March 18, 2012 9:19pm PT by Rebecca Ford
'The Hunger Games' Producers Talk About Honoring the Books, Making the Sequel
The wait is almost over --The Hunger Games hits theaters in just four days.
The passionate fans of Suzanne Collins’ books are anxiously awaiting the Lionsgate film, and hoping that the strengths of the book will be brought to the big screen.
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The Hollywood Reporter spoke with producers Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik at the film’s premiere about making the highly anticipated adventure movie, which is directed by Gary Ross, and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson.
“I felt that we needed to find a voice for the movie that was as honest as the voice in the book,” Jacobson told THR about making the film based on the much-loved book. “You want to find that ethical voice that Suzanne Collins found. And that’s very hard I think to pull off, but I think Gary really found a way to hit that right in the sweet spot.”
The film follows Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence), a young woman living in the futuristic dystopian world of Panem, who is forced to fight in the Hunger Games, an annual deadly competition in which two young people from each district must fight, and only one comes out alive.
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“Katniss is a very three-dimensional character,” said Jacobson. “You feel like you know her. And not every filmmaker could capture that voice and make sure that the storytelling came from character.”
Kilik praised actress Jennifer Lawrence, who shot to fame after her harrowing role in Winter's Bone, for her performance as Katniss Everdeen, the tough heroine who’s a mean shot with a bow and arrow.
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“To have [Katniss] be strong, and smart and independent. That’s what we had to get right,” he told THR. “[Jennifer Lawrence] just brought all that with her amazing talent and incredible work ethic. She just brought the best and carried us all on her back.”
The Lionsgate film opens in theaters on March 23, but the studio hopes to release three more films to go with the next two books in the trilogy. When asked about plans for the next film, both producers said that their focus was just on making the first movie the best it could be.
“We were all really caught up in the moment,” said Kilik. “Everybody was just doing the best they could, doing their jobs everyday, and caught up in that moment.”