The Hunger Games (2012) Poster


Gary Ross wanted to make this movie after noticing his twin children were fans of the books. However, he was unaware that producer Nina Jacobson had already secured the rights. Suzanne Collins' novels were discovered by co-producer Bryan Unkeless, who then recommended them to Jacobson.
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There was a swear jar on the set. Gary Ross said that half of it was contributed by Jennifer Lawrence.
Jennifer Lawrence was paid what was, for her, the high fee of $500,000. It took her three days before she accepted the role because she was unsure how the role would clearly affect her career, since her background was largely on the indie film circuit. For The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), she was paid $10 million, 20 times more than the initial offer.
While horsing around on the set, Jennifer Lawrence accidentally kicked Josh Hutcherson in the head, knocking him out and resulting in a concussion.
Since Jennifer Lawrence is friends with Lenny Kravitz's daughter, Zoë Kravitz, she couldn't get herself to use his first name. Instead, she called him 'Mr Kravitz' from the first day on. Kravitz quickly found out that the rest of the cast and crew also started to call him 'Mr Kravitz'.
The first film not released by a big six studio (Fox, Disney, Paramount, WB, Columbia or Universal) to gross over $400 million in the United States.
The fictional state in the film is called Panem. This is derived from "Panem et Circenses," or "Bread and Games," which comes from the latter days of the Roman Empire, when the state has kept the masses satisfied only with free food and cruel games.
Woody Harrelson is a vegetarian in real life. In scenes where Haymitch is seen eating, he eats either dessert or vegetables, or just drinks.
Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence, both natural blonds, dyed their hair brown for their roles in the film while Josh Hutcherson, natural brunette dyed his hair blond for his part.
During a New York Magazine interview, Wes Bentley said that the extremely unusual beard he wore as Seneca was styled from his own real beard, not created from applied pieces or extra hair. Bentley said that while he was in North Carolina filming the movie, he would often go to the local Target (a national department store chain) to buy things like baby formula while still sporting the "Seneca beard."
Panem is located in a post-apocalyptic North America whose land mass has been reduced by rising sea levels. It is generally agreed that the Capitol is in the Rocky Mountains, possibly Colorado, and that the District 12 town where Katniss grew up is somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains, possibly Kentucky or West Virginia.
Donald Sutherland saw the script by accident and, when he read it, lobbied for the role of President Snow because the script reminded him of Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory (1957). He succeeded in getting the role after he wrote a letter of plea to Gary Ross explaining why he should be cast.
On February 22nd, four weeks before The Hunger Games' release, Lionsgate began selling advance tickets. Not only did the ticket sales break the one-day record originally held by The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010), but also accounted for 83% of the ticket sales of the day.
Lenny Kravitz was cast for the role of Cinna without audition after director Gary Ross was impressed by his brief performance in Precious (2009). Because most of Cinna's scenes are with Katniss, Kravitz learned as much as he could about Jennifer Lawrence through his daughter Zoë Kravitz, who appeared with Lawrence in X: First Class (2011).
Because of how the pedestals were arranged and spaced apart in the field, there are only 20 of them at the cornucopia instead of 24.
Alexander Ludwig worked out for four hours a day with a US Navy Seal to get into shape for his role as Cato.
In the Extras on the 2 DVD edition, Gary Ross explains, "We were under tremendous financial pressure for this movie. It's under 80 million dollars, and it's a really really big movie. Other blockbusters cost twice or three times as much."
Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson were both born in Kentucky, a state with rural poverty and coal mining reminiscent of District 12.
Elizabeth Banks plays a pivotal character in the story, who has become an iconic image in pop culture, yet this character's name (Effie Trinket) is never spoken in this movie but only in following sequels.
The first name of the main character, Katniss Everdeen, is derived from the name of a group of edible plant species, genus "Sagittaria", commonly known as "arrowhead." This is a reference to the character's archery skills. Her surname is a reference to Bathsheba Everdene who is the lead female character in Thomas Hardy's novel "Far from the Madding Crowd." Suzanne Collins, who wrote the novel that The Hunger Games is based on, said "The two are very different, but both struggle with knowing their hearts."
In the early scenes depicting life in District 12, a homage to Dorothea Lange's iconic Depression-era photo is seen in the shot of the lady looking out the window with her fingers on one cheek. Later in the film, the Reaping scene features images of the same grand neo-classical architecture, '40s style microphones, and red birds of prey banners that were all part of the Third Reich.
Jennifer Lawrence was initially cast as the lead in Savages (2012), but dropped out to do this film instead.
The director Gary Ross has stated that his decision to go with shaky cam work, "had a lot to do with [the] urgency of what's going on and [to reflect Katniss'] point of view." He also mentioned that he wanted to avoid a polished, static camera look at all costs, since that would reduce the violence to mere entertainment and be completely contrary to the movie's intention.
Although it is mentioned briefly that Gale has had his name put into the drawing multiple times, it is not fully explained in the movie why someone might want to do this other than when Katniss tells Prim when she comes to say goodbye not to put her name in more because it's not worth getting enough food. Each additional time a name is entered raises the possibility that the person will be selected to compete, and probably die, in the games. In the source novel, it is explained that putting your name in an additional time garners your family an additional portion of grain and oil, so families experiencing especially terrible privation may put their children's names into the drawing more than once in exchange for that small amount of extra food.
Elizabeth Banks spent 45 minutes every day having manicures done on her fingers.
Jennifer Lawrence was initially reluctant to take the role of Katniss due to the book franchise's popularity and how the role would be a big change for her personal life.
