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Director Gary Ross discusses adapting The Hunger Games

01.09.2011

THE HUNGER GAMES movies are poised to become the next TWILIGHT SAGA-sized success. At least that's what the studio and filmmakers are hoping, and the future young (yet-to-be-found) cast would surely like a slice of the attention that vampire franchise's stars have seen.

Director Gary Ross (BIG, PLEASANTVILLE, SEABISBUIT) is hard at work adapting Suzanne Collins' young adult book series, and is seemingly quite aware of appeasing the material's millions of existing fans. In the latest issue of EW, Ross gives some updates on how he's going about that:

On the look of the film:

"A lot of [young fans] talked about 'Don't mess with the colors.' I think they didn't want me to pump it full of contrast or desaturate the movie or make it gratuitously edgy in a visual way. I think kids are hipper to cliches than we are sometimes."

On finding the right actors:

"I've read in the press that there are front-runners, but that's not the case. We'll cast the right person for the part. Lionsgate has been great in that they don't feel that this needs a movie star in Katniss' role."

On the budget:

"I'm not allowed to confirm budget number, but I will say it's enough money to make the movie well and not disappoint a single fan."

On the book's genetically altered creatures, the Muttations:

"Obviously they're one of the larger technical challenges, but they will be animated CG characters."

On the rating and handling the book's violence:

"It's not going to be an R-rated movie because I want the 12- and 13- and 14-year-old fans to be able to go see it. This book means too much to too many teenagers for it not to be PG-13. It's their story and they deserve to be able to access it completely. And I don't think it needs to be more extreme than that."

The first movie is expected some time in 2012. The books are set in a near future where "the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch."

Extra Tidbit: Ross wrote the great Kevin Kline proxy-president movie DAVE.
Source: EW

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