Are you ready to see the Hunger Games empire expand? Outside of creating more Hunger Games movies, the main way the franchise appears in headlines is when it is being name-dropped. Instead of being forgotten, the Hunger Games is showing that it is more than a book or film series because it is being included in reference to new works more often -- but calling it a cult classic may be too early.
The Hunger Games' final fourth chapter will not be released until Thanksgiving week in 2015, but its influence is definitely rippling through this year's film and television culture. Of course, the big news that is definitely Hunger Games-influenced is there will be a new theme park based on the series built in Dubai. But what is interesting is that the individual defining elements of the Hunger Games movie series have become so powerful that name-dropping the Hunger Games in any small way immediately seems to put a film or television series in a promising light.
All of this Hunger Games-influenced new media is certainly much more lighthearted than the accusations made in 2014. After the Elliot Rodgers mass murders in Santa Barbara, Rush Limbaugh questioned if movies like the Hunger Games influenced this type of violent behavior.
The Hollywood Reporter adds that part of Limbaugh's reasoning is that Elliot Rodgers' father was a director for at least one of the Hunger Games movies.
Besides the theme of violence presented in the Hunger Games films, it is an influencer for new projects in 2015 due to its scriptwriters and being a book-based medium.
J14 Magazine reports that ABC Family is picking up a television show called Shadowhunters that is based on a book series called The Mortal Instruments. The move to add this show was explained by ABC Family representatives as "a big epic saga that will resonate with viewers who come to ABC Family for the 'Harry Potter,' 'Hunger Games,' and 'Twilight' franchises."
They will start producing the Shadowhunters series in May and have not yet chosen a star actor. Could a member of the Hunger Games team be a good fit?
Another Hunger Games-related development is that a major scriptwriter for the first Hunger Games movie is working with Clint Eastwood. Billy Ray was featured in Deadline, where it was revealed that he was writing a movie that [spoiler alert] does not exactly have a Hunger Games theme.
In it, the Hunger Games scriptwriter tells the tale of Richard Jewell -- an Olympics security guard that was on duty during the 1996 Atlanta games. The main actor will be played by Jonah Hill, and the script is based on an article published in 1997 in Vanity Fair that tells the nightmarish battle Richard Jewell faced in getting his name cleared.
Of course, the Hunger Games are likely to be name-dropped more in the future in relationship to being a major influence on some aspect of filmmaking. This will be especially true once the series is completed with the release of the final Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 movie on November 21, 2015.
[All images from the referenced links.]