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)

Posted by on

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.

Underworld

Under Your Spell

10 Otherworldly Romances That’ll Melt Your Heart

Spend Valentine's Day weekend with IFC's Underworld movie marathon.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Screen Gems/courtesy Everett Collection

Romance takes many forms, and that is especially true when you have a thirst for blood or laser beams coming out of your eyes.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a werewolf, a superhero, a clone, a time-traveler, or a vampire, love is the one thing that infects us all.  Read on to find out why Romeo and Juliet have nothing on these supernatural star-crossed lovers, and be sure to catch IFC’s Underworld movie marathon this Valentine’s Day weekend.

1. Cyclops/Jean Grey/Wolverine, X-Men series

The X-Men franchise is rife with romance, but the steamiest “ménage à mutant” may just be the one between Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Their triangle is a complicated one as Jean finds herself torn between the two very different men while also trying to control her darker side, the Phoenix. This leads to Jean killing Cyclops and eventually getting stabbed through her heart by Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand. Yikes!  Maybe they should change the name to Ex-Men instead?


2. Willow/Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon gave audiences some great romances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — including the central triangle of Buffy, Angel, and Spike — but it was the love between witches Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber Benson) that broke new ground for its sensitive and nuanced portrayal of a LGBT relationship.

Willow is smart and confident and isn’t even sure of her sexuality when she first meets Tara at college in a Wiccan campus group. As the two begin experimenting with spells, they realize they’re also falling for one another and become the show’s most enduring, happy couple. At least until Tara’s death in season six, a moment that still brings on the feels.


3. Selene/Michael, Underworld series

The Twilight gang pales in comparison (both literally and metaphorically) to the Lycans and Vampires of the stylish Underworld franchise. If you’re looking for an epic vampire/werewolf romance set amidst an epic vampire/werewolf war, Underworld handily delivers in the form of leather catsuited Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and shaggy blonde hunk Michael (a post-Felicity Scott Speedman). As they work together to stop the Vampire/Lycan war, they give into their passions while also kicking butt in skintight leather. Love at first bite indeed.


4. Spider-man/Mary Jane Watson, Spider-man

After rushing to the aid of beautiful girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the Amazing Spider-man is rewarded with an upside-down kiss that is still one of the most romantic moments in comic book movie history. For Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), the shy, lovable dork beneath the mask, his rain-soaked makeout session is the culmination of years of unrequited love and one very powerful spider bite. As the films progress, Peter tries pushing MJ away in an attempt to protect her from his enemies, but their web of love is just too powerful. And you know, with great power, comes great responsibility.


5. Molly/Sam, Ghost

When it comes to supernatural romance, you really can’t beat Molly and Sam from the 1990 hit film Ghost. Demi Moore goes crazy for Swayze like the rest of us, and the pair make pottery sexier than it’s ever been.

When Sam is murdered, he’s forced to communicate through con artist turned real psychic, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg in her Academy Award-winning role) to warn Molly she is still in danger from his co-worker, Carl (a pre-Scandal Tony Goldwyn). Molly doesn’t believe Oda is telling the truth, so Sam proves it by sliding a penny up the wall and then possessing Oda so he and Molly can share one last romantic dance together (but not the dirty kind). We’d pay a penny for a dance with Patrick Swayze ANY day.


6. Cosima/Delphine, Orphan Black

It stands to reason there would be at least one complicated romance on a show about clones, and none more complicated than the one between clone Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) and Dr. Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu) on BBC America’s hit drama Orphan Black.

Cosima is a PhD student focusing on evolutionary developmental biology at the University of Minnesota when she meets Delphine, a research associate from the nefarious Dyad Institute, posing as a fellow immunology student. The two fall in love, but their happiness is brief once Dyad and the other members of Clone Club get involved. Here’s hoping Cosima finds love in season four of Orphan Black. Girlfriend could use a break.


7. Aragorn/Arwen, Lord of the Rings

On a picturesque bridge in Rivendell amidst some stellar mood-lighting and dreamy Elvish language with English subtitles for us non-Middle Earthlings, Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) bind their souls to one another, pledging to love each other no matter what befalls them.

