LIONSGATE (NYSE: LGF), the leading next generation studio, announced today that it has acquired worldwide distribution rights to the film version of Suzanne Collins’ best selling futuristic young adult novel THE HUNGER GAMES. Collins will adapt the screenplay from her novel, the first in a trilogy. Nina Jacobson is producing through her Color Force shingle. The announcement was made by Joe Drake, Lionsgate President, Motion Picture Group, and Co-Chief Operating Officer.
“The Hunger Games” was published by Scholastic last year, and has been singled out for raves by “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer. The trilogy’s eagerly anticipated second installment, “Catching Fire,” is due out September 1, 2009.
Lionsgate President of Motion Picture Production, Alli Shearmur, will oversee the production for the studio, along with Lionsgate Senior Vice President of Motion Picture Production, Jim Miller.
Said Shearmur, “THE HUNGER GAMES is an incredible property and it is a thrill to bring it home to Lionsgate. This is the exactly the kind of movie I came to Lionsgate to make: youthful, exciting, smart and edgy. We are looking forward to working with Nina and Suzanne to create a movie that satisfies audiences’ hunger for high-quality entertainment.”
Said Jacobson, “I am thrilled to have Lionsgate as a partner in THE HUNGER GAMES.
The suspense of THE HUNGER GAMES is heightened by its spirit of moral inquiry, and Suzanne has entrusted Lionsgate and me to bring that moral perspective to the adaptation – a charge we fully intend to honor.”
The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Miller and Robert Melnik, Lionsgate Executive Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs; and by Jason Dravis of Monteiro/Rose/Dravis, on behalf of Collins and Color Force.
A dystopic Capitol requires its twelve subjugated districts to pay tribute in the form of a teenage boy and girl who are forced to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. When Katniss Everdeen’s little sister is chosen in the lottery, Katniss volunteers to take her place. Although persevering through hardship is commonplace for Katniss, she must start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love in order to win the games and return home.
Since its publication in September 2008, Suzanne Collins’s award-winning novel “The Hunger Games” has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for 25 consecutive weeks to date, and rights for 32 foreign-language editions have been licensed. “The Hunger Games” won the 2008-9 Cybils Award for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction. It was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2008; a 2008 Horn Book Fanfare Book; a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2008; a School Library Journal Best Book of 2008; a 2008 Booklist Editors’ Choice; a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice; and a Kirkus Best Book of 2008.