GB’s First Look at ‘The Hunger Games’

There’s been a lot of news lately surrounding the upcoming screen adaptation of The Hunger Games, a series of books by Suzanne Collins.  I thought it might be nice to provide a one-stop shop here at Grizzly Bomb for any of you readers that may be interested in the franchise.

 First of all, what is this movie about?

The Hunger Games takes place in our very dystopic future.  World Wars all but destroyed human existence on our planet.  Those who remain live under the power and control of the Capitol; very similar to 1984’s ‘Big Brother’.  North America – or ‘Panem’, as its called –  is separated into thirteen districts, each district specializing in a specific industry.  Seventy-four years prior to our introduction to this world, a revolt had formed against the Capitol.  The Capitol came out the victor; and as a punishment, District Thirteen was destroyed and the ‘Hunger Games’ were established.

Every year, each district must participate in the ‘Hunger Games’.  They choose two tributes each from a random drawing, one male and one female, to perform in the games.  Only those from ages 12 to 17 are required to be in the drawing.  The number of entries each child must place in the drawing are based on age (number of years eligible); and there is the possibility of trading an additional entry for a ration of food for the child’s family.  Once the two tributes from each of the twelve districts has been chosen, they are transported to the Capitol.  There, they will have a round of training and interviews before being taken to the arena.  Here, they will fight to the death until there is only one child left.  This battle is televised throughout Panem to remind everyone that the Capitol will always be in control.

The story follows our heroine, Katniss Everdeen from District Twelve, and her journey through the games.  When her younger sister is chosen as a tribute at the tender age of twelve, Katniss forsakes her life to take her beloved sister’s place.

Who’s making the movie?

Lionsgate Entertainment  (Best known for: Saw franchise, Monster’s Ball, The Expendables, Lincoln Lawyer)
Director: Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, Pleasantville)
Screenwriter: Billy Ray
(Flightplan, State of Play)
Estimated Release Date: March 23, 2012

Meet the Cast – District Twelve:

Jennifer Lawrence (X-Men:Fist Class) as Katniss Everdeen.
Female Tribute for District Twelve and the heroine of our story.  With a dead father and a mentally absent mother, she finds herself the main supporter of her family, and her beloved sister, Primrose.

Jennifer Lawrence at the 2011 Oscars.

Says director Gary Ross of the character:“She’s this incredibly strong, unbelievably self-reliant, tough character.  She has this mother-lion quality where she’ll do anything for those she loves.”

Josh Hutcherson (Red Dawnas Peeta Mellark.
The charismatic baker’s son who becomes the male tribute for District Twelve.  He is strong a good-hearted; and serves as a positive anchor in a harsh and unloving world.

Liam Hemsworth (Thor‘s little brother) as Gale Hawthorne.
Faithful friend and hunting partner to Katniss in District Twelve.  He promises to look after her family if she does not survive the games.

Paula Malcomson (Deadwood) as Mrs. Everdeen.
Once happy in love, she left the “privileged” life in town to marry a man from the Seam, the slums at the outer edge of District Twelve.  She has since been widowed, burdened by caring for two young daughters.

Willow Shields (Younger than Fight Club) as Primrose Everdeen.
The young, sweet, and innocent sister Katniss sacrifices her life to save.  Prim is a caretaker above all else, and Katniss praises her for it, wishing she could be a good person like her.

Woody Harrelson (The Dumb Guy on Cheers) as Haymitch Abernathy.
The only living District Twelve survivor and champion from the Hunger Games.  Previous winners act as mentors to the new tributes, though the other districts take turns because of their number of champions.  As the sole champion, Haymitch has mentored many children who have died in the arena.  It may be for this reason that he is a drunkard who lives in solitude.

Woody just looks through your soul.

Meet the Cast – The Capitol:

Donald Sutherland (Jack Bauer‘s Real Dad) as President Snow.
The puppet master and leader of Panem.  It is under his manipulation and control that the atrocities of the Hunger Games are put on.  Katniss describes him as smelling of blood and roses.  He is pure evil and terrifying.

Elizabeth Banks (Zack and Miri Make a Pornoas Effie Trinket.
It is Effie’s job to organize the schedule of the District Twelve tributes; a job she views as a punishment, as Twelve’s tributes are never very successful in the arena.  She is concerned above all else with manners and decorum, and is personally violated with Katniss’ brash attitude.

Here is Banks doing a guest spot on MODERN FAMILY

Lenny Kravitz (Yeah, we can’t believe it either) as Cinna.
Cinna is a budding fashion designer responsible for the outfits of Katniss and Peeta during the interviews and parades prior to the Hunger Games.

Stanley Tucci (A Life Less Ordinary) as Caesar Flickerman.
Caesar is responsible for interviewing each tribute prior to the games each year.  He does so with excess flair and flamboyance.  If the televised interview with Flickerman goes well, it may earn a tribute more sponsors in the arena who will send them food, weapons, or medicine.

Here is Tucci in the upcoming “Captain America: First Avenger”

Amandla Stenberg (Colombiana) as Rue.
Female tribute of District Eleven.  Katniss befriends Rue in the arena because she reminds her of her younger sister, Prim.

For a complete list of cast, including all twenty-four tributes, visit Entertainment Weekly.

So what do you all think of the casting?  Are you happy with it?  Any disappointments?  Let us know in the comments!

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