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(Credit: Lionsgate)

Film

'The Hunger Games' director reflects on the film's legacy

@Russellisation

Changing the landscape of media when it was released ten years ago in 2012, The Hunger Games, based on the book of the same name by Suzanne Collins, presented a new violent take on teenage fiction that itself heralded a taste for ‘battle royale’.

Spending more than 260 consecutive weeks on the New York Times best-seller list when it was released back in 2008, Lionsgate quickly seized the opportunity to bring the book series to the cinematic big screen. Choosing Gary Ross to direct the film before casting the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks and Josh Hutcherson, the film instantly became a massive success. 

Released in cinemas on March 23rd, 2012, The Hunger Games became the first part of a four-film franchise, each based on Collins’ series that took place in a dystopian world where children are sent to an arena to battle to the death for the entertainment of a twisted government system. 

Despite doing well upon its release, young adult film adaptations of novels were going through a hard time, with the leggy Twilight series finally coming to a close the very same year with Breaking Dawn Part 2. 

Speaking about how he approached this new challenge and adapted the gruesome violence of the novel, director Gary Ross explained, “I knew from the beginning that this was such a harrowing premise, there was no need to be lurid or excessively graphic with the violence. An audience brings so much to these moments that overdoing them would actually dissipate the tension”. 

Opening to the tune of $155 million at the domestic box office, The Hunger Games sparked an obsession with the series, with the subsequent three films helping to make it the 21st highest-grossing franchise of all time, topping over $2.97 billion worldwide.