Lionsgate strikes on 'Hunger'


Lionsgate has acquired worldwide distribution rights to film project "The Hunger Games," which will be derived from a futuristic young-adult novel by Suzanne Collins.

Producer Nina Jacobson grabbed film rights to the book for her independent Color Force banner in a highly competitive environment two weeks ago. Collins will adapt her book for the screen.

Alli Shearmur, Lionsgate's president of motion picture production, will oversee the project for the studio with senior vp motion picture production Jim Miller.

The Scholastic novel, the first in a planned trilogy, imagines a dystopian future where North America has been divided into 12 oppressed districts, each forced to send tribute in the form of a boy and a girl to compete in an annual televised battle to the death. Released last year, the book had enjoyed modest popularity until Stephen King and Stephenie Meyer publicly gave it kudos, propelling it onto best-seller lists.

Collins' second installment, "Catching Fire," is due Sept. 1. (partialdiff)