The 74th annual Hunger Games are set to begin on March 23 when The Hunger Games movie opens in theaters across the nation on March 23. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson and more will star in the film adaptation of the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
Jennifer Lawrence will star as Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the trilogy. However, for Lawrence, it was not such an easy move to take on the momentous role. I gave myself three days [to decide on the role]. I knew from reading the books that I loved 'The Hunger Games.' I just didn't know if it was worth changing my life for, she explains in the April issue of Glamour magazine. She knew that the role would launch her into the superstardom stratosphere.
Lawrence beat out the likes of Chloe Moretz, Hailee Steinfeld, Emma Roberts and Shailene Woodley for the role of Everdeen in The Hunger Games.
The people who used to ignore me at parties, now they're nice to me and kissing my ass. But nobody's staked outside my house. I wanted to make sure that when I said yes, I wouldn't regret it. And I don't regret it. I would have said no because I was scared, and then I would have been that bitter actress telling my grandkids, 'I'm the one that turned it down.'
Lawrence explained to PopSugar that the physical training for the movie was quite daunting but her archery skills have improved. She's a tough person herself, a strong person, said Hunger Games co-star Liam Hemsworth.
Here are seven things to know about The Hunger Games before the movie hits theaters on March 23. WARNING: For those who have not read The Hunger Games novels, this information may contain spoilers.
May the odds be ever in your favor.
Welcome to Panem
The nation of Panem is where Katness Everdeen, Gale Hawthorne, Peeta Mellark and the rest of the tributes live. Panem rose out of the ashes of the former North America. The country was established during an unknown time period, many years in the future, after the destruction of modern civilization. The Capitol is located in an area formerly known as the Rocky Mountain region.
According to The Hunger Games Wiki, the name Panem is derived from the Latin phrase panem et circenses, which translates into bread and circuses. The phrase is used to describe entertainment used to distract public attention from more important matters.
The Capitol Rule
The Capitol is the dictatorial ruling body that resides over Panem. The dictatorship is run by President Snow, a malicious man who smells of blood and roses. In the Capitol lives all the wealthy and powerful people of the nation. The buildings are candy-colored, the fashions are ostentatious, the citizens are wholly superficial and the food is plentiful.
The 12 Districts
Panem is made up of the Capitol and 12 districts. District 1 makes luxury items for the Capitol. District 2 specializes in masonry. District 3 manufactures electronics. District 4 handles the fishing. District 5's industry is power. District 6 is transportation. District 7 specializes in lumber and paper. District 8 manufactures textiles. District 9 handles grain. District 10 specializes in livestock. District 11 is focused on agriculture. District 12 mines coal for the Capitol. Katniss, Gale and Peeta each reside in District 12.
The Dark Days
The Dark Days occurred some 74 years before we enter the 74th Annual Hunger Games. The Dark Days were an organized rebellion against the Capitol that happened 74 years ago after the citizens of Panem became tired of the Capitol's oppressive totalitarian rule. Prior to the Dark Days, District 13 handled the development of nuclear weapons. During the rebellion, District 13 was obliterated and then used as an emblem of what could happen to the other districts if the citizens rebelled against the Capitol ever again.
Hunger in the 12 Districts
The citizens living in the 12 districts of Panem suffer from extreme hunger, particularly those living in District 12. The Capitol rations the districts as a means of control. The citizens in districts are oftentimes forced to go hungry. In District 12, they are especially vulnerable to this. District 12 citizens have been known to eat rotten food and tree bark, stealing from garbage cans what meager bits they can find. The one salvation is the woods, which are location on the edge of District 12 and are rife with game.
The Hunger Games
We enter the Hunger Games at the 74th Annual Hunger Games. The Hunger Games began some 74 years ago after the Dark Days. The Hunger Games are held annually as a reminder that the citizens of Panem should never have rebelled against the Capitol. Each year, every district must offer up one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to fight to the death. These sacrificial lambs are known as tributes and are chosen during the annual reaping ceremony. The two individuals are chosen at random, with their names being drawn from glass bowls. The odds increase as an individual gets older, i.e. at 12 years of age a child has one entry but at 18-years-old a child has at least 28 entries. Each year there is one victor.
The Hunger Games, sadistic and brutal, are devised by the leaders of the Capitol who create a brutal arena for the tributes to fight in. The event is televised nationally for the viewing pleasure of the citizens of the Capitol. It is a sort of reality series, where the tributes each play a role and maintain a persona, emphasized and goaded by the Capitol.
Katniss Everdeen, the Heroine
Katniss Everdeen is the sole provider for her family--her mother and her sister, Primrose. Katniss' father died when Katniss was just 11-years-old in a coal-mine explosion. After her father's death, her mother broke down and could no longer provide for the family. Katniss became the matriarch, hunting for food and keeping some semblance of order in their lives. Primrose, otherwise known as Prim, is Katniss' heart and soul.
At the 74th Annual Hunger Games, Prim is just 12 years of age with one ballot against her in the reaping. However, by a cruel twist of fate, Prim's name is drawn as the tribute for District 12. Katniss immediately offers up herself and goes into the Hunger Games in place of her little sister. Katniss is 16-years-old at the time.