Dayo Okeniyi read the book trilogy in the three days before his audition for Thresh.
The four-note song of the Mockingjay is the same as the opening four notes of 'Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet (1968): A Time for Us' released in 1968.
Isabelle Fuhrman originally auditioned for Katniss. After deciding that she was too young for Katniss and too old for Prim, the producers invited her to audition for Clove.
Jennifer Lawrence said in an interview that she accepted the role of Katniss Everdeen because she admired Katniss' personality and spirit.
When she was in training, Jacqueline Emerson (Foxface) gave herself a black eye. Since she was not allowed to tell anyone about her role, she had to lie to people about how she got the injury.
The second movie in two years (after Winter's Bone (2010)) in which Jennifer Lawrence plays a character who feeds her destitute family and herself partly by catching and killing squirrels.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson Alex Pettyfer, Josh Hutcherson, Lucas Till, Nico Tortorella, Alexander Ludwig, Evan Peters and Hunter Parrish were considered to play Peeta Mellark. Hutcherson was eventually cast, although Ludwig was later cast in the role of Cato.
The character name of Effie Trinket, is the combination of the common Greek name 'Effie' (Euphemia) meaning "Well spoken" or "To speak well." And the word 'Trinket' as in a small ornament or item of jewelry that is of little value. Which when combined describes her character very well.
WILHELM SCREAM: Heard from one of the victims when Katniss cuts off a tree branch and the nest of tracker-jackers fall onto some of her opponents.
Paula Malcomson played Jennifer Lawrence's mother once before, in Cold Case: A Dollar, a Dream (2007), an episode of Cold Case.
At the bottom right of one of the video screens showing Katniss, you can see A113. A113 is a common inside joke/Easter egg in films, referring to the number of a famous classroom used by graphic design and character animation students at the California Institute of the Arts.
The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2010 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year.
Second unit director Steven Soderbergh shot much of the District 11 riot scenes.
The design for the Cornucopia was inspired by the work of architect Frank Gehry.
Jeremy Irvine was approached for the role of Peeta Mellark, but he turned it down because he didn't want to be famous.
Composer Danny Elfman left the film due to a scheduling conflict and was replaced by James Newton Howard.
The name "Rue" in the dictionary has many different meanings. Some of which are, compassion, to feel sorrow over, to regret bitterly and to repent. Suzanne Collins chose wisely with her characters' names.
This is the only one of the movies in the Hunger Games franchise to be directed by Gary Ross. All the sequels are directed by Francis Lawrence.
The Reaping scene is shot in extreme heat, so the main characters got to escape to their trailers, while the extras were left to sit in the heat. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Elizabeth Banks felt so bad about it they gave free autographs to anyone who wanted one.
This film reunites director Gary Ross with actress Elizabeth Banks from Seabiscuit (2003).
Emma Roberts & Evan Peters were considered for the lead roles. They later got engaged.
Chris Massoglia, David Henrie, Robbie Amell and Drew Roy were considered to play Gale.
Donald Sutherland has less than 10 minutes of screentime in this film, despite having a prominent role in the film.
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Abigail Breslin auditioned for the role of Katniss Everdeen.
The only movie in the series that was not released in November.
Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickermann) and Toby Jones (Claudius Templesmith) both starred together in Captain America: The First Avenger
Sam Mendes, David Slade, Rupert Sanders, Andrew Adamson and Susanna White were considered to direct the movie.
This is the only film in the series not to feature Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright and Stef Dawson.
The film was released 25 years after another film set in a totalitarian society and is about a televised violent game - The Running Man (1987).
A Capitol mentioned in the film as well in the original novel is a reference to actual Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. where the US Congress is located as a symbol of a global political power.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When Marvel and Rue die the cannon never goes off.
Seneca Crane never appears in the books, but he is not totally made up for the films either. He is first mentioned in the second book, when President Snow explains to Katniss that he had Crane killed for failing to get the single winner traditionally required by the games.
The four-note melody that Katniss uses as her signal with Rue (and that plays at the end of most trailers) is G-Bb-A-D.
In the book, Peeta loses his left leg from the knee down due to Katniss making a tourniquet which saved his life. He later has it amputated after the games and replaced with a mechanical leg. In the film, this never happens, which causes inconsistency in the later installments.
Including the 22 tributes that died in the recent Hunger Games a total of 1,701 tributes have died in the 74 year history of Panem.
Jack Quaid's character Marvel is never called by name in the first book. Katniss merely refers to him as "the boy from District 1." In "Catching Fire," she learns his name during the victory tour.
Both of the tributes from district 1 (Glimmer and Marvel) are killed by Katniss.
Body Count: 39. (17 from a flashback)
This is the only Hunger Games movie where the first scene does not open with Katniss Everdeen. Instead it opens with a conversation between Seneca Crane and Ceasar Flickerman.
In the book, there are as many "mutts" at the cornucopia as there were fallen tributes. In addition, they wear collars bearing their district numbers, their eyes are human, and their fur is the color of the hair of the fallen tribute each represents.
The Death Order is different in the books and films. The Girl from District 4 dies in the bloodbath in the film, but dies just before Glimmer by the tracker jackers in the book. Foxface dies before Thresh in the movie, whilst in the book she dies after him. Also, Thresh and Clove's deaths are different. In the book, it is implied that Cato kills Thresh, but in the film, it's implied that the mutts kill Thresh. Clove's skull gets crushed by a rock in the book. However, in the movie, Thresh shoves her against the cornucopia, which crushes her skull.

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