Their courtship is a matter of contention with Arwen’s father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), who doesn’t wish to see his daughter suffer over Aragorn’s future death. The two marry after the conclusion of the War of the Ring, with Aragorn assuming his throne as King of Gondor, and Arwen forgoing her immortality to become his Queen. Is it too much to assume they asked Frodo to be their wedding ring-bearer?


8. Lafayette/Jesus, True Blood

True Blood quickly became the go-to show for supernatural sex scenes featuring future Magic Mike strippers (Joe Manganiello) and pale Nordic men with washboard abs (Hi Alexander Skarsgård!), but honestly, there was a little something for everyone, including fan favorite Bon Temps medium, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis).

In season three, Lafayette met his mother’s nurse, Jesus, and the two began a relationship. As they spend more time together and start doing V (short for Vampire Blood), they learn Jesus is descended from a long line of witches and that Lafayette himself has magical abilities. However, supernatural love is anything but simple, and after the pair join a coven, Lafayette becomes possessed by the dead spirit of its former leader. This relationship certainly puts a whole new spin on possessive love.


9. Nymphadora Tonks/Remus Lupin, Harry Potter series

There are lots of sad characters in the Harry Potter series, but Remus Lupin ranks among the saddest. He was bitten by a werewolf as a child, his best friend was murdered and his other best friend was wrongly imprisoned in Azkaban for it, then THAT best friend was killed by a Death Eater at the Ministry of Magic as Remus looked on. So when Lupin unexpectedly found himself in love with badass Auror and Metamorphmagus Nymphadora Tonks (she prefers to be called by her surname ONLY, thank you very much), pretty much everyone, including Lupin himself, was both elated and cautiously hopeful about their romance and eventual marriage.

Sadly, the pair met a tragic ending when both were killed by Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving their son, Teddy, orphaned much like his godfather Harry Potter. Accio hankies!


10. The Doctor/Rose Tyler, Doctor Who

Speaking of wolves, Rose “Bad Wolf” Tyler (Billie Piper) captured the Doctor’s hearts from the moment he told her to “Run!” in the very first episode of the re-booted Doctor Who series. Their affection for one another grew steadily deeper during their travels in the TARDIS, whether they were stuck in 1950s London, facing down pure evil in the Satan Pit, or battling Cybermen.

But their relationship took a tragic turn during the season two finale episode, “Doomsday,” when the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose found themselves separated in parallel universes with no way of being reunited (lest two universes collapse as a result of a paradox). A sobbing Rose told a holographic transmission of the Doctor she loved him, but before he could reply, the transmission cut out, leaving our beloved Time Lord (and most of the audience) with a tear-stained face and two broken hearts all alone in the TARDIS.

“The Hunger Games” photos give new looks at Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks and Liam Hemsworth

“The Hunger Games” photos give new looks at Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks and Liam Hemsworth (photo)

Posted by on

Hot off the heels of the recent (awesome) “The Hunger Games” theatrical trailer, two new images from the film have hit the web. While they might show scenes that were teased in the trailer, the photos offer at least a great new shot of Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket and a nice shot of Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Gale (Liam Hemsworth) talking before she gets sent off to the Capitol.

111611-hunger-games-1.jpg

The most emotional moment for many from the trailer was the moment where Katniss offers herself as a tribute for the Hunger Games in the place of her younger sister, Prim. The way Lawrence’s voice cracks right at that moment and her eyes get frenzied and panicked is arguably the most effective portrayl in the teaser of the gravity of having to participate in the Games.

The still of Effie and Katniss shows the Girl on Fire still looking shell-shocked by her decision, while Effie looks unfazed by the whole incident. In fact, if I remember correctly, she tells Katniss at this moment how brave she is for offering herself in the place of her sister and then tries to start a round of applause. But the citizens of District 12 stand in silence and Effie ends up just looking like a fool, foreshadowing the ways Katniss will inspire the citizens of Panem to rebel against their government in The Capitol.

