The first film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ popular sci-fi series The Hunger Games will hit theaters on March 23, 2012, according to an exclusive report from The Hollywood Reporter. The movie, which is adapted from Collins first novel, will be directed by Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) and is currently in pre-production.

For those unfamiliar with The Hunger Games, the post-apocalyptic young adult sci-fi series revolves around a Running Man-like competition in which two teens are picked from each of the 12 districts in Panem (formerly the United States) to fight to the death on live television. Interestingly, despite it’s violent premise, Ross plans on making the film PG-13 in order to attract the book’s core demographic.

When I first learned about The Hunger Games, I was reminded of two movies: Battle Royale from director Kinji Fukasaku, and Series Seven, a faux-reality indie drama about a kill-or-be-killed TV show. Ironically, what I didn’t think of was Twilight, which is one of the franchises with which Hunger Games is most frequently linked (even though Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson has said the two series are “as different as night and day”).

Many commenters have written at length about the pros and cons of Twilight versus The Hunger Games, so I won’t get into that here, but it is worth nothing how teen-centered sci-fi/fantasy/horror is leading the way in Hollywood. It almost makes me want to dust off the old typewriter and start typing away my own “dark” story about angst-ridden teens.

The Hunger Games is still currently casting its lead actors and one of the names that has come up for the critical role of Katniss Everdeen is Academy Award-nominee Hailey Steinfield. Thanks to her Oscar-nominated turn in True Grit, Steinfield is a hot commodity in Hollywood, and it would be a coup for Ross to get her for this film. Here at Screen Rant, we’ve also suggested Chloe Moretz (Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass), but she may not be the right age for the role.

Are you happy to see The Hunger Games hitting theaters in 2012?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter