(Written for Lost In The Multiplex)
With the release of the long-awaited big screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘ The Hunger Games this weekend, THR have spoken with producers Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik about making the next two books into three films.
Directed by Gary Ross and starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, The Hunger Games is set in a dystopian future world of North America, now named Panem, where teenagers are chosen to battle to the death in an annual televised games where only one can survive, an attempt to maintain control by those living in the Capitol.
With Lawrence in the lead role as tribute Katniss Everdeen, Kilik praised the actress for her performance as the tough heroine. “To have [Katniss] be strong, and smart and independent. That’s what we had to get right,” he told THR. “[Jennifer Lawrence] just brought all that with her amazing talent and incredible work ethic. She just brought the best and carried us all on her back.”
Jacobson continued to comment that: “Katniss is a very three-dimensional character,” she said. “You feel like you know her. And not every filmmaker could capture that voice and make sure that the storytelling came from character.”
With the midnight release of the film last night already grossing nearly £20m, Lionsgate now hope to release three more films to go with the next two books in the trilogy, but with all their focus on the release of the first novel adaptation it doesn’t look like there are any official plans as of yet.
“Everybody was just doing the best they could, doing their jobs everyday,” said Kilik. “We were all really caught up in the moment.”
When asked about plans for the next film, both producers agreed that their focus was all on making the first movie the best it could be. “I felt that we needed to find a voice for the movie that was as honest as the voice in the book,” said Jacobson. “You want to find that ethical voice that Suzanne Collins found. And that’s very hard I think to pull off, but I think Gary really found a way to hit that right in the sweet spot.”
And what a great job they have done for the first instalment. Let’s hope the same can be said for next adaptations, whenever it is that they will start to go into production.