Lionsgate has done all of us a heavy and released a mostly fresh batch of The Hunger Games stills to ogle. While the countdown to March 23 continues, we’re pretty much champing at the bit to get out hands on it, so we’re excited about the “new” photos Lionsgate released this week, even if we’re pretty sure we’ve seen them all before. There are some photos that were previously exclusives with other magazines and sites, like the one of Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket with Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen in a scene that we know is going to make us bawl — when Katniss volunteers herself instead of Rue — as well as one of Lenny Kravitz, Woody Harrelson and Josh Hutcherson as Cinna, Haymitch and Peeta discussing strategy, and a behind-the-scenes shot of Jennifer in the forest. There are also stills of what we’ve seen in the trailer, such as the one of Amandla Stenberg as Rue, warrior Katniss holding a bow, and Katniss and Liam Hemsworth‘s Gale in the meadow and the one we included above, of Katniss being led to the arena. But yeah, so what if it’s all familiar territory? We don’t want the whole darn movie spoiled for us!
Taylor Swift is an expert at writing melancholy pop; for example, “Dear John” made us want to rise up as a nation against John Mayer. This time, however, Swift has set her song-writing sights on government-sponsored blood sport with “Safe and Sound,” her new song for the Hunger Games soundtrack. “Something I’ve been VERY excited about for a VERY long time is going to be happening VERY soon,” Swift tweeted last night, before posting the jam she recorded with The Civil Wars. You can listen to it here. Personally we think it captures the exact combination of hope and despair you’d feel as you sprinted through the woods trying to escape almost certain death and you knew a boy liked you. What do you think of Taylor Swift‘s addition to the film’s soundtrack?
Christmas came early today in the form of this new Hunger Games still, which shows Katniss and Peeta training before the games. We thrilled to find Josh Hutcherson looking the most Peeta-y we’ve seen him — blond, buff and seriously handsome. We’ve been hard on the guy in the past, but this photo — combined with his serious acting skills — gives us a lot of hope for his portrayal Peeta. Jennifer Lawrence looks amazing as usual, and seeing them together has sparked our curiosity about their on-screen chemistry. Readers, are you sold?
Whether you’re preparing teenagers for a government-sponsored battle royale or just getting torn apart by a pack of mutant wolves who look like your fallen opponents, you always want to be as fabulous as possible. Luckily Lionsgate is releasing twelve official Hunger Games nail polish colors, one for each district, paired in their new ad with escort Effie Trinket herself. The line being entitled “Capitol Colours,” the spot asks the all-important question: “What will you be wearing to the opening ceremonies?” Other than the steely-yet-resigned expression of a heartless warrior, of course.
On one hand…doesn’t seem a little weird to be buying a product named after the decadence of the book’s corrupt Capitol City? On the other hand, we’ll wear anything if it’ll help us look as fierce as Elizabeth Banks. Or even Mr. Stanley Tucci! What do you think? Will the odds be ever in your favor of looking like a total diva in these hues, or does representing District 12 with tribute nail polish strike you as a little grim?
Time is a marvelously, frustratingly relative thing. For those of us who have been waiting for a Hunger Games movie since we read the book in 2008, the 100-day countdown to the film that starts today seems pretty short. But then, when we think about how much we want to the showdown at the Cornucopia, it seems agonizingly long. Well, either way, let’s put on our best Effie Trinket positive attitudes and celebrate, shall we? Today, TheFABlife is honored to be a part of the #HungerGames100 Poster Puzzle Hunt. The picture below is piece #64 of 100 puzzle pieces released out into the many Hunger Games-friendly sites across the Interwebs today. You can download the PDF version of the piece here: http://bit.ly/sJY3Py.
Yesterday, David Levithan told us that he doesn’t think people finish reading The Hunger Games and immediately want to pick up another dystopian novel. Well, we agree that we like to space these dark books out a bit, but they are addictive. And once a month or so, we’ve been picking up a new one. If you’re just starting to be obsessed, begin with the books we talked about during this Dystopian Week, especially with NextMovie.com’s list of books with movies in the works, then scroll back through Hollywood Crush’s first Dystopian Week suggestions from back in April. Here are some that we haven’t read yet but are next on our own to-read list.
Birthmarked, by Caragh M. O’Brien: In this version of the future, the world is divided between people who live inside the Enclave, and the unfortunate who live outside its walls. Gaia Stone is a 16-year-old novice midwife, and part of her duty is to hand over a quota of babies to the Enclave. But then her parents are taken away, and she has to figure out what’s really going on behind those walls.
