My fiancee and all her children's lit cohorts will be doing cartwheels all day long after the revelation of the first full-length trailer for The Hunger Games, based on the trilogy of bestselling books by Suzanne Collins. As you'll recall, the initial teaser was underwhelming to say the least, but here we've got a much better look at what we can expect to see from director Gary Ross (Pleasantville).
First off, that's one heck of a cast, even if most of them are bordering on unrecognizable. You may not believe it, but Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Wes Bentley and Lenny Kravitz are all featured there. Go ahead, look again. Banks is easily the most bizarre, while Donald Sutherland just looks like Donald Sutherland Who Never Learned To Shave.
Ross and company are certainly going for broke in terms of the costumes, hair and make-up work here. The stark difference between the simple mining folk of District 12 and the over-the-top, cartoonish styles of the "civilized folks" of Panem, combined with the clean, cold production design of the city and the white-clad stormtroopers marching around the background actually feels like a real throwback to the sci-fi tales of the 60s and 70s. There are serious shades of Logan's Run, Dune and THX-1138 on display here, so I'm curious what, if any, sources of inspiration Ross will cite as we get closer to the release.
While I haven't read these books, (I probably will after watching all the movies) I'm told that the story is top-notch. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are some of the best young talent working today and they're more than capable of carrying a lot of the weight here. Here's my hesitation: while it will certainly set the movie apart from other "grittier" competition, there's always the danger that these bold style choices will come off as silly and off-putting to audiences. (Remember Speed Racer?)
But I give them credit for having the courage to make a bold choice. Hopefully it pays off for them.