Director Gary Ross talks THE HUNGER GAMES

Kate Erbland

by: Kate Erbland
January 8th, 2011

The team over at Entertainment Weekly got a nifty exclusive this week with director Gary Ross, who is set to direct the first film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ monster Young Adult series hit, THE HUNGER GAMES. Though I haven’t gotten a chance to read the books yet, I do know they have a very dedicated following (one to rival fans of The Twilight Saga, if ecstatic word of mouth is true), and a dedicated following means that there are a lot of people who have ideas on how their beloved books should hit the big screen.

Ross seems already well tuned-in to what the fans want, but is also realistic about how these things need to be brought to theaters in a way that will allow the films to be accessible to the most viewers. The first rub? The film’s rating. The books are notoriously brutal and vicious and, though that’s an important element of telling the story, Ross doesn’t want to leave that rabid fanbase in the MPAA cold. He told EW, “It’s not going to be an R-rated movie because I want the 12- and 13- and 14-year-old-fans to be able to go see it…This book means too much to too many teenagers for it not to be PG-13. It’s their story and they deserve to be able to access it completely.” An obvious choice, but it’s good to see Ross providing fan-skewed reasoning for the rating.

Ross also promises that the scares will come from real thrills, not just blood and guts, saying “I don’t need to…make this movie incredibly bloody in order for it to be just as compelling, just as scary, and just as riveting.” He also gives a huge hat tip to author Collins, placing importance on the ideas she brings to the book that make it “harrowing,” not just straight-up violence.

The Hunger Games Trilogy was created by Collins in 2008, and includes 2009′s Catching Fire and 2010′s Mockingjay. It presents a post-apocalyptic North America, and combines elements of both current reality television with Greek myths. In Collins’ universe, young adults (ages 12 to 18) are picked each year to compete in the titular games as both punishment for a previous rebellion towards the almighty Capitol and as a chance for glory for the various participants’ home districts. Things get bloody and brutal and, as fans will tell you, ruthlessly addictive. Is it the next TWILIGHT? Honestly, it sounds better.

I may have just purchased the full set on Amazon. Maybe.

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