Last week, rumors swirled that screenwriter Billy Ray‘s adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘ The Hunger Games would be the final script for the film. The thing is, Ray is not a household name despite the fact that he’s behind several well-known movies: Hart’s War, Flightplan, and State of Play.
There was a leaked script that was Ray’s earlier draft, but from the beginning director Gary Ross has been saying that he told Ray he’d be fiddling with the script before shooting. Over the weekend, a Lionsgate studio rep quickly stepped in and tweeted that for the moment, the producers had moved beyond Ray’s draft:
When asked for any thoughts about his script being replaced, Ray simply said, “I don’t have any.”
This is fabulous news, since it confirms that Collins will remain an integral part of the series’ adaptation to film (though we already knew that from how she publicly supported Lionsgate’s casting decisions) and because Ross has also penned the screenplays for Big and Pleasantville. The latter’s satirical bent could really enhance Collins’ commentary on reality TV and televised war.
Shooting for The Hunger Games has begun in North Carolina, and the movie is set to be released on March 23, 2012.