Nina Jacobson, the “Hunger Games” producer who has been credited with discovering Suzanne Collins’ book and buying the rights before the world found out about it, spoke with MTV News’ Josh Horowitz on the red carpet at the premiere for the film Monday and confirmed that plans for dividing up the last two books have not been decided yet.
“Not set in stone,” she said. “Still figuring it all out. Honestly, I think, first go from one movie to the next.”
Early reports were that the expressed plan to turn the series of three books into four eventual movies meant splitting the third book, “Mockingjay,” in two, similar to what was done with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.”
Jacobson said that the decision will depend on the reception of the first film, set for release next week. “Hopefully, people love this movie enough to demand the next one,” she said. “Go make that one. Figure out what to do from there.”
Production for the second film, “Catching Fire,” however, is already set to begin in a few months. Whether the team will return to the Carolinas, where they shot the first film, remains unclear. “We’re figuring all that out, but [we'll probably also go] somewhere hot and sweaty. It shouldn’t be a cake walk,” Jacobson said, referring to the film’s location reflecting the books’ atmosphere. But Jacobson did confirm something about the movie’s script. “Simon Beaufoy has turned in his first draft,” she said. “He’s going to work on his next draft. He’s a busy guy.”
On the red carpet, Jacobson shared the mix of emotions she was feeling heading into the night. “I am very nervous, very excited, very hopeful because we started to show the movie to a few people here and there. We’ve gotten a little bit of feedback to know that people seem to really be embracing it and appreciating how faithful it is to the book,” she said. “That’s something that’s very important to me.”
Part of remaining faithful to the original novel meant seeking the approval of Collins. Luckily for Jacobson, the author made her approval clear after seeing the film. “Suzanne Collins has been very embracing of the movie, so that’s huge for me. She was just very supportive. She said, ‘You know what? I think it’s really good. I think you guys really got it,’ ” Jacobson said. “She really didn’t go on set. She was very involved in the screenplay. She was very much a voice in casting. We talked to her about all the casting choices, but when it came to production and sweating it out in North Carolina, no, that was left to us.”
The secret for success in adapting such a popular series of books for Jacobson meant remaining true to the source material. “I think, honestly, it’s just to assume what fans of the books and fans of the movies want is for you to really give it your best effort. Ultimately, you just have to keep your head down, do the work, make the choices as filmmakers,” Jacobson said. “Just really try to stay completely focused on the movie as though it’s any other movie, even as all this excitement builds. Actually, just treat it like ‘What’s the best possible movie we can make?’ Put all your attention to that.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Hunger Games.”
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