How does inspiration come for one of the most successful youth novel series of all time? The Hunger Games has been translated into 28 languages and spent 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list when it first debuted in 2008. A happy accident watching television inspired a then unknown author and the rest – as they say – is history.
Suzanne Collins was channel surfing one day and noted the dramatic contrast between a reality show vs the hard news visuals from the Iraq war. “What if ?” she thought. What if reality shows and the horrors of war became the future? Thus was born the concept of a post-apocolyptic society where teenagers are forced to battle to the death and all of it televised. It’s the ultimate haves vs the have nots and the adjoining story line of family, love, loyalty, survival and destiny all collide in a modern day creation of a new age Joan of Arc named Katniss that has fueled the passion for the much anticipated release of the film at midnight 3/23 of The Hunger Games.
In past fan frenzy film openings – young and old have lined up and even camped out to wait for the golden tickets allowing a seat for opening day. No more. Online ticket sales conducted months before the films open now allow fans to remain at home at their leisure until they decide it’s time to head to the local cinema. Sure some still love the excitement of bringing blankets and sitting for hours in theater lobbies but we found at the Studio Movie Grill on Royal Lane in Dallas that the midnight screenings were almost sold out and managers expected fans to arrive perhaps just an hour before 12am.
Star Jennifer Lawrence told me she was a huge fan of the books and especially of Katniss. the Oscar nominated young actor said it was her goal to get the role and when filmmakers waited awhile until notifying her she was cast – she was tortured! Once she got the great news she did not rest – it is the role of a lifetime she said and she wanted to make sure she did not disappoint.
The rest of the cast are as passionate as Jennifer – it was an amazing experience for all and all are extremley proud of what they created.
I did not read the books and I adored the film. I was among the very first to screen the first print of the film three weeks ago in Los Angeles. It took my breath away. I was not prepared for the violence (it is PG13) but apart from that I was swept away by the imagery and horror of this future place. It was unsettling but powerful and I left rooting for Katniss and her friend Peeta. It’s not a teen film. It transcends the youth film genre. It’s horrific but heroic and it will stay with you.
I will be seeing it again this weekend. It was that good. And I am quite sure I will not be the only one seeing it more than once this opening weekend. Box office estimates have it breaking records. I think I’ll pick up the book too!
Thursday afternoon fans got ready for the movie’s midnight premier:
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