The Eleventh Plague, by Jeff Hirsch: The cover bears a quote from Suzanne Collins herself, calling it “an excellent, taut debut novel,” so you probably can’t go wrong with this one. Stephen Quinn was born after two-thirds of the country was wiped out by influenza (that the Chinese released here on purpose) and has grown up barely scraping by as a salvager. But after a family tragedy, the 15-year-old finds his way to a community called Settler’s Landing, where he falls in love and learns that things aren’t as great in the town as they initially appeared to be. Read more…
As Dystopian Week comes to a close today, we’re looking forward to a future not quite as bleak as the one presented in a lot of our favorite novels. That’s because we have plenty more dystopian fiction to look forward to! Partials, due out February 28, takes place after a war between humans and the genetically engineered beings that rebelled against their creators and released a virus that killed 99.9 percent of the population. But one girl among the immune humans is going to try to save the species. Here, author Dan Wells tells us why he thinks we’re drawn to this genre:
Why are we so excited by dystopian stories these days? Do we like to be scared? Do we like the danger? Is it just fun? The best answer I can come up with is: Look around. We read dystopia not because these societies are strange and unfamiliar, but because, more often than not, they mirror our own. Fractured government, questionable freedom of the press, a massive reduction in personal privacy—check, check and check. Our handling of the Occupy movement, for example, is so backward that oppressive foreign dictators are using it to justify their own brutality. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with Occupy or not: Our response to it is maybe not the best reflection of a free society. Dystopian fiction allows us to play with these ideas, to explore them, to see where this law or that revolution might take us. We read dystopia because we want to understand our own world. Read more…
Earlier today, Scholastic let us reveal the cover of the upcoming movie tie-in edition of The Hunger Games. From the moment Suzanne Collins’ book hit shelves, we’ve been hearing about its movie adaptation. And on the occasion of Dystopian Week, we thought it would be interesting to hear from someone in the publishing world about how all this movie buzz and “dystopia is the new vampires” talk affects what makes it to print. So we got on the phone with David Levithan, who’s not just an editor at Scholastic; he’s also one half of the writing team behind Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, another successful book-to-movie story.
First off, Levithan told us something that may come as a surprise to some of us who follow the movie biz: Not that many young adult novels in the market have been optioned for movies.
“I would guess that it is in the 5 percent range, but that is purely anecdotal. It is certainly not many,” he said. And what’s more interesting, book editors aren’t necessarily hunting for the books that will make them big bucks on the big screen. Read more…
We’d like to think this is just in honor of Dystopian Week, but we’re not that full of ourselves. Still, we’re pretty excited that the folks at Scholastic gave us the chance to give you the first look at the cover of the movie tie-in edition of The Hunger Games, which hits shelves on February 7, just weeks before the premiere of the film. You can head over to Hollywood Crush for a glimpse at the covers of The Hunger Games: Official Illustrated Movie Companion and The Hunger Games Tribute Guide, which are also due out on February 7. This isn’t the first special edition of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy to be released — The Hunger Games Collector’s Edition, with a fancy cloth cover, came out last month. What we’re most pleased about is the fact that they resisted the temptation to put Jennifer Lawrence on the novel’s cover. We love her, and can’t wait for the movie, but we’re also purists about our books. What we’re most disappointed about: You can’t make a book get that moving flame effect like the digital posters. Maybe those will exist in our dystopian future?
If there’s one thing we love about dystopian novels for young adults, it’s the idea that in the future, smart, brave teenagers will save the world from the terrible, oppressive world the grownups created for them. The Hunger Games‘ Katniss gives us hope for the next, next, next generation. In Marie Lu’s Legend, which is in stores today, we have two brilliant 15-year-olds ready to kick ass, if they don’t kill each other first. And for day two of Dystopian Week, we’d like to introduce you to Day and June.
Legend (the first in a trilogy, of course) is already in development as a movie — produced by Twilight‘s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, and directed by Jonathan Levine, who’s making zombie-in-love YA adaptation Warm Bodies for Summit right now. (Head over to Hollywood Crush for an interview with Lu about the book and her involvement in the movie.)
We’ve been hearing about it for MONTHS now, so we were almost worried the book couldn’t possibly live up to the hype. If it were just up to the action sequences and the vision of a dark future in which the Republic of California is a country under military rule, at war with the Colonies (the rest of the former U.S.), the novel might not be such a phenom. It’s the characters that make it so. Day has been living on his own since he escaped execution at age 10, and now he’s the Republic’s most-wanted criminal, due to his daring, Robin Hood-esque pranks. He robs banks and sets military equipment on fire, but mostly just tries to steal enough to provide for his mother and brothers while he and his young sidekick Tess live in the streets.
June is the Republic’s most promising prodigy and is nearing her graduation from college and into a military life at just 15. She’s looking forward to following in the footsteps of her brother Metias, who’s raised her since the death of their parents. Read more…