The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins, was the closest remaining super-popular property Scholastic Books had to Harry Potter, until last week, when the third and final book, Mockingjay, was finally released. All three Hunger Games books (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay) have achieved massive success, financially and critically, with teenagers as well as old folks alike. In fact, Mockingjay is currently sitting incredibly pretty at the top of all national bestseller lists, including The New York Times and USA Today, and it’s already going back for a second printing.
It’s a good week to be Suzanne Collins, especially considering recent reports that Lionsgate is getting ready to choose their director for the hotly anticipated film adaptations.
According to Deadline Hollywood, the studio is down to three directors: Gary Ross (The Tale of Despereaux), Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road), and David Slade (Twilight: Eclipse).
The question is, if Slade gets the job, what does that do to Wolverine 2?
Meanwhile, USA Today is claiming that Chloe Moretz (Let Me In) has the inside track for the lead role, as protagonist Katniss Everdeen, an expert in hunting, archery, and lying in front of television cameras for strategic purposes.
After all, who better to play a teenage, kill-or-be-killed survivalist than Hit-Girl herself?
For those unfamiliar with the story, The Hunger Games is about a post-apocalyptic future where the United States of America are dead and gone, and in their place are twelve districts that make up a totalitarian nation – Panem. As punishment for a prior rebellion, the leaders of Panem put on what they call the ‘Hunger Games,’ an annual televised event wherein one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen at random (from each district) and forced to fight to the death. Last boy or girl standing is the winner, and their reward is they get to continue living. This year, Katniss Everdeen is the lucky (sarcasm) female candidate chosen from District 12.
So it’s basically The Running Man for teenagers, and Chloe, if she gets the part, will play the Arnold Schwarzenegger character. Sounds awesome.
The Hunger Games’ screenplay was written by the book’s author, Collins, with a pollish by Billy Ray (24). The Hunger Games is set to start shooting early next year.