intents of a more sadistic nature. Played by Donald Sutherland.
Effie Trinket: Capitol representative chaperone for District 12. Responsible for drawing the names from the lottery for the games. Very strict and hopeful to be promoted to a wealthier District to represent. Played by Elizabeth Banks.
“The Hunger Games” novel trilogy tells a tremendous story. I, for one, cannot wait to see this film…and the following 3 after it to complete the saga! What a great story and cast! I am excited to see the three books brought to the big screen. How about you?
Check this out:
These amazing live action trailers centered around The Hunger Games are the result of the hard work of their creator Kim Shelby and her crew. Watch the trailers and be sure to check out her youtube channel HERE!
You have plenty of time to buy and read the books before the movie releases. The Hunger Games is set to satisfy the curiosity of many on March 23, 2012. Will you watch the games?
For more posts on The Hunger Games, including trailers, click HERE.
- My friend, TheSilkSpectre
Thanks for reading! Happy watching!
up next: “Trailer Time Thursday!”