‘Hunger Games,’ YA Adaptations Shoot For Comic-Con Bulls-Eye

With panels for 'Catching Fire,' 'Divergent' and more, San Diego's schedule looks a little different this year.

The fans that typically line the sidewalks outside San Diego Convention Center in sleeping bags the night before Comic-Con panels are usually there to see films like “The Avengers,” “Man of Steel” and other superheroes like Thor and Captain America. And since non-comic-based movies have failed to make it big at SDCC, there’s a new genre gearing up to face the superheroes: the YA adaptation.

But this is not an entirely new phenomenon. As Huffington Post senior writer Mike Ryan tells MTV News, this is all a result of the “post-’Twilight’ world that we live in.” Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and “The Twilight Saga” have been a Comic-Con mainstay since the very first film in the series, but with the beloved vampire franchise now over, several potential heirs have stepped up to replace it.

The full film schedule for Comic-Con panels hit the web over the weekend, and aside from being heavy on TV panels, it’s not hard to notice the strong YA presence. Thursday, the first day of Comic-Con, belongs to Summit Entertainment, who will bring “Divergent,” starring Shailene Woodley, and “Ender’s Game,” with Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld and Harrison Ford.

The following day brings “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” based on the book by Cassandra Clare and starring Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower, who will both be on hand for the panel. “Mortal Instruments” may be the most likely heir to “Twilight’s” crown, and a Comic-Con presence certainly isn’t a coincidence, considering how “Twilight” appearances benefited the films.

Finally, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” will debut a brand-new trailer for the sequel to the wildly popular 2011 film, while it’s unclear which members of the cast, which includes Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, will make an appearance in San Diego.

Of the three movies based on more recent books, Ryan is most eager to see what “Divergent” has to offer the audience at the legendary Hall H. “I’m most curious about ‘Divergent’ because I know the bare minimum about the plot, what I do know sounds interesting, and there are really good actors involved,” Ryan wrote in an email.

The star of the YA Comic-Con attendees, however, is likely to be the champions from District 12. ” ‘Catching Fire’ is obviously going to be the belle of the ball,” Ryan said. “But, other than the difference in directing styles between Francis Lawrence and Gary Ross, for the most part we kind of know what we’re getting.”

Even this strong in numbers, the YA adaptations will still have to vie for buzz with superhero heavyweights like “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Thor: The Dark World,” all of which have panels scheduled. (Plus, Marvel is already promising “many surprise guests” from its connected universe.)

Stick with MTV News for all of your Comic-Con updates. We’ll be coming to you straight from San Diego starting next Wednesday, July 17, Preview Night.

Writer/editor for MTV. If it involves cowboys, spies, or hitmen, I'm there. All three would be ideal.
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