First Look at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in The Hunger Games

Entertainment Weekly’s cover this week sports the first peek at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in the highly anticipated film adaptation of The Hunger Games being filmed here in lovely Western North Carolina, where it’s still rainy and 50 degrees today. How highly anticipated is this film?  The movie won’t be released until next spring, and filming doesn’t even start until next week, but the star is already featured on magazine covers, with her mockingay pin in place and her bow at the ready. Rather than an attempt to stir up hype–there’s already quite a bit of that, and the big press push will be closer to release time–this cover and the accompanying article appear geared toward readers who have been skeptical of Lawrence’s casting, despite the endorsement of author Suzanne Collins. In this piece of the interview in EW, Lawrence shares her experience of getting the starlet treatment, an expereince much like Katniss undergoes in the Remake Center. The reverse process seems to have been followed by her HG film handlers, who have dyed her hair, made her tan (though it looks much more beach than mountain-girl-in-the-woods tan), and pretty much taken her to “Beauty Base Zero.”  This cover shot, though, looks retouched, so it’s unclear if this is really the Katniss we’ll see on screen. We should know something more next week when filming starts. I hope to hear great details from my friendly extras on the set as they get started bringing this incredible story to the screen. If you haven’t yet, take a look back through our copious Hunger Games posts and join us in our lively conversation of the book and its most talked-about-yet-to-be-made movie!

Woody Harrelson cast as Haymitch in The Hunger Games, all 24 Tributes in place, Filming Starts May 23 in NC

Since my regular professor job, unlike my beloved position here at Hogwarts, has the requirement that I evaluate reams of student work and turn in grades at semester’s end, I’ve been a little swamped this last week of the semester, and so I have not yet had the chance to post thoughts on the latest developments in the filming process with The Hunger Games. Now that I’ve sent all the owls on their way with everyone’s final scores (and no T for Troll grades this year, either!), it’s time to take a peek at developments.

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Hunger Games Movie News: A young Seneca Crane, Most Tributes in place, extras and doubles being cast in Western NC

As filming time draws near for the cinematic adaptation of The Hunger Games, our Hollywood Gamemakers keep dropping  new pieces into their game. Just cast— Wes Bentley as Seneca Crane, head Gamemaker. Strangely enough, Crane doesn’t actually appear in the novel at all, except in the group of Gamemakers Katniss breaks up with her arrow-through-the-apple-in-the-pig’s-mouth trick. Collins doesn’t even reveal his name until Catching Fire when President Snow tells Katniss that Crane’s sentimental choice to crown both Katniss and Peeta as Victors in the 74th Games has led to his execution and replacement with Plutarch Heavensbee. [Read more…]

Thoughts on Life Imitating Fiction

Shared Text and Osama bin Laden
by John Granger and John Patrick Pazdziora

Amid the endless stream of op-eds surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden, The New York Times provides us with a surprising example of shared text. In “9/11 Inspires Student Patriotism and Celebration” (NYT, 3 May 2011), Kate Zernike reports on analyses of the jubilation many young Americans have expressed in recent days:

In the world of the so-called millennial generation, said Neil Howe, a writer and historian who is often credited with defining that term for the generation, “Evil is evil, good is good. There are no antiheroes, there is no gray area. This is a Harry Potter vignette, and Voldemort is dead.”

“In a Harry Potter world,” he said, “their mission is to save the world for the rest of society. This is their taking pride in what their generation is able to do.”

All political questions aside, Mr. Howe’s assessment is striking for a few reasons. First, it seems to affirm what we’ve said around HogPro often enough—the fictional character and the real world elide in a transcendent, near-religious experience that creates a sense of communal identity. The man who may have defined the “millennial generation” now asserts that they find their identity through Rowling’s fantasies; they live in “a Harry Potter world.”

Second, this is a casebook study of the classic misreading of Rowling’s work.

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More Tributes and Effie Officially Cast as Real-World Reaping takes Place and More Extras are Sought!

If you are keeping track of the casting for the forthcoming Hunger Games film, we now have tributes for Districts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11 and, of course, 12. That means Foxface (District 5) has been chosen. Also, Elizabeth Banks has been confirmed in the role of Effie Trinket.  In addition, the local casting company here in Western NC is still searching for more extras, particularly folks who look like coal miners. The movie is being called “Artemis” in all  official correspondence, but there is not much other attempt at secrecy as additional casting calls commence this week and email applications are being accepted as well. As we’re following developments here, I’ve noticed that the irony is thicker than Flavius’ purple lipstick. [Read more…]