DID YOU READ

“The Hunger Games” sequel eyes a new screenwriter, director Gary Ross will return

“The Hunger Games” sequel eyes a new screenwriter, director Gary Ross will return (photo)

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Lionsgate doesn’t want to make “The Hunger Games” fans wait overly long while they adapt the best-selling novels for the big screen. It’s the reason they carved out a release date — November 22, 2013 — for the second installment of the series, “Catching Fire,” well before the first glimpse of footage ever saw the light of day. Thanks to the positive response to the recently-released theatrical trailer, it looks like Lionsgate is continuing to fast-track the project to be ready for its release in two years.

Director Gary Ross co-wrote “The Hunger Games” script with “State of Play” scribe Billy Ray. According to Deadline his intention was to write the outline of the “Catching Fire” script now and then stick close to the source material and co-write the actual screenplay with the novels’ writer, Suzanne Collins. But Ross is apparently knee-deep in post-production right now and doesn’t have the time to pen the script that he had planned on. So now Lionsgate is courting “Slumdog Millionaire” writer Simon Beaufoy to write the script instead.

There’s no word on whether or not Ross will attempt to help Beaufoy write the script, or if he’ll recommend that Beaufoy and Collins write it together. Either way, Ross has had a big hand in this production from the start and will likely at least take several passes at the screenplay to shape it to his liking. “Catching Fire” will be a tricky film to adapt because it has two very different acts with extremely different tones.

There’s also no guarantee that the end of the “Catching Fire” film will correlate with the end of the novel. Lionsgate has planned on making four films out of the three novels, and there isn’t exactly enough source material to divide the third book, “Mockingjay,” into two films.

Deadline also reports that Ross definitely plans on coming back to direct “Catching Fire.” Hopefully that means he’s on board for the whole series, which will be good for the films’ tonality. Other franchises like “Harry Potter” and “The Twilight Saga” have jumped around between directors, and it could be argued that they suffered for it. At least those series had novels with different tones, while “The Hunger Games” is pretty dark and bleak the entire way through.

“The Hunger Games” tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl from the poor District 12 section of the futuristic country Panem who volunteers herself into the annual Hunger Games to take the place of her sister. In the Hunger Games, she must fight to the death against 23 of her peers on national television to win fame and fortune to her District. But Katniss only thinks about her survival and returning to her family, and that’s what gives her the edge. “The Hunger Games” hits theaters on March 23, 2012.

Do you think Simon Beaufoy will be a good person to adapt “Catching Fire”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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