The Hunger Games
Originally published on September 14, 2008, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games has since gone on to sell in excess of 800,000 copies over approximately 38 different countries. Yet another book slated to be the next Harry Potter, a cinematic adaptation of the first book was quickly put into production with a second green-lit even before the initial movie was released. Having already beaten previous record-holder The Twilight Saga: Eclipse in terms of advanced ticket sales, The Hunger Games could be a very big hit indeed.
When Primrose Everdeen (Willow Shields) is selected as the female tribute for District 12, bread-winning sister Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her place. Alongside fellow tribute Peeta Mallark (Josh Hutcherson) and their mentor Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), she journeys to the nations capitol in order to train for the coming games and complete the neccessary interviews and makeovers as tradition dictates. Pining for home where she has left her young sister, her struggling mother and her best friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth) to fend for themselves, Katniss steels herself against her other 22 opponents as she sketches a plan for survival, one that will inevitably leave the rest – Peeta included – dead.
Having recently devoured the Hunger Games trilogy over a period of five days – bloody Glasgow Film Festival, slowing me down – I can safely say that the first book in particular is a triumph in character and plotting. Rated PG-13 for its March 23 release, however, the film is likely going to differ considerably from the book, as it glosses over some of the grizzlier plot developments in exchange for a larger audience. This is no bad thing, however, as it also allows director Gary Ross to tackle some of the novel’s weaknesses in the process. With Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson in place as Katniss and Peetah, there is a very real chance that the actors could sell their complicated relationship in a way that the author’s descriptions didn’t quite achieve, while a beefed up part for Thor’s brother (not that one) as Gale provides a chance to explore the series’ mythology in a way disallowed by Collins’ first person narrative. A few less scenes spent hunting and eating squirrels would be no bad thing either.
If you haven’t read the novel, there’s still time. May the odds be forever in your favour.