Steven Spielberg’s Grapes of Wrath just fell to no. 2 in the John Steinbeck Adaptation Pool (Remake Division). Not because we’re about to argue that Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, Pleasantville) is a better filmmaker, but because Ross’s East of Edenwill have Jennifer Lawrence.
Because [hella dramatic cannon noise] Gary Ross is out. After guiding the first flick in the franchise to just ungodly sums of money (like, at this point, Lionsgate could probably breed, birth, and train an army of bloodthirsty murder-unicorns and still have enough left over for a Cinnabon), Ross has announced he will not be returning to the franchise for the sequel, Catching Fire. The news didn’t come completely out of the blue, as reports had already been circulating that Ross and Lionsgate were butting heads over his salary demands. But, at least according to the statements from Gary and the studio, the final decision to bounce on the franchise had nothing to do with money.
Everybody wants to take shots at the throne. And, with its box office haul rounding to $400 million (it might just get there by the time you finish this sentence!), The Hunger Games is most definitely king. It’s not surprising, then, that rumbles about the franchise’s crumbling have already begun.
Suzanne Collins' YA book trilogy The Hunger Games is a legit blockbuster, but now it’s heading into its second phase. Can the movie adaptation, in theaters in March, win over the masses that were immune to the manifold charms of the dystopian novels? It’s not only its studio, Lionsgate, that’s hoping this thing becomes a Twilight-size mega-obsession: As evidenced by the fact this new trailer premiered on Good Morning America earlier today, there is a whole lot of media invested in seeing Jennifer Lawrence and the rest of the fresh-faced cast become stars. With mass appeal being the goal, you might have thought director Gary Ross would tone down some of the brutality and gloom of the books. But from the looks of this trailer, at least, you'd have thought wrong! All primary elements — from the depressed District 12 kids, to the rich weirdos in the capital, to the bloodthirsty free-for-all in the arena — are present and accounted for, and the result is a promising 2½ minutes. Congratulations, Gary Ross! You can, at least so far, not worry pitchfork-wielding Hunger Games fans storming your house.