The New York Times has a great new article about bringing The Hunger Games to the big screen, based on interviews they did with producer Nina Jacobson, director Gary Ross, and our Katniss, Jennifer Lawrence.
On The Hunger Games’ audience and adapting the book
Nina Jacobson: “There were a lot of ways this could become a movie that didn’t honor what the book was about,” said one of the film’s producers, Nina Jacobson … But Ms. Jacobson assured Ms. Collins she wouldn’t dilute the story by aging the characters up or by glamorizing its violence. “I loved the book as an adult,” Ms. Jacobson said firmly. “I don’t think it’s a Y.A. novel.”
Gary Ross: “Because teenagers are on the cusp of adulthood, they’re grappling with a lot of issues that in adult books are resolved but teenagers are still beginning to explore,” he said. “It’s that nascent element that makes ‘The Hunger Games’ feel so urgent. It’s innocent and aspirational and engaging.” And, he argued, it is no less so for an adult than for a teenager.
“I was enthralled,” he said. “Not many books on this scope have the kind of intimacy of ‘The Hunger Games.’ It was subtle but urgent, and Katniss Everdeen was complicated.”
On accepting the role of Katniss
Jennifer Lawrence: “This wasn’t one of those parts where I thought, ‘I have to have this,’ because it’s so scary,” Ms. Lawrence admitted by phone from Prague, where she is preparing for a part. “But I thought, ‘If this is going to be the thing I’m most known for, I want it to be something I’m proud of.’ If someone comes up to me and says, ‘Are you Katniss?’ I’m O.K. with that. Because I love this character and this book so much.”
On the portrayal of Katniss
Jennifer Lawrence: She also worried about what might otherwise happen to Katniss. “I was hoping and praying that if I didn’t play the part, they wouldn’t make her into a bad-ass girl who can kill anyone,” she said. “Because I think it’s a much sadder story. Katniss doesn’t have any time to think. She feels like she can die at any second. She’s vulnerable, and she doesn’t want to have to kill, but she’s also a hero.”