Lionsgate Set March 2012 Release For THE HUNGER GAMES

Some two years after acquiring the rights to the Suzanne Collins book The Hunger Games, Lionsgate have finally announced a tight and structured schedule for the adaptation€™s filming and subsequent release. A quick turnover is clearly anticipated as shooting is expected to commence in €œlate spring€ with a view to meeting the fast approaching release date of March 23, 2012. The original novel, inspired by the story of Theseus and parallels what the author observed in the cruelty of the Iraq War and the crassness of reality TV, was greeted with considerable critical acclaim upon its release. The book benefited from positive reviews from no less than the New York Times and the standard-bearer for popular horror fiction in the United States, Stephen King. The Hunger Games has gone on to sell a million copies and remain in many best sellers list for years, with two sequels having met with similar commercial success. The story is set in a dystopian future in which a totalitarian government sits on what was once North America, and now controls the behaviour of those states through the distribution of food supplies. These states are then charged with sending a representative child between the age of 12 and 18 to battle to the death to feed their state. The book was marketed at late teenagers, but also achieved a loyal adult following throughout the trilogy. Obviously at first glance, the premise appears to have much in common with stylish Japanese bloodfest Battle Royale, though details released thus far imply a far more restrained picture. Suzanne Collins, who is adapting the book herself, suggested that the film is likely to have a PG-13 rating in the USA and producer Nina Jacobsen has implied a strong emphasis on the fractured romance of the film€™s would be protagonists. The man selected to direct the movie is Gary Ross whose most notable works are the comedy Pleastantville and, possibly, the only ever biopic of a horse, Seabiscuit, and so Collins material represents a considerable departure from his usual fair. No actors have been confirmed for the project as yet, though Ross suggested in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he believes the lead female character should be played by a lesser known actress.

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