Word is out that the folks working on the film of The Hunger Games are looking for unknown talent as preparations begin for the filming for a 2012 theatrical release. Check this link to see the guidelines put out by the folks doing the casting. The character descriptions are interesting but a little confusing, since both President Snow and Finnick Odair are listed in the lineup, though Snow’s role is minimal in The Hunger Games, and Finnick is not even introduced until Catching Fire. Notable by their absence are Cinna, the prep team, and Caesar Flickerman. I’m not sure why there is a listing for Haymitch, as, no matter how much it costs, they really ought to have Hugh Laurie in that role. More interesting to me, however, is the fact that filming will take place in North Carolina and Georgia. Join me after the jump for some speculations on locations.
As we’ve discussed before, District 12 is Appalachia, and of course, the Appalachian Mountains run from New England right through northwestern North Carolina (where I live) down into Georgia. However, the coal mining parts of Appalachia are primarily in West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. Since none of The Hunger Games takes place in an actual coal mine, I’m speculating that District 12, if filmed on location, will be filmed in an abandoned company town, just not a coal town. Towns like this abound in North Carolina and Georgia, once home to railroad workers, textile workers, or miners (of products other than coal, like iron or minerals).
North Carolina and Georgia also present numerous potential locations for the arena. The rolling, wooded hills and streams of the Seventy-fourth Hunger Games could easily be found on the Appalachian Trail, in the Linville Gorge area, in the Nantahala National Forest, or even just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. In fact, after my first read of The Hunger Games, every time I was out walking here in the Appalachian Mountains, I found myself scouting trees to see which ones I could climb if I had to! Enjoy the images here, some of my husband’s lovely photographs of the area, and see if you can’t visualize Katniss perched on one of those tree branches!
Though the casting office is in Wilmington, NC, the filming will not be in that coastal community, but it’s been popular for other films, including my personal favorite, Muppets from Space. Western North Carolina also has a fine film pedigree, with The Last of the Mohicans being filmed around Chimney Rock, and scenes from Forrest Gump and The Green Mile being done on Grandfather Mountain and at the Cone Manor House on the Parkway, respectively. Filming will likely be around the Cherokee area, in close proximity to Georgia, though I would be delighted if it were close enough for me to sneak a peek, and my students would make wonderful Reaping crowd extras (I can hand out some grades just before shooting to get them looking gloomy)! Perhaps the odds will be in our favor. If so, you can count on hearing about it here! So what are your picks for location shooting for The Hunger Games?