'Hunger' pangs for Color Force

8:00 PM PST 03/04/2009 by Borys Kit, AP

Picks up rights to Suzanne Collins' novel

Nina Jacobson and her Color Force shingle have gobbled up the movie rights to "Hunger Games," Suzanne Collins' futuristic young adult novel.

The book, which was released last year to solid reviews and even made the lists of top children's literature, flew past most execs until "Twilight" author Stephanie Meyer raved about it on her blog. Stephen King also praised the book.

That put development execs at Scott Free, Spyglass, Warners and Lionsgate on the case, though Jacobson's tenacity won out. Her intent is to quickly incubate the project before taking it to studios.

The Scholastic book, the first of a trilogy, has a "Battle Royale" meets "Running Man" feel to it, tackling contemporary culture by telling the story of an America where the subjugated districts must pay tribute in the form of a boy and a girl who are forced to participate in a televised battle to the death.

The former studio exec is in preproduction on "Diary of Wimpy Kid," the adaptation of Jeff Kinney's popular book series that Thor Freudenthal is directing. Brad Simpson is also producing.
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