Director Gary Ross Explains Why The Hunger Games Will Be PG-13
01.10.11 by Ryan
Back before Seabiscuit director Gary Ross was announced as the director of the adaptation of Suzanne Collins' best-selling novel The Hunger Games, Lionsgate decided on a PG-13 rating for the violent story, which sees a teenager named Katniss fight to win the Hunger Games, a televised contest where 24 players fight to the death until only one survives. While the decision didn't satisfy some fans, Ross explained to EW why The Hunger Games will forgo a R Rating.
It’s not going to be an R-rated movie because I want the 12- and 13- and 14-year-old-fans to be able to go see it. This book means too much to too many teenagers for it not to be PG-13. It’s their story and they deserve to be able to access it completely. And I don’t think it needs to be more extreme than that. I don’t need to have a huge prosthetic budget or make this movie incredibly bloody in order for it to be just as compelling, just as scary, and just as riveting.
Collins' Hunger Games trilogy was targeted at a Young Adult audience, and Ross maintains that Collins hasn’t "written in any way an overly graphic book. Even things like the Tracker Jacker sequence, while horrific, it’s the ideas that Suzanne has created that are so harrowing."
One reason for the complaints are that fans are getting tired of the Hunger Games-Twilight comparisons made in the press, which producer Nina Jacobson doesn't find apt.
I think anybody who’s read the two books knows that they are as different as night and day, with very little in common other than the youthfulness of their protagonists. I mean, Holden Caulfield is young too! But as a producer you can’t help but be thrilled that people are comparing something that you’re working on to something that so many people love.