Lionsgate’s Dystopian ‘The Hunger Games’ Inspired by Terrifying Short ‘The Lottery’

The Hunger Games

I’ve never read the books, but I do recall the initial pitch when Lionsgate acquired the rights some time ago. It was The Running Man meets Battle Royale. They’ve since abandoned the comparison, but the newly released trailer does everything but ignore that it’s a complete riff of the aforementioned films.

Lionsgate has finally unveiled the first full trailer for The Hunger Games, which is solely footage from the first half of the adaptation. It displays Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) in a Dystopian future chosen for a yearly battle to the death. Only one can survive. The selection process is right out of Shirley Jackson’s 1948 short “The Lottery”, while the games themselves look like a reboot of Battle Royale. My main complaint, other than the Braveheart-esque score, is Director Gary Ross’ vision of the future. If there were a fine line to cross, he’s pushing into Joel Schumacher Batman territory.

Check out the trailer inside, talk, and then watch as the Hunger Games begin on March 23, 2012. Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Dayo Okeniyi, Amandla Stenberg, Chris Mark, Jacqueline Emerson, Wes Bentley, Lenny Kravitz, Toby Jones, Stanley Tucci all star.

In an attempt to preserve the anticipation and mystery that fans are relishing, the trailer only shows footage from the first half of the film, chronicling events leading up to but not including the Games themselves. After giving fans their first look at all of the book’s beloved characters brought to life, giving viewers who haven’t read the book vital information about the world of Panem, the trailer ends with an electrifying cliffhanger right as Katniss enters the arena.

Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel, the first in a trilogy published by Scholastic that has over 16 million copies in print in the United States alone, has developed a massive global following.

The Hunger Games