Literature has always been a source of inspiration for cinema, and youth novels are no exception. In 2012, the odyssey of a teenager fighting to survive in a cruel competition became a boom that sparked a wave of similar dystopian productions. More than a decade later, The Hunger Games, The saga starring Jennifer Lawrence, stands the test of time and now expands its universe with the adaptation of the latest book written by Suzanne Collins, Ballad of songbirds and snakes.
The new feature film premieres on November 16 and takes up the themes that the author highlighted in her first work. Death as a spectacle, fear as a controlling power, authoritarianism and the meaning of freedom are displayed in the story set several decades before Katniss Everdeen’s feat. In fiction, a young Coriolanus Snow is introduced (Tom Blyth) as a mentor in the 10th edition of the Hunger Games. In charge of it is Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), tribute from district 12.
The projections at the box office are quite optimistic. In accordance with Variety, could reach up to $100 million in international theaters during its first week in theaters. This premiere further feeds the bulging coffers of the franchise that grossed more than 2.97 billion globally. Its validity contrasts with another similar saga that did not repeat the success of The Hunger Games.
The film series Divergent was born to take advantage of the public’s fury for adventure stories with young protagonists. However, the proposal failed on the big screen and remained incomplete. The production of Ascending, part 2 of the last novel in the world written by Veronica Roth, ended up canceled due to the resounding failure of the third installment.
In Divergent (2014) there were many factors that were reminiscent of The Hunger Games. The story was developed through a female character —Beatrice (Shailene Woodley)—in a dystopian future where the population of Chicago had been divided into factions. When they turned 16, people had to pass a test that placed them in each of them according to their predominant characteristics: Truth, Abnegation, Boldness, Cordiality and Erudition. Beatrice’s case was particular, because the test showed that she could belong to more than one faction. She is a Divergent, and she must keep that condition a secret. The conflict arises when the leader of Erudition (Kate Winslet) reveals terrible plans to get rid of the inhabitants of Abnegation and a civil war breaks out.
Although the first film managed to raise $288 million, interest in the plot was hopelessly exhausted. In the second title, Insurgent, there were good commercial results; but criticism highlighted major problems in the narrative. The public’s support was not repeated in the third film, which—in accordance with the trend at that time—had divided the end of the saga into two parts. The fall of Leal (2016) at the box office, with losses to the production studio, ended up definitively burying the project and leaving the story unfinished. Currently, the three feature films that make up the franchise Divergent are available in streaming in the catalog of Prime Video.
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