Every so often, a story comes along to capture a greater audience than it was intended to. The trials and tribulations of Harry Potter immediately comes to mind.
The best-selling set of books was widely read by children initially but soon gained a readership that transcended genders and generations. It appears "The Hunger Games" may do the same thing.
"The Hunger Games," written by Suzanne Collins, is part one of a trilogy which chronicles the angst of heroine Katniss Everdeen as she fights for survival in the post-apocalyptical country of Panem. More than 2.9 million copies are in print and the sales through Amazon's Kindle Store made Collins the first author to sell a million digital copies. Next week, the first of those books hits the big screen when "Hunger Games" premieres in theaters March 23.
The story begins in the ruins of what was once North America now called Panem. The nation has been divided into 12 districts controlled by the ruthless President Snow in the eccentric Capitol.
In District 12 Everdeen and her friend Gale Hawthorne are in the woods hunting game for their families to keep them from starving and keep their minds off of the Reaping that will happen later that morning. The Reaping is for the 74th annual Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a reminder from The Capitol that it is still in charge of the districts' future. After an uprising many years before which resulted in the total demolition of district 13, the Hunger Games is a way to reiterate to everyone that there will be no more revolutions or else. A boy and girl "tribute" must be chosen among 14-18-year-olds.
At the Reaping, Katniss's sister Primrose (Prim) is called as the female tribute. To protect her sister, Katniss volunteers to take her place. The male tribute's name is drawn and is Peeta Mellark, Katniss's classmate.
When Peeta and Katniss arrive at the Capitol, their prep teams prepare them for the Hunger Games competition, and it is then when the real battles for their lives begin.
Directed by Gary Ross, critics acclaim that "The Hunger Games" is one of the most anticipated movies of the year.
Oscar buzz has already started for Jennifer Lawrence who plays Katniss. Lawrence, along with her co-stars Josh Hutcherson who plays Peeta and Liam Hemsworth who plays Gale appeared at yesterday's Hollywood premiere.
Like every great piece of literature adapted to the big screen, "Hunger Games" has high expectations. Can Ross do what the production team did with Harry Potter - turn a great read into classic cinema? So far the answer is he can and has. Early reviews from film critics who attended the Hollywood premiere have mostly been positive.
To find out who survives and who doesn't, go see the midnight premiere at the Carmike Cinema in Conyers March 23. Tickets are expected to sell out, so it's suggested you buy them early on Fandango or other movie ticket websites this week.