Conversation of the Week: Young Fiction Fans Gear Up for The Hunger Games Movie
Author Suzanne Collins said that the inspiration for The Hunger Games came from channel surfing between a reality television show and footage of the Iraq war; the line between them, Collins says, “began to blur in this very unsettling way.” The movie version has been highly anticipated by fans of the book series. Good Morning America debuted the first trailer to a screaming mob of young fans. You can watch it here, minus the screaming.
The Hunger Games takes place in the country of Panem, a post-apocalyptic nightmare that used to be the United States. Panem consists of a wealthy capitol, (called The Capitol) and twelve surrounding poorer districts. The Capitol is the seat of government in this world, and it rules with an Orwellian flair — a lot of nasty rules, death and corruption.
As punishment for a past rebellion against The Capitol, once a year each district must cough up one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18. They are chosen by lottery and forced to participate in the Hunger Games. The unwilling contestants are forced to fight to the death in an enormous outdoor arena until only one remains. The entire spectacle is, of course, televised.
The movie tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a seventeen-year-old girl who volunteers to enter the games in place of her younger sister, Primrose. To complicate matters, her eventual love interest, Peeta Mellark, has also been chosen for the games. Both teens know that only one person comes out alive.
To complicate matters even further, there are these kids called Tributes, who are also playing the game and have been training their entire lives. Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts and the mentorship of a drunken former Hunger Games victor called Haymitch Abernathy.
All in all, this sounds like a movie the kids are going to love, even more so if they’ve read the book. Though it won’t be released till 2012, it’s already generating an enormous amount of buzz. And although there has been some controversy, mostly in the blogosphere, with people saying the books bear a striking resemblance to a 1999 Japanese novel, Battle Royale written by Koushun Takami, fans are seemingly unfazed. This movie could be a huge boost to a genre that has already seen rapid growth.
Check out the trailer:
Do you, or does someone you know, plan on seeing The Hunger Games?
Do you think the movie will stay true to the book? Are young people more forgiving to film adaptations of their favorite books? Post your Thoughts below.