The minute we teenage girls (and boys) walked out of the theatre in July, after our last goodbyes to Harry Potter, we -- in a melodramatic way, of course -- felt that our lives were over. Putting the final book down was one thing, but knowing there will never be anything on screen to look forward to as well, was exasperating. I am not exaggerating or being the slightest bit dramatic when I agree that this was the end of an era. Millions of people of all ages that dedicated their time and love to these beloved characters on paper and on screen now essentially have nothing more in the future to stir that inner excitement once again. For only three months did we teen book fanatics have to suffer, until November, when the first full-length trailer of The Hunger Games was released.
The exhilaration of this piece of film spread through Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter like wildfire, having people just wasting their days away watching the trailer, just feeling like they had regained something, or had achieved some victory. Finally being able to actually see any of Katniss' thrilling journey from Suzanne Collins' brilliant novels reignites that fire within us hungry fans. The idea of a film, in general, sparks intrigue, but what came from this three-minute video was utter appreciation and astonishment on how everything imagined by the incredible novel looks to be accurately captured on film. Through all these social networking resources that bring us Hunger Games lovers together, there is unanimous approval that Gary Ross seemed to get everything right.
I'll try my best not to jinx it but it does certainly seem like everyone involved in this film project is adding their expertise to make this one of the best book-to-film adaptations in a while. Ross, who directed two of my favourite films, Seabiscuit and Pleasantville, looks like he is going to bring the technical elements of The Hunger Games to a necessary excellence, embellishing the important action and suspense of the compelling story. It gives each fan of the novel a huge sigh of release to know that Collins co-wrote the script. Her role in writing the script will surely bolster the faithfulness of the adaptation while Ross and Billy Ray will use their screenwriting experience to make the needed alterations to make this a fantastic film on it's own.
The biggest decision in adapting books like The Hunger Games and Twilight that will have fans everywhere arguing and debating up a storm is the casting. With very devoted but also very picky fans, there is almost always disappointment, however the reaction to Academy Award nominee Jennifer Lawrence being cast as our inspiring heroine Katniss was just as unanimously positive as the reaction to the film's trailer. The beautiful 21-year-old actress defines almost everyone's idea of the precocious and strongly independent Katniss Everdeen. Both leading males in the film, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, will have no trouble winning over the teenage girl fan base of The Hunger Games. Hutcherson has had performances in Bridge To Terabithia, Zathura, and most impressively in the critically acclaimed The Kids Are All Right. Meanwhile, Hemsworth has accumulated his fans from an almost entirely shirtless performance in The Last Song. Hutcherson looks to perfectly embody the naivety and self-deprecation of Peeta Mellark while Hemsworth is the perfect choice for the strong and confident Gale. So, it is safe to say that Ross, Collins and casting director Debra Zane simply nailed choosing the young actors to fill the three most important roles of the book, but they outdo themselves by picking brilliant actors like Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland and Lenny Kravitz to fill the adult roles as well.
With every person a part of the making of this film being exceptionally talented, The Hunger Games is shaping up to be the most anticipated film of the year. The growing excitement for this film has become overwhelming, as no other film has enjoyed this much anticipation before. Of course, the infamous Twilight had many fans excited for the screen adaptation, but not many of them actually believed that the film would be any good. In fact, the promotion for Twilight ended up turning some dedicated fans away from theatres because they thought it would ruin their perception of their beloved books. On the other hand, The Hunger Games ended up gaining fans from the trailer. I know people that saw the trailer, realized how amazing the movie looked, read the books and now have their camping gear for the midnight showing. And when it comes to Harry Potter, the fans and general Hunger Games demographic would have been way too young to experience the excitement and anticipation of the very first Harry Potter film, as a truly devoted fan.
So, with the Harry Potter franchise sadly at a close and the disappointing Twilight franchise ending soon, The Hunger Games becomes a beacon of light to this enthused group of kids. If this film is at all decent, which it (cross your fingers) looks like it will be, then we have a new era of films on our hands -- one that will drive the fidelity and zeal we young movie and book lovers have to offer.