FROM MTV MOVIES: Welcome to the dystopian world of “The Hunger Games.” North America is no more. Natural disasters and war did away with the continent we knew and gave rise to a whole new land called Panem: 13 districts overseen by an authoritarian Capitol. Then came the Dark Days, a power-to-the-people, down-with-the-Man revolution that obliterated one district and resulted in an annual, gladiatorial tournament known as the Hunger Games.
Now meet Katniss Everdeen, an impoverished teen who feeds her family thanks to some badass bow-and-arrow skills and a stubborn refusal to play by the Capitol’s rules. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark — hardly friends, nor possessing the bloodthirsty verve of their opponents — find themselves reluctant participants in the 74th Hunger Games. What happens from there forms the basis of Suzanne Collins’ page-turner of a novel, which Lionsgate is now adapting for the big screen with an eye on a March 2012 release.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the franchise or all this Katniss craziness is totally new to you, now’s the time to get up to speed on all there is to know about the Jennifer Lawrence-starring film. Because at the 2011 Video Music Awards on Sunday, MTV is set to debut the first-ever look at footage from the flick. So check out our “Hunger Games” cheat sheet for everything there is to know before the big show.