Lionsgate Finally Picks Gary Ross to Helm 'The Hunger Games'

September 14, 2010
Source: Deadline

Resident Evil

Earlier this month we heard about a trio of big name directors in contention to helm Lionsgate's hopeful new franchise in an adaptation of the bestselling young adult novel The Hunger Games, the first in a trilogy of books loved by teens and adults alike. David Slade (Twiight: Eclipse) and Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition) were included in the running, but the least likely candidate for the job, Seabiscuit director Gary Ross seems to be the man for the job. Deadline says Ross has started negotiations with the studio to direct from a script written by the novel's author Suzanne Collins with a re-write from State of Play screenwriter Billy Ray.

Here's the story summary straight from the back of the book for those who aren't familiar or may be interested in picking up some new reading material:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Apparently Sam Mendes withdrew his name from the race at the end of last week since the financial debacle at MGM may clear up sooner than anticipated allowing him to finally direct the next James Bond film. Word on the street is that production could begin on the 007 sequel by summer or early fall 2011 (we'll believe it when we see it). As for Ross' hiring, this seems like wholly different material for a director who has only previously helmed Pleasantville and Seabiscuit. Hopefully Lionsgate is extremely confident in their choice to kick-off the first in a presumed film trilogy. Depending on how it turns out, maybe Ross will end up directing Catching Fire and Mockingjay, the other two installments of the book series. You guys think Gary Ross is the right man for the job?

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  • Why did you delete my Running Man reference link? It was only a mild suggestion.
  • Carla1997
    yay i loved his work in seabiscuit and i can't wait to see this production up and running.
  • @ #1, Crapola Honestly, it seemed unrelated and the reference went way over my head. Sorry!
  • nelson
    wonder how they will adapt it since the books are told through first person view(Katniss's View)
  • Knawx
    @4. I wondered the exact same thing while reading this book. But, I wouldn't mind watching it as long as they found a very good actress to play Katniss. I mean, Ryan Reynolds kept me entertained all the way through Buried, so it can be done.
  • Yep sorry Ethan, I think maybe I was a bit vague with that reference. It was the fighting to the death for entertainment on live tv angle, also that the rave tune I linked to with Killian in the chorus, produced some of the worst dancing that my friends have ever done.
  • movie mike
    Not the right choice. I WANT KATHRYN BIGELOW!!
  • It's good to know that they've picked a different director aside from what others have been expecting, David Slade. Let's just hope that Gary Ross will do justice on this movie. Good luck to him!
  • blasphemer
    rather than the "Running Man", I see more of a taste of "The Long Wallk" here....always thought that in the right hands, a seriouosly good film could be made from that story......
  • Danielle Chuchran (Katniss) and Savanna Kylie Lewis (Rue)
  • Guest
    dido on the Danielle Chuchran.
  • Brianna Finseth
    i like him if he choses the right people for the parts... such as brianna finseth for the part of Katniss.




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