‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy’ Director Reveals His ‘Hunger Games’ Movie Pitch

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 15th, 2013 at 12:04 pm,

Much like actors audition for roles in big-budget productions like The Hunger Games, so too do directors have to “audition” for the chance to helm a project they are interested in. The process is markedly different from that of an actor’s audition, but has the same end goal in mind: to present his or herself as the best fit for the job.

There are several different ways in which a director can assert themselves, but the most common is the pitch trailer or sizzle reel. Yes, directors are typically selected based on their previous work, but a pitch trailer can better display what type of tone and style they’re going for a given project.

One of the more recent examples of a sizzle reel made available to the public was Joe Carnahan’s pitch for Daredevil. The reel was comprised of a wide variety of film footage – including some scenes from Mark Steven Johnson’s original Daredevil adaptation – but the tone was decidedly different. Carnahan ultimately didn’t get the job, but his footage helped fans better understand where he would have taken the property.

Perhaps following in Carnahan’s lead – or maybe to just to confirm to fans that he’s still trying to break into big-budget features –  Mortal Kombat: Legacy director Kevin Tancharoen has released his pitch reel for The Hunger Games. Unlike Carnahan’s reel, though, we have the added foresight of knowing how The Hunger Games inevitably turned out, and can use it for comparison.

While not a completely different take on the Suzanne Collins’ novel, Tancharoen’s vision for The Hunger Games revels a little more in the source material’s sci-fi nature. If Tancharoen had made it far enough to pitch a reel to Lionsgate, then he was either on the director short list or was being strongly considered for it. We know that the director job eventually went to Gary Ross – who has bowed out of The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire – but it’s interesting to consider how the film might have looked with Tancharoen at the helm.

Part of Tancharoen’s sizzle reel even included potential casting for key characters in the film – a move that Tancharoen tells Slashfilm was meant only to present some casting choices. Most fans would agree that the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss was a near perfect choice, but what if a relative unknown like Kaya Scodelario (Skins) had taken on the role?

Some might be shocked to learn that a pitch reel isn’t comprised of original content, but is actually a mash-up of scenes from other films. Like setting up a potential tone and highlighting some casting suggestions, making the film marketable is another element of the pitch. It’s easier to sell a film to audiences based upon a comparison to another known quantity like Harry Potterrather than paint it as a completely original idea, even if it is.

Tancharoen is no stranger to getting projects off the ground via grass roots movements, as evidenced by his Mortal Kombat fan-film. It was through the success of that short film that Tancharoen was able to develop the Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series, and eventually be given the chance to direct a Mortal Kombat reboot.

His vision of The Hunger Games didn’t play out the way he hoped, but Tancharoen still has some projects lined up that will surely keep him busy. And maybe by the time Lionsgate gets around to selecting a director for Hunger Games: Mockingjay – that is, if Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence doesn’t hang around – they will remember Tancharoen’s pitch.


Source: Slashfilm


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  1. Well, besides the shakey cam, I liked The Hunger Games movie. I agree that there were things that defnitely could have been done better, but it isn’t as terrible as people are making it out to be. Hopefully the sequel will improve upon it.

    • people are making it out to be terrible?? I hope so, i thought i was the only one, but the fact it made so much damn money and got good reviews implies otherwise.

      but god, that movie sucked. the book sucked too, but the movie even messed up the redeemable aspects of the book.. the movie was so bland un uninspired.

      lions gate should’ve hired this guy! i wonder why exactly they went with ross. but this edited together “trailer” is lightyears more interesting than the movie turned out to be. and all the supporting casting was was spot on.

      • Cause Ross is a little more established. I hated the way the movie was filmes

      • Far be it from me to contradict the “informed” view of an anonymous internet critic, but it seems that millions of people really liked it. I know I did. Critics liked it too. But I love the arrogance of assuming that your private opinion is more valid than everyone elses. I guess you can’t please everyone. And that would be boring.

