Prepare yourself for the next phenomenon. Like Harry Potter and Twilight before it, The Hunger Games started out as a wildly successful young adult book series. Endorsed early by Stephenie Meyer (author of Twilight), The Hunger Games soon formed a solid fanbase. As the books slowly gained popularity, whispers and rumors of a movie deal began to overwhelm the fandom. These rumors proved true and soon enough a production studio (Lionsgate) and a director (Gary Ross) signed on.
Even though this was exciting, it was obvious that the most important part was on the horizon. Enter casting. I have never experience a casting like this movie had. The anticipation was at ridiculous levels, and almost every young actor in Hollywood was rumored to have read for one of the three leads. The hype became so large that mere mentions of an actress having the script made it to the front page of entertainment websites across the internet. In the end, Oscar-nominated Jennifer Lawrence snagged the coveted main role of Katniss Everdeen, while former child star Josh Hutcherson, and Miley Cyrus’ boyfriend Liam Hemsworth (younger brother to Thor star Chris Hemsworth) were chosen as the secondary leads.
As with most teen audiences nowadays, this news was met by disgust as well as jubilation. Some people loved the casting and some despised it. As a fan myself, I thought that the casting was spot on. Jennifer is obviously talented and can hold a movie all by herself. She dyed her hair brown for the role and now looks like Katniss as she is described in the books. Josh has a face that can’t help but be loved, an integral trait of his character Peeta Mellark (the hopeless romantic baker). Liam is gorgeous and strong, just like the guy he’s playing, Gale Hawthorne. However, the backlash against this casting was definitely apparent; with supposed “fans” vowing to never see the movie just because Josh isn’t as tall as Peeta or because Jennifer isn’t skinny enough to play our heroine.
*Rolls Eyes* all I can do is laugh really because this disdain brings me all the way back to the last time a popular teen series was put on the big screen. During those early days, when the studio announced who would be playing the male lead, the vitriol on the message boards of almost every fansite was off the charts claiming this weird British guy would ruin the movies forever. That “weird British guy” had a name, Robert Pattinson, and the movie, Twilight, went on to be a huge hit and launched his career into the stratosphere. The success of the movie was in large part thanks to the overwhelming obsession with its male star, Pattinson. He became the object of a million girls’ crushes and is now among the biggest teen stars of our time.
So I’m not worried, the fans will come around eventually. Even with the few naysayers, the anticipation for this project has reached epic levels. Movie experts are predicting a huge opening weekend for the project, helped by the inevitable sold out midnight shows (tickets go on sale February 22). I believe that The Hunger Games will preform well at the box office and that its stars will become instant household names. But the question everyone is asking is will it beat Twilight? Hmmm…. Well the movie premiers in late March, hardly a big summer blockbuster, and the stars are still relatively unknown. Taking all that into consideration, I think it will blow Twilight out of the water. Here are a couple of reasons why…
- I have never seen such passion coming from this number of people regarding one film
- It seems like the fandom grows exponentially by the day
- It appeals to both guys and girls (unlike Twilight)
- It has a gigantic presence on Twitter and other social media platforms
- People genuinely like this book and think its well written setting it apart from Twilight
- The way the the trailer preformed on Youtube was ridiculous and record breaking
- Now that Twilight is over, the fans have to see something… Right?
This might be just wishful thinking on my part because I want the struggling studio to greenlight a sequel as soon as possible, but i do legitimately believe The Hunger Games will be among the most successful films of 2012. So get ready to hear a lot about it in the near future.