Gary Ross to Direct The Hunger Games

Lionsgate is currently in the process of putting together a big screen adaptation of The Hunger Games, the first in a series of young adult novels by Suzanne Collins that they are hoping will spawn another breakout movie franchise. The fact that this is being billed as “the next Twilight” is keeping my interest level fairly low, but I have to admit that the concept actually sounds pretty cool. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where the government holds a televised competition every year that forces kids from each district to fight to the death. Now it looks like they are in negotiations with a director for the first movie, and apparently they have settled on… the guy who did Seabiscuit? Right. That makes plenty of sense!

Gary Ross is also known for directing Pleasantville and he co-wrote Big, but as of yet, he hasn’t done anything particularly action-oriented. He has, however, been in the running for a few other tentpole films, most notably Marvel’s Venom spin-off. He also apparently did a rewrite on Spider-Man 4 before Sam Raimi left and the whole thing fell apart.

It was reported last week that the short list of directors for The Hunger Games was down to Ross, Sam Mendes, David Slade, and Andrew Adamson, among others, but now they’ve stopped meeting with candidates and they’re just hammering out the details with Ross. He’s not the most exciting choice in the world, but at least we know he is a competent filmmaker. The script for The Hunger Games was penned by Suzanne Collins with a rewrite by Billy Ray (Breach, State of Play). What do you think, will this be a big hit for Lionsgate and are you interested in it?

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  • swarez

    Hmm. I liked it better when it was called Battle Royale.

  • Krista

    This book was nothing like Twilight – it was light years above it and actually a good young adult fiction novel!
    I hope the movie does it justice.

  • Film Ape

    Billy Ray is a good writer, and he worked on the masterpiece known as Volcano. Seriously though Ray’s films Breach and Shattered Glass a solid films,so you could have a worse person doing re-writes.

  • Film Ape

    “are solid films”

  • Drewsifer

    Yeah totally got battle royal from this swarez, and I thought that was already getting a remake.

  • Brett

    It’s quite different from Battle Royale even with the similarities.

    It’s sort of how there can be different movies about zombies, vampires, serial killers, cops, space cowboys, aliens, ghosts, apocolypse or anything … and still have a fresh take on the premise.

    There’s still plenty to be said about government control, violence for sport, reality TV, glorification of celebrity, explotation of youth and the struggling economy beyond what was said in a foreign movie from 10 years ago.

  • I knew someone was going to say the Battle Royale thing! But serious, you’re right. The idea isn’t really original — which is why I guess it’s being compared to Twilight. However, I think that most all subjects and ideas have been covered; we read to see the author’s personal take.

  • eric

    if this means there’s potential to get chris cooper as haymitch abernathy, i’m all for it.