by (@shalapitcher)

Catching Fire Casting News! Except It’s Not About Finnick!

Philip Seymour Hoffman is rumored for a role in Catching Fire

Remember when they were casting The Hunger Games? It went like this: Lionsgate announced who would play Katniss, Peeta and Gale, and then Haymitch, President Snow, Effie and Seneca … and then we started to lose interest as they rolled out the tribute announcements. Maybe that’s why they’re going to drag out the process of announcing the major roles in Catching Fire, saving the most anticipated for last. And maybe we should just be happy to hear any kind of rumors that aren’t coming from our own wild imaginations (talking to you, Robert Pattinson as Finnick stories). According to Deadline, and this tweet from blogger @TheInSneider, Philip Seymour Hoffman has been offered the role of Plutarch Heavensbee.
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by (@shalapitcher)

New Hunger Games Cinna Clip Reveals Book-To-Movie Changes

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…

by (@shalapitcher)

New Hunger Games Clip: Katniss Puts The Odds In Her Favor

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…

by (@shalapitcher)

Hunger Games World Is “Brilliantly Realized” In Movie, Suzanne Collins Says

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.”
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by (@shalapitcher)

Lenny Kravitz Moves Us In New Hunger Games Pic

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.”

The rocker reveals that he took the role because he admired Suzanne Collins’ storytelling in the book. “I’m very much into stories. The character was interesting. I like Gary’s previous work. And I said, Yeah, let’s go.”

Related:
Birthday Boy Adam Lambert Talks Hunger Games Appeal, Possible Acting Career
[Photo: Lionsgate via Rolling Stone]

by (@shalapitcher)

Hunger Games’ Elizabeth Banks Describes Her “Outrageous” Effie Trinket


I experienced a tiny bit of job envy when I was introduced to the CapitolCouture Tumblr this week. Can you imagine getting enough access to those movie stills to write blogs about Effie’s gold McQueen peep-toe shoes? I’ll have to settle for having met Effie Trinket herself last week. Oops, #humblebrag. After Elizabeth Banks and I shared a little lament over having given away all our copies of The Hunger Games, I asked her if she minds that we ask her more about playing Effie than, say about her movie that’s out this week, Man on a Ledge.

“I’m really happy to talk about The Hunger Games, especially with fellow fans,” she said. (You see that? We are “fellow fans” now!) “It’s going to be a great movie. Anytime you make something that you know is going to be highly entertaining and is about something, it’s a really special experience and something that I’m really looking forward to sharing.”

Twitter fans asked us to ask her about Effie costumes, naturally. But despite our newfound bond, she was pretty vague on the matter.
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by (@shalapitcher)

Elizabeth Banks Is An OG Hunger Games, Maze Runner Fan

We keep hearing how all the people involved in The Hunger Games movie were fans of Suzanne Collins’ books long before they were actually hired. Well, as fellow fans, we love to hear about how others discovered Katniss and her world. And that’s what we asked Elizabeth Banks yesterday, when she was in town to promote her latest movie, Man on a Ledge.

“I first got the book from a publishing friend,” said the actress, who plays District 12′s tribute handler Effie Trinket. “I had read a similarly themed book called The Maze Runner, also a great book, and someone said, ‘If you liked that, you’ll really like this upcoming book called The Hunger Games.’ ”

*Pause.* So, it sounds like she was a fan before the book was even out, back in September 2008. The Maze Runner, incidentally, is the first in a trilogy by James Dashner about a boy who wakes up in a box with no memory of his past and realizes he’s one of a group of boys forced to try to escape an ever-changing life-size maze. Catherine Hardwicke was attached to direct that movie, but we haven’t heard any news on it since January 2011. (Update: James Dashner just tweeted us that he doesn’t think Hardwicke is attached anymore. Boo!) OK, back to Banks and her Games obsession. *Unpause*
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by (@shalapitcher)

See The Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence As The Girl About To Be On Fire


Here’s how The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen describes the most famous piece of clothing since Bella’s wedding gown: “A few hours later, I am dressed in what will either be the most sensational or the deadliest costume in the opening ceremonies. I’m in a simple black unitard that covers me from ankle to neck. Shiny leather boots lace up to my knees.”

Now, over at EW.com, you can see how Gary Ross and company have turned Suzanne Collins’ words into reality in an exclusive pic of Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Lenny Kravitz. So far, so good, right? But there are a few things missing from the rest of her description:
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by (@hallekiefer)

Elizabeth Banks Instructs Hunger Games Haters To Please Bring It On

It’s a veritable law of the universe that haters are going to hate; it’s in their awful blood. If they’re planning to hate on Elizabeth Banks for being cast as Effie Trinket in the upcoming Hunger Games film, however, said haters can take their complaints to the book’s author Suzanne Collins. “I worked with amazing Academy Award–nominated people in figuring out who Effie is, and most importantly, [author] Suzanne Collins blessed everything we did,” the 30 Rock actress told New York mag when asked about some haterade she recently received on Twitter. “So as long as Suzanne Collins is happy … I would say if fans wanna fight about it, they can fight with her.” Say … in some kind of specially-designed murder arena? While the rest of us watch, our deadened souls stirred by the unfolding homicidal drama? Pweeeeease?

The fact that Banks sounds so confident in her acting ability is encouraging, seeing as how as the actress is personally a devotee of the book series. “It was really a bunch of fans sitting around discussing what our visions were for everything,” Banks said of working on the Hunger Games set. “And then of course there are practical things, like I imagined District 12 — and they pretty much nailed it — like it was in the south in an old mining town. And that’s what we shot. And the Games actually blew me away. What I was imagining was too small.” Ugh, seriously, how can you hate on this woman? Her wigs alone make us want to get emotionally invested in this film.

[Photo: Lionsgate]

by (@shalapitcher)

The Hunger Games Trailer: 7 Signs The Movie Will Live Up To the Book


Can it be March 23, like, tomorrow? If you are any kind of Hunger Games fan, you’ve probably watched the trailer 20 times by now (assuming we haven’t all crashed the iTunes trailer site). And now I feel I can admit that until seeing it, I was still a little bit afraid. Afraid that, despite the best efforts of Gary Ross, Jennifer Lawrence and company, there was no way a movie could give me the same chills as Suzanne Collins‘ books. But wow. I think they really can do it now. And here’s why.


1. Katniss is brave and scared, tough and vulnerable. Jennifer Lawrence has said that she told Ross she didn’t want to look like a badass when she shot an arrow, and she doesn’t. There is thankfully no voiceover to explain Katniss’ complex emotions as she sacrifices herself for her sister, decides that she can’t afford to befriend Peeta and struggles with the idea that she’s not just a girl in a fight for survival, but a girl in a nationally televised fight for survival against other children.
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