Having a lot of potential is one thing. The Hunger Games has more than high hopes to overcome if it wants to be more than a well-made memory of the books.
It’s purported to be the next Twilight, a young adult literary sensation making the leap to the large screen. Some are even hinting at Harry Potter like crossover appeal with Stephen King actually singing the praises of the series. Still, if fans know to be wary of anything, it’s the concept that Hollywood will actually treat their favorite book or fictional series with any artistic or aesthetic respect. Leave it to Lionsgate to give it a try with Suzanne Collins’ beloved Hunger Games. Currently ramping up the hype machine for a March 2012 release, the latest in prerelease promotion saw a trailer rolled out last week… and the snickers of sour disappointment already beginning.
There is no denying that Gary Ross can handle this material. His skill as both a writer (Big, Dave) and director (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) argues for his handle of scope and concept. True, he is not the scribe here. That is being left up to Ms. Collins herself, and with her tenure in kid’s TV (Clarissa Explains It All, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo) she seems perfect to realize her own ambitions. The casting also boasts a cross section of cultural knowns, including Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Josh Hutcherson, and perhaps most importantly, Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) as the main protagonist, Katniss Everdeen.