Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe to Empire!
Save up to 63%
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
We're looking for reporters for the LFF
What The Heck Is The Hunger Games?
A quick guide to the new film that’s grabbing headlines

submit to reddit

You may have noticed one of the sixteen trillion casting stories about The Hunger Games (the latest just yesterday) and wondered what in tarnation all the fuss is about. With EW covers and a certain amount of hype building even with shooting just underway, we thought we'd bring you a beginner's guide to a movie that could offer a Battle Royale-meets-Thunderdome-meets-Twilight mash-up for the ages. And yes, that might even be a good thing. Read on to find out why...

WORDS Helen O'Hara
1 2 3 4 5
  1 of 5 Next

The Overview

The Hunger Games Book Trilogy

The Books...
This film is based on the first of a wildly popular trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins, aimed at young adults, centred around a teenage girl and generally collectively known by the name of the first book (OMG so it's all just like Twilight!!). But this is a much harder-edged story in which virtually nobody sparkles. Collins, who graduated from kids' TV writing to The Underland Chronicles before this, has said that she was inspired by such diverse influences as the Theseus myth, ancient Roman civilisation and her father's military career. But her immediate inspiration for the books came late one night, when she found herself channel-surfing between the news – showing endless images of war – and a reality show, and combined the two. In other words, fluffy this ain't.

The Film...
The film is being directed by Gary Ross, of Pleasantville fame, so he should have a reasonable grip on the teenage elements. Billy Ray, who wrote and directed Shattered Glass and wrote Flightplan and Hart's War, adapted the script. It's shooting now and is out in March, 2012.

The Setting...
In an unspecified future hundreds of years after some unspecified apocalyptic event, the North American continent is a country called Panem (as in "Panem & Circenses", aka "bread and circuses" or the means by which the Romans ruled), divided into 12 districts ruled by the Capitol. Following a rebellion against the technologically superior Capitol years before, which resulted in the utter destruction of District 13, each district must provide 2 "tributes" each year, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18. The resulting 24 teens fight to the death in a sealed arena over a period of, well, as long as it takes for the so-called Hunger Games. Think Big Brother with edged weapons, Battle Royale without the exploding collars, or Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome with teenagers. Thus does the Capitol keep its dominions in line.

The Plot...

Our heroine is Katniss Everdeen, a resident of poverty-stricken District 12 who supplements her family's meagre income by sneaking off hunting outside the district's boundaries. Her father died in a coal mining accident, her mother's been near-catatonic ever since, and Katniss' younger sister Primrose – aka Prim – depends on her to provide for them. Katniss' only close friend is Gale, a fellow hunter who's slightly older than she is. But when Prim is chosen as a Tribute, Katniss volunteers to go in her place. The male tribute who accompanies her is Peeta, a comfortably-off baker's son who once did Katniss a kind turn. But can he be trusted in the arena?

1 2 3 4 5
1 of 5

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1 RE: RE:
Really looking forward to this :3 Set photos are coming in and it's looking fair enough. Looks like SuCo is actually getting a cameo, which is interesting - she said she was opposed to having a cameo. Fair enough, I guess. What's in 'The Section'? More

Posted by Bethany__ on Tuesday May 31, 2011, 09:59

2 RE:
It's in the section called The Setting - might want to re-read there. More

Posted by Helen OHara on Thursday May 26, 2011, 16:03

Empire Meets Ridley Scott
The great director on The Martian, Blade Runner 2 and the Prometheus sequels

Jessica Chastain On The Martian
On becoming an astronaut and rescuing Matt Damon AGAIN

My Movie Life: Justin Kurzel
The Macbeth director on how Rocky changed his life and the worst ever date movie

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

Hallowed Ground: Folk Horror In British Film
Ten tales from our island's dark past

All Hail Macbeth! The Scottish Play On Film
By the pricking of our thumbs, ten adaptations this way come(s)

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)