The Hunger Games teaser trailer has finally arrived, giving fans of Suzanne Collins' novels and casual moviegoers a look at what could be the next young-adult book series-turned blockbuster movie franchise (a la Harry Potter and The Twilight Saga).
Guiding The Hunger Games to the big screen is director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, Pleasantville), and this first teaser will be the first testament to whether or not Ross (along with second unit director Steven Soderbergh) has managed to capture the rich world of Collins' novels, or simply crafted yet another standard action/drama blockbuster.
For those who don't know, here's the lowdown on The Hunger Games:
In a dystopian future America is now Panem, a nation made up of twelve impoverished districts, all ruled by a militant capitol where technology and excess are a way of life. Every year the capitol holds a televised battle royal, where one male and female teenager from the twelve districts must battle to the death for the pleasure of capitol. When a young hunter from District 12 named Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) sacrifices herself to save her little sister from the games, she embarks on a brave fight for survival that could change a nation.
Now, check out The Hunger Games teaser, courtesy of MTV:
Simply put: This teaser is just that: a tease. There's not really enough in the footage to judge whether or not Ross and Co. have captured the world of Collins' novel in full - however, all of those questions take a back seat to the biggest issue at hand: Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.
A lot of fans didn't approve of Lawrence playing Katniss when the casting was first announced, but seeing this footage it's clear why she got the role. By this point, mainstream movie goers have had time to check out Lawrence in films like X-Men: First Class, while indie moviegoers have already been impressed with her work in films like Winter's Bone (which earned her an Oscar nom), and will see her flex some acting chops once again in the upcoming love story, Like Crazy. Lawrence has proven she can handle both drama and action, which is exactly what the role of Katniss Everdeen requires.
There's still a looming question of whether or not The Hunger Games will be able to successfully establish its own unique cinematic world, thereby distinguishing it from similarly-themed films like Battle Royale. Given the talent involved with the film, it will be a surprise if the finished product isn't an entertaining experience.
What did you think of the trailer?
The Hunger Games will be in theaters on March 23, 2012.