The ABC of The Hunger Games

Let the games begin

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Collins 2The blockbuster Hunger Games franchise has taken audiences by storm around the world, grossing more than $2.2 billion at the global box office.

Suzanne Marie Collins (born August 10, 1962) is an American television writer and novelist, best known as the author of The New York Times best selling series The Underland Chronicles and The Hunger Games trilogy (which consists of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay).

Collins’ career began in 1991 as a writer for children’s television shows. She worked on several television shows for Nickelodeon, including Clarissa Explains It All, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, Little Bear, and Oswald.

She was also the head writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days.

She received a Writers Guild of America nomination in animation for co-writing the critically acclaimed Christmas special, Santa, Baby! After meeting children’s author James Proimos while working on the Kids’ WB show Generation O!, Collins was inspired to write children’s books herself.

Her inspiration for Gregor the Overlander, the first book of The New York Times best selling series The Underland Chronicles, came from Alice in Wonderland, when she was thinking about how one was more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole, and would find something other than a tea party.

In September 2008, Scholastic Press released The Hunger Games, the first book of a trilogy by Collins.

The Hunger Games was partly inspired by the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.

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Another inspiration was her father’s career in the Air Force, which gave her insight to poverty, starvation, and the effects of war. The trilogy’s second book, Catching Fire, was released in September 2009, and its third book, Mockingjay, was released on August 24, 2010. Within 14 months, 1.5 million copies of the first two Hunger Games books were printed in North America alone. The Hunger Games has been on The New York Times Best Seller list for more than 60 weeks in a row. Lions Gate Entertainment acquired worldwide distribution rights to a film adaptation of The Hunger Games, produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force production company. As a result of the significant popularity of The Hunger Games books, Collins was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people of 2010.

 

 

 

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games takes place in an unspecified future time in a dystopian post-apocalyptic nation called Panem (formerly North America).

The country consists of the Capitol located in the Rocky Mountains and twelve districts ruled by the Capitol.

The Capitol is lavishly rich and technologically advanced, but the twelve districts are in varying states of poverty (especially 12, where starvation is common and many people die because of it).

Due to this treatment, the thirteen districts went up against the Capitol, the Capitol won and District 13 was destroyed with nuclear weapons as a result (making it inhospitable).

As punishment for the rebellion (called “The Dark Days”) against the Capitol, one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, are selected by lottery to participate in the “Hunger Games” on an annual basis.

The Games are a televised event with the participants, called “tributes”, being forced to fight to the death in a dangerous public arena. The winning tribute and his/her home district is then rewarded with food, supplies, and riches.

The purpose of the Hunger Games is to provide entertainment for the Capitol and to serve as a reminder to the Districts of the Capitol’s power and lack of remorse.

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in the games.

Joined by her district’s male tribute Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss travels to the Capitol to train for the Hunger Games under the guidance of former victor Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson).

The Hunger Games was directed by Gary Ross and based on the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins, with a screenplay written by Ross, Collins, and Billy Ray.

 

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

catching fireThe plot of Catching Fire takes place a few months after the previous installment; Katniss Everdeen has now returned home safely after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Throughout the story, Katniss senses that a rebellion against the oppressive Capitol is simmering through the districts.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire the sequel to The Hunger Games, and the second installment in The Hunger Games film series, produced by Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik and distributed by Lionsgate. Francis Lawrence directed the film, with a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt. Adding to the existing cast, the supporting cast was filled out with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Lynn Cohen, Amanda Plummer, Alan Ritchson, and Meta Golding.

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

The story continues to follow Katniss Everdeen; having twice survived the Hunger Games, Katniss finds herself in District 13. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the Capitol and fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 was directed by Francis Lawrence with a screenplay by Peter Craig and Danny Strong.  The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland.

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

600x600bfThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 now brings the franchise to its powerful final chapter in which Katniss Everdeen [Jennifer Lawrence] realizes the stakes are no longer just for survival – they are for the future.

With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss confronts President Snow [Donald Sutherland] in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends – including Gale [Liam Hemsworth], Finnick [Sam Claflin] and Peeta [Josh Hutcherson] – Katniss goes off on a mission with the unit from District 13 as they risk their lives to liberate the citizens of Panem, and stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games.

Teamed with a group of her closest friends – including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) – Katniss goes off on a mission with the District 13 unit as they risk their lives to liberate the citizens of Panem, and stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. Although rebels – including fellow victors, Johanna (Jena Malone), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), and Beetee (Jeffrey Wright)- now control most of Panem, the girl on fire must still overcome one last challenge to win President Snow’s “game” – to conquer the Capitol at the risk of losing her friends and loved ones. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games as she realizes the stakes are no longer just for survival – they are for the future of Panem.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 was directed by Francis Lawrence with a screenplay by Peter Craig and Danny Strong. It is the second of two cinematic parts based on the novel Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy, written by Suzanne Collins, and the fourth and final installment in The Hunger Games film series, produced by Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik and distributed by Lionsgate. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman (in his final film role), and Donald Sutherland.