Gary Ross Signs on to Direct THE HUNGER GