We’re almost exactly a month away from the release of The Hunger Games, the hotly-anticipated screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling young adult sci-fi/thriller novel. Lionsgate is hoping the film’s Super Bowl XLVI trailer managed to land it on the radars of those not yet familiar with Collins’ source material – and will further help to get this would-be franchise started with a bang by simultaneously releasing The Hunger Games in digital IMAX theaters (possibly, for more than a limited time) when the film begins its regular theatrical run.

Today, we have a new IMAX promotional banner for The Hunger Games – featuring Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen striking her (already?) iconic pose with bow and arrow in hand – along with a dozen new character images that offer yet another look at the film’s most important “players” (pun intended).

For Hunger Games newcomers: the story takes place in a futuristic version of North America known as Panem, where twelve impoverished districts are ruled over by the technologically-advanced and flourishing Capitol. In order to keep the various provinces in their place (and as punishment for a failed rebellion many years before) the Capitol holds “The Hunger Games,” an annual event where two randomly-selected teens (one male and one female) from each district are pit against one another in a televised death match that concludes when a single “contestant” is left standing.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) volunteers to take the place of her younger sister in that event, which forces her to fight fellow District 12 member Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) as well as a variety of other “players” from different regions of Panem – whose personalities vary from kind and innocent to merciless and blood-thirsty. Katniss and Peeta are assisted in their attempts to stay alive by such adult figures as the often-inebriated ex-Hunger Games champion Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) and the kindly but mysterious fashion designer Cinna (Lenny Kravitz).

Check out high-quality versions of the latest character-centric images unveiled from The Hunger Games in the gallery below:

Now, have a look at the Hunger Games IMAX banner:

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Director Gary Ross and his Hunger Games production team appear to have done an excellent job of bringing the eclectic mix of characters present in Collins’ original novel to life, via some spot-on casting – along with some impeccable costume and makeup work. It remains to be seen if the filmmakers have employed as much care when it comes to realizing the emotionally-rich (and often heart-breaking) nature of the source material in cinematic form. However, given Ross’ great track record as a director (see: Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) – and reports that he worked closely with Collins on the screenplay – early signs are encouraging.

Look for The Hunger Games to arrive in regular and IMAX theaters around the U.S. on March 23rd, 2012.

Source: Hunger Games Network, The Hunger Games Movie