We try not to cover every little scrap of movie movie news here at Hogwarts Professor (Oooh, look, they’ve chosen a gaffer! ) but we do have some nifty recent announcements on which we have not yet chimed in with our two knuts’ worth of commentary. The filming of The Hunger Games is going on now, of course. Based on reports from the casting agency providing “background” (i.e. extras), they will need the Capitol people in August, and the District 12 folks I know are done, so it seems likely that Jennifer Lawrence and her fellow Tributes are out in the wilds of western North Carolina trying to kill each other, or at least, looking like they are trying to kill each other; they have nice weather for it. Much of that filming is shrouded in secrecy, including the bit that features a permit for a big explosion scheduled near the North Fork Reservoir later this month (apples, anyone?). But a few very clear bits of news do merit our attention, as we think about music, the world’s scariest Snow, and four films for our consideration.Legendary musician and producer T. Bone Burnett is music supervisor for the film. Burnett’s impressive resume includes the unbelievably amazing music for the Cohen Brothers’ classic O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Cold Mountain‘s riveting song ‘”The Scarlet Tide.” (Which song, incidentally, like Collins’s story, is an indictment of war.) He and Lawrence have already recorded a piece that is described as “haunting,” so I can only assume it’s Rue’s lullaby, and I can’t wait to hear it (though I can wait for the scene, one of the hardest things I’ve ever read). Non-music people or non-soundtrack/traditional music geeks like me may not understand why everyone who loves the novel and knows Burnett is jumping with joy, but trust us, this is an incredible choice. He won’t let us down, and we can expect some fabulous music for the film, combining traditional and new elements for a soundtrack that will be unforgettable.
Speaking of unforgettable, we also have the man who will make roses officially more creepy than romantic, President Snow, who will be played by the amazing, and sufficiently creepy Donald Sutherland. This casting choice is just about perfect, as Sutherland has wonderful presence and can go from sweet to terrifying in .02 seconds flat. (His performance in Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All gave me nightmares!) I can smell the roses already.
Even better than the fact that these two fantastic talents will be taking part in this film is the message their selection sends: The Gamemakers making this film are taking it very seriously and, like the classic Gamemaker John Hammond in Jurassic Park, they’ve spared no expense.
All this lavish outlay is certainly not just to make us all happy. The movie masters clearly know they have the Next Big Thing (I’m predicting huge spikes in students enrolling in archery classes, and my boring old braid is about to be high fashion) and they didn’t get to Gamemaker status by being stupid. So clever are these folks, that they’ve already announced the Hunger Games story will cover four films. Even those of us (like me) who are lucky to be able to count high enough to ascertain if any of our toes is missing can see a math problem here. A trilogy is three books, right? Au Contraire! that last book is an automatic 2-parter. And here is a very interesting little piece of Gamemaker mentality. When the Harry Potter films were first heading to the screen, we were all just hoping most of the story would travel intact, and we were often disappointed. By the time of Deathly Hallows, we were still not sure until fairly late in the game that we were going to get a two-parter, and thus, fairly thorough treatment. But even before Eclipse was out of theatres, Summit had announced they’d also go the two-part route with Breaking Dawn. Now, witness escalation: The Hunger Games has just begun production, and the last film, surely years from production (though we’d better rush before Lawrence and her co-stars age) is already slated as a two-piece film. What’s next? When the Harry Potter Films are inevitably remade, will they be seven parts each, like the recent spoof report in The Onion suggests? Granted, the final book in each series is larger and more complex than any preceding volume, but we all know that this is a financial decision. The Gamemakers smell money, and they are betting on the Girl on Fire to bring it in. In the process, they might just give us a fairly complex and detailed film series (and they certainly won’t be hurting my state’s economy, if they stay around here, and we all REALLY hope they do).
Thoughts? Suggestions? Bets, anyone?