        • read about shaky cam, went and saw the film with a free ticket. 10mins in and there was a scene that was terribly shaky. Was wondering what I had gotten myself into. The next ten minutes I noticed a little shaky cam here and there, and then as far as I noticed, it stopped. Not a big deal, but I am glad they didn’t film the entire movie like the early scenes.

          • @Sambo

            Well, the fight scenes and action scenes still used the shakey cam technique. And personally, I like to see the fights and the action, so I’m not a huge fan of that… I still enjoyed the movie, just saying about that one aspect…

        • umm are you refering to me @Astro?….cause i believe i said that i thought i was one of the only one’s that hated it, sooooo where’s the arrogance? in what way did i imply my single opinion was in anyway more valid than anyone else’s? im fully aware that millions loved it. millions of people also love Two and a Half Men.

          and i don’t even care about the shaky cam, it stopped after the first few minutes. i just think it was a s***** movie. it was bland. it was like filmed mayonnaise.

      • I concur with you. There was nothing interesting or different about it. Not to mention the actors had NO chemistry. It was terrible. I like this guy’s pitch better, he actually takes the narration and uses it to enhance the viewers understanding of the characters and the story.

  2. I don’t think anyone is suprised that it isn’t original I mean gladiator and 300 Harry potter and twighlight

  3. Well besides the fact based off of the “trailer” the director would have made it nothing like the book, making it R and loosing core demographics, Kaya Scodelario was my first choice for Katniss :)

    And I don’t get the hate the movie is getting. I mean, the shaky cam made it horrible? Sorry, although it was blech in some parts, it was needed after the tracker jacket scene. I mean, Katniss would not have been walking perfectly, with perfect vision, etc.

    All I hope they keep for the sequel, is the camera they used. It felt like I was there. It made look real, not shiny and perfect.

    • i could not completely disagree more with everything you said. i think the “trailer” was alot closer to the book, in that it felt real, lived in. the movie looked like actors on a stage. the ONLY good performance was jennifer lawrence. most of the actors were horrendous. it wouldn’t need to be R cause the book is pretty tame, but the world that he would try to create would be something more realistic and would pump up the sci-fi aspects of the book, which the film did not. the movie had a very bland look from beginning to end. the shaky cam is really the least of its problems. not to mention that the film pretty much dropped the main climax from the book. at least they got a new director for the sequel though

  4. Kaya Scodelario for the win!

  5. This was great!

  6. There are several different ways in which a director can assert themselves, but the most common is the pitch trailer or sizzle reel. Yes, directors are typically selected based on their previous work, but a pitch trailer can better display what type of tone and style they’re going for a given project.

  7. Loved the books but I thought the movie was pretty meh. I like the direction Tancharoen would have taken his version. It looked a lot more dirty, tense, and scary. I thought they totally missed making the battle scary for the characters, as it was and should have been, and was more just putting them through the paces. I think they also missed a lot of depcting how important it was to win the audience’s favor to win prizes. The movie made it so Haymitch was mostly just a benefactor from the sky, and they didn’t really work his angle of wheeling and dealing the patricians. That seemed to more of an aspect Tancharoen would have gone. Oh well; I hope the sequel is something I like better.

  8. To this day, I fail to understand the hatred for this film. I thought Ross, Lawrence, and company captured the essence of the novel beautifully and damn-near perfectly. In fact, I found elements of the film to be BETTER than the source material (the switch to the third-person perspective being the biggest for me. The shaky cam worked quite effectively to illustrate Katniss’s (and others’) uncertainty and confusion throughout the film (but NOT straight through, as some mistakenly claim). I loved the film and thought it complemented the book very well. This pitch above seemed…interesting. It may have worked, but I don’t know that it would have been better than what was ultimately produced.

  9. I liked this sizzle reel so much better than the movie, which I liked.

    The “are you not entertained?” angle I think was really missing from the realized movie.

    The District 12 scenes in the actual movie looked too clean, like mid 20th century Appalachia rather than a starving, dirty, suffering North Korean-type punished and hungry population.

  10. No wonder he didn’t get it.