As avid fans of Suzanne Collins‘ work, we’ve been holding our breath about whatever changes have inevitably made to adapt The Hunger Games for the big screen. Of course, the changes are necessary, but will they be the right changes? The new clip out on Yahoo!, featuring Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Cinna’s (Lenny Kravitz) first meeting, is a promising indication of how the adaptation works.
In the book, Katniss gradually explains to readers the history of the games, how the opening ceremonies work, with the tributes representing the “flavor” of their district, and how humiliating District 12′s coal miner costumes normally are. We’re inside her head as she braces herself for more of the same, “It’s always dreadful and does nothing to win favor with the crowd. I prepare myself for the worst.”
Thankfully, screenwriter Simon Beaufoy and director Gary Ross chose not to use a whole bunch of Katniss voiceover in this movie. Read more…
After so many Hunger Games trailers and TV spots that have just given us glimpses of the same handful of scenes, Lionsgate has at last given us a peek at a new one — one of my favorites. It’s when Katniss presents her skills to the Gamemakers, who will give her a score designed to entice or deter sponsors for the tributes going into the games. Here’s how Suzanne Collins describes it:
“It’s excellent shooting. I turn to the Gamemakers. A few are nodding in approval, but the majority of them are fixated on a roast pig that has just arrived at their banquet table. … Suddenly I am furious, that with my life on the line, they don’t even have the decency to pay attention to me. That I’m being upstaged by a dead pig.”
Sure, Katniss often conflicted and insecure when it comes to her interviews and her later confrontations in the arena, but with a bow and arrow in hand, in the face of Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) and his silly Capitol colleagues, the girl is formidable. And we love seeing this come to life for the movie. Read more…
We didn’t realize we’d been holding our breath until we read this line — “I’ve just had the opportunity to see the finished film of The Hunger Games. I’m really happy with how it turned out.” — and let out a sigh of relief. Author Suzanne Collins had a whole lot of other nice things to say about the movie on the official Hunger Games Facebook page today.
“The film opens up the world beyond Katniss’ point of view, allowing the audience access to the happenings of places like the Hunger Games control room and President Snow’s rose garden, thereby adding a new dimension to the story,” Collins wrote, calling the film “faithful” and “complementary” to her books. “It’s amazing to see things that are suggested in the book fully developed and so brilliantly realized through the artistry of the designers.” Read more…
You don’t have to lie to us; we know how much you love being in Katniss’s sights. Go ahead and enjoy it all you like. Jennifer Lawrence has her steely heroine face on for the cover of Entertainment Weekly‘s new Hunger Games issue, which was revealed today. “Is it violent?” director Gary Ross says of his film as part of the mag’s behind-the-scenes coverage. “Yes. Do we back off from what it is? No, we don’t.” Ugh, it’s like we’re actually right there in the arena with her! And there is no way we are getting out alive!
We entertainment writers do our best not to assume that all celebrities know each other or all actors are just like their characters, or other amateur business like that. But after seeing Rooney Mara kick major ass and rescue Daniel Craig in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, we thought she might possibly be a fan of other stories in which the lady saves the day. Like, for instance that other little best-selling trilogy, The Hunger Games?
“I haven’t read the books,” Mara confessed to VH1 News on the Oscar red carpet last night. “But I would like to. I’ve heard that they’re great. I think I’ll try and see the books first and then go see [the movie].”
Please do, Rooney! We see a lot of similarities between Lisbeth Salander and Katniss Everdeen, actually. They’re both scrappy, emotionally damaged girls who will do anything to survive but always wind up risking their necks to save others too and seem surprised to find themselves as heroines. And we wonder, would they like each other? More important: Who would win in a fight? (Forgive us, and our fried post-Oscar brains, please.)
Take note, all you spoilery movie trailer editors: This is how you give us multiple trailers that satisfy our craving (sorry) for new stuff, without giving up the whole movie. The second Hunger Games trailer doesn’t contain a single new scene that wasn’t in the teaser or the first theatrical trailer (except for this one glimpse of Katniss in a yellow dress, above), but it gives us new quotes and new camera angles that reveal just a little more about the characters and plot. For instance, what was just Gale’s voiceover from the teaser about her being stronger than the other tributes we now get to see coming from him directly. And the only thing that kind of bugs us, just because it’s so different from the book, is that opening moment with the pin (more on that later).
The general feeling of trailer #2 is less eerie (and the soundtrack has a lot to do with that), more dramatic. Katniss seems a little more vulnerable, while Peeta starts to come to life a little more. Flip through the gallery of 10 new things we noticed, and then let us know what you noticed too!
To our 2011 selves who may have maybe for a minute doubted that Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence would make the right Peeta and Katniss in The Hunger Games, I present exhibit A: the actors’ latest interview with MTV News. The two are absolutely hilarious together, teasing and complimenting each other in a way that suggests they formed a real bond in the arena. Our favorite moment is when they’re asked what they’re looking forward to in the sequels, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Major spoilers and video after the jump. Read more…
Rolling Stone has just posted the above brand-new Hunger Games photo, featuring Cinna and Katniss’ last moment together before she enters the arena, making us almost Kristen-Bell-sloth-level excited that there’s only 50 days (and a few hours) before the movie is out. It’s the kind of quiet scene that could be screwed up in a movie adaptation that’s filled with all that action and drama, but we think Gary Ross, Jennifer Lawrence and Lenny Kravitz just might get it right. Especially when we hear Lenny describe his character to RS: “He’s very streamlined, he’s very quiet. He knows what he’s doing. He’s confident. He’s got a big heart. I just liked the way he moved — very smooth.”
If casting rumors are to be believed, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are going to be lovahs once more! Oh, sorry, we just meant on the big screen. Not anywhere else. We didn’t mean to fill you with all that glee/burning jealousy. The two have already locked lips for the upcoming film The Silver Linings Playbook, due out in November 2012, and now Jennifer and Bradley are set to lock wits (and, well, probably lips again) in the new drama Serena, tentatively scheduled for release in 2014. You think you’re excited about this now; wait until Catching Fire has come out. And Bradley has shaved off that ‘tache.
In the film set in 1929 North Carolina, The Hunger Gamesleading lady will reportedly play the titular character, wife of Bradley’s timber baron and, um, would-be murderer of his illegitimate son. You know we love Jennifer and are confident her steady gaze can convey “deep-seated need for homicidal revenge” as well “deep-seated need to avoid death at the hands of her fellow teenagers.” The only issue we might have with the casting is their 15 year age difference. But hey, the movie takes place in the ’20s! And they can always age Jennifer with make-up! Forget we said anything because now we’d really like to see these two square off again!
If we hadn’t already seen evidence of Kristen Stewart’s upcoming Vanity Fair spread, we know there’d be an uprising about her absence from the cover of VF’s annual Hollywood Issue. After all, there are two other alumnae from the 2010 issue returning for this year’s cover: Mia Wasikowska and Jennifer Lawrence. They share the mag’s front image with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’s Rooney Mara and Jessica Chastain, she of The Help and every other critically acclaimed movie of 2011.
Behind the fold are some other rather recognizable faces from the past year, albeit made up in ultra-glam ’30s-era styling for the Mario Testino photo that makes them nearly unrecognizable: Elizabeth Olsen, Shailene Woodley, Paula Patton and Lily Collins. Three of the actresses are buzzy but not yet getting mainstream recognition: Adepero Oduye, star of the indie fave Pariah; Like Crazy’s Felicity Jones and Brit Marling, who co-wrote and starred in last year’s Another Earth and co-stars opposite Richard Gere in the upcoming hedge-fund drama (!) Arbitrage. Read more…