Tag: hunger games
One of the most eagerly awaited castings (at least according to my The Hunger Games loving tween daughter) is who will play the role of 24 year old heartthrob Tribute Finnick Odair – and it appears that they may have found their man in Sam Claflin, probably best known for his roles as William in Snow White and the Hunstman, and Philip in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. It’s not confirmed yet, but it appears that it is awaiting his acceptance.
If true, he will beat some better known names, such as Tron: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund and Mirror Mirror‘s Armie Hammer.
Actress Amanda Plummer, who has appeared on stage and screen in a wide range of projects including Pulp Fiction, So I Married an Axe Murderer and L.A. Law, will play the eccentric tribute Wiress from District 3 in the sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire. Wiress, nicknamed “Nuts”, is a survivor of a previous Games, but became mentally unstable – she however retains a highly analytical mind.
The movie adaptation of the third and final book of the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, was given release dates today by Lionsgate, showing that the movie will in fact be split into two parts, with part one being released on November 21st, 2014 (a year less a day from the first sequel, Catching Fire), followed by part two a year later on November 20th, 2015.
In addition, the rumored casting of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was confirmed this week. He will play the role of Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee in Catching Fire, replacing the character of Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley).
IMAX and Lionsgate announced today that The Hunger Games will return to over 100 IMAX theaters for one week starting April 27th, due to overwhelming demand.
The Hunger Games has grossed over $533 million globally since its launch on March 23, including $13.2 million generated from IMAX theatres in its original one week run.
“It’s wonderful that so many fans have expressed interest in seeing The Hunger Games in the immersive IMAX format, and many of these are repeat viewers,” said Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group Co-Chair Rob Friedman, adding “We’re delighted that IMAX has been able to accommodate them through this special one week re-engagement.”
“The Hunger Games has become a cultural phenomenon and we are thrilled to provide moviegoers with another opportunity to see this year’s most successful film in IMAX,” said Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment.
The IMAX release of The Hunger Games has been digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.
Shortly after I posted that the Hunger Games sequel search was down to two, apparently they made their choice – and it is Francis Lawrence, who previously directed Water for Elephants, I Am Legend and Constantine. It is expect he will receive an offer today.
Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games, is slated for a November 2013 release. It is expected the third book, Mockingjay, will be filmed at the same time.
Hearing from various sources that the necessarily quick search for a replacement director for Gary Ross – who decided not to continue with the sequel for The Hunger Games – has been narrowed down to two choices, neither of which have a lot of top-line directing titles under their belts but what they have were well known: Bennett Miller, who was nominated for an Oscar for Capote and more recently directed Moneyball; and Francis Lawrence, who most recently scored with Water for Elephants but also genre films I Am Legend and Constantine.
Of the two, Lawrence would seem to make sense given his experience in a post-apocalyptic-like setting of I Am Legend, and 2 genre films to zero for Miller.
It’s a bit of he-isn’t-he-is-he-isn’t, but it appears final this time: Gary Ross says he will not direct Catching Fire, the sequel to his highly-successful adaptation of The Hunger Games. And it appears the driving reason wasn’t that as rumored he didn’t want to “repeat himself” – but rather that Lionsgate’s schedule for the sequel is too aggressive.
“Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire,” Ross said in a release from Lionsgate late yesterday. “As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.”
This was apparently a bit of a surprise to the Lionsgate execs. But now we get to continue speculation on who will take over – and expect that to be REAL hot, as they don’t have a lot of time to spend on a search…
As we alluded to Wednesday, it now appears that writer/director Gary Ross is walking away from directing the sequel to The Hunger Games.
The Playlist is reporting that he is walking away from the franchise – and although pretty much everyone expects that Lionsgate didn’t offer him much, they believe that his motivation to walk away may have been more than that, preferring to move on to something very different than working on the same thing for several years.
However, the other gotcha for filming the sequel – Jennifer Lawrence’s X-Men: First Class commitment – appears to have already been resolved between Lionsgate and Fox to allow Lawrence to shoot the next two books of The Hunger Games back to back. This could mean that the sequel to First Class – if it happens – won’t start filming for a while.
Update 4/7: Back the train up…it seems awfully quick for Ross to have backed out already, and it appears that it might be the case – Deadline says that he has NOT officially bowed out, and is currently on a family vacation. However, I’d expect a decision one way or another to happen soon if they hope to make their November, 2013 release date, and also not run into issues with Jennifer Lawrence’s schedule.
So, with The Hunger Games being such a huge hit, you would think that making the sequel would be a slam dunk, right?
That might not be the case, however.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, there are a couple problems that could get in the way.
First and biggest is the fact that unlike the cast, writer-director Gary Ross was never locked in for the sequel (in many cases, talent is locked in by contract for one or two sequels if made), and he is arguably a big part in what made the first movie such a success, which means he has a lot of clout in negotiations to direct a sequel. Shouldn’t be a problem still, right? Well, Lionsgate isn’t exactly known for their generosity in such matters. And it isn’t unheard of for studios to hand over the reins to another director, even in big franchises. For example, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke was dropped after the first movie.
Ross apparently also described his original negotiations for handling The Hunger Games as “a terrible experience” – which doesn’t bode well heading into new negotiations.
An interesting bit from that article though mentions that Warner Bros. dropped Chris Columbus after the first two Harry Potter films. If memory serves, he chose to step away…although that could be code for “they didn’t offer me enough.” However, I think the 3 directors who succeeded him – Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, and David Yates – did amazing jobs, and perhaps outdid Columbus. So a change in director is not necessarily the death of a franchise.
The second complicating factor is Jennifer Lawrence. Although as mentioned the cast is already locked in, she’s also locked in to a sequel to another franchise – X-Men: First Class, where she plays Raven/Mystique, and it appears that that movie, if/when it films, has contractual precedence. That could mean negotiations with Marvel/Fox or delays that could further jeopardize the hoped-for November 2013 release date for Catching Fire.
The Hunger Games showed that it really is as strong as expected as it cleared over $250 million domestically with $61.1 million in it’s second weekend, which handily beat two anticipated newcomers – Wrath of the Titans, the sequel to Clash of the Titans, which came in second with $34.2M, a little better than half what it’s predecessor opened with, and third place Mirror, Mirror, the comedic take on Snow White starring Julia Roberts, at $19M.