“I’m not their slave,” the man mutters.
“I am,” I say. “That’s why I killed Cato… and he killed Thresh… and he killed Clove… and she tried to kill me. It just goes around and around, and who wins? Not us. Not the districts. Always the capitol. But I’m tired of being a piece in their games.”—Katniss Everdeen, Mockingjay (via republicofpanem)
The Hunger Games’ filmmakers walk a fine line between encouraging the devotion and not falling prisoner to it.
"Every decision is being so closely watched," says producer Nina Jacobson. "I understand the fierce and intense feeling the fans have for this movie."
•Form key alliances. Collins’ active involvement in every step of the film sends a clear message to the faithful: The book will not stray.
•Find the chosen one. Finding a star for the book’s central character, Katniss Everdeen, was the casting competition of 2011. Chloe Moretz, Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld were just a few of the “it girls” in the running. “We left no stone unturned,” Jacobson says. But Lawrence’s gritty performance in 2010’s Winter’s Bone— as a character moved to violence to protect her family, much like Katniss — gave her a leg up. “It was a lucky break to see her in that role,” Jacobson says.
It was her audition, where she says goodbye to her family before leaving for the Games, that sealed the part and left onlookers in tears. Jacobson says the choice was easy. “You can manipulate appearance, not essence. Jennifer taps the inner life of Katniss.”
•Stake out your ground. Re-creating the book’s leafy battlescapes was crucial. “We’ve found locations that have so far exceeded anything I can imagine,” Jacobson says. “It’s perfect.”
Producers have been mum about the exact locale, but notices soliciting extras in North Carolina have tipped their hand.
•Recruit the crafty veterans. Stanley Tucci casting announcements don’t usually rock the Internet, but that changed when he signed as The Hunger Games' quirky TV host.
"This is a wonderfully eccentric character, and I think Stanley is going to make a perfect Caesar Flickerman," director Gary Ross says.
•Train hard. Lawrence is undertaking everything from agility training to archery work for her character. “She’s getting extensive training in all the skills Katniss possesses,” Jacobson says.
•Prepare for other battles. Lionsgate studios has the rights to Collins’ Hunger trilogy. In the likely event that the movie is a success, expect to see a lot of Katniss Everdeen.
As Jacobson says, “We’re in this for the long haul.”