The second still shows a tender moment between Katniss and her best friend Gale. A lot more focus has been placed on Katniss’s relationship with Gale in these promotions than her relationship with her fellow District 12 tribute and future love interest, Peeta. Gale doesn’t get much page time in the first “Hunger Games” book, but it looks like he might get a bigger role in the film. Based on the footage we saw in the trailer of the citizens of Panem reacting to big screen screenings of Katniss in the Games, I have a feeling director Gary Ross might have beefed up Gale’s participating in “The Hunger Games” instead of having the whole film take place from Katniss’s perspective.

111611-hunger-games-2.jpg

“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.

What do you think of these two new stills? What scene would you most like to see from “The Hunger Games”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

“The Hunger Games” trailer: 5 missing scenes

“The Hunger Games” trailer: 5 missing scenes (photo)

Posted by on

To be perfectly frank, the first “The Hunger Games” trailer hit all the right notes with us this morning when it debuted. As the next four months slowly tick by, I’m sure we’ll be able to come up with plenty more scenes we’re desperate to see from the film, but for now there are only a few major moments we would have preferred to see some more of in this first trailer. Some of them — like Katniss’s big reveal as the Girl on Fire — will likely be saved for the big screen, but some others — like romance blooming between Katniss and Peeta — will probably be showcased in the coming months.

There’s a lot for many people to like in “The Hunger Games.” There’s politics, action and, like all good young adult novels nowadays, a big fat love triangle. We tried to pick something for everyone in this list of the five things we wish had been in the “The Hunger Games” trailer. And don’t forget to read the list of our top five moments from the trailer.


The Girl on Fire

The only scene more iconic in “The Hunger Games” than Katniss being revealed as the Girl on Fire is the scene where Prim gives Katniss her Mockingjay pin, which appropriately was shown in today’s trailer. Despite our every instinct telling us there’s no way that Lionsgate is going to show Katniss making her triumphant debut in the Capitol, there’s nothing we would love more than to see Katniss and Peeta ride in in their chariots with their capes being set on fire. The one shot of Katniss all glammed up in a dress is likely from her second interview with Caesar Flickman based on the fact that it is so subdued. If you look really closely at about the 1:33 minute mark in the trailer, you can see some Capitol residents looking through binoculars at two figures on fire from a distance, but we want the real deal. Lionsgate, you tease.


The wealth and outlandishness of The Capitol

This also was teased in the trailer, but not really shown. The opulence of the Capitol is one of the biggest political criticisms in “The Hunger Games,” and one of the major aspects of the government of Panem that fuels Katniss’s rage. There are a few brief shots of the Capitol in the trailer, such as when the train arrives in the city and when Katniss and her fellow tributes are training. But it will be nice to see a shot of Katniss at one of the Capitol’s over-the-top feasts to contrast with her poor home district, District 12.


Muttations and Jabberjays

It was definitely an intentional decision to not include scenes from The Hunger Games beyond the tributes’ mad dash to get weapons at the Cornucopia. But some day soon, those scenes from the latter half of the movie will have to be revealed. There are two big CGI effects that we can anticipate from “The Hunger Games”: the Jabberjays and the Muttations. Hopefully Lionsgate will reveal teases of those scenes ahead of time so fans can be convinced that the computer animated portions of the film will look as gorgeous as the rest of it.


Katniss playing to her audience

One of the most important elements of Katniss’s survival techniques in The Hunger Games is the way she plays to her Panem audience. The Games are broadcast on live television and are a national event, much like the Olympics or the Super Bowl. Katniss knows her audience is watching, so she acts out accordingly in order to become a sympathetic character. There is one shot in particular in the trailer that sort of teases this, but it will be nice to see her pull out some of her best stunts to win Panem over.


Romance blooming between Katniss and Peeta

Of course there’s a love story centered at the heart of “The Hunger Games”! It wouldn’t have as many teenage girl fans if it didn’t. But the love story in “The Hunger Games” is a bit different than the one in, say, “Twilight.” Since Katniss is in a mindset where she plans for her every action to be interpreted by her live audience, it’s unclear from the start whether she is actually interested in Peeta or whether she’s just doing it for the show. And, even better, she’s not sure what his motivations are either. It proves to be interesting fodder for a blossoming love story, and is definitely something that the majority of the fans of the book will be looking forward to seeing.


What do you hope to see in upcoming “The Hunger Games” trailers? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Powered by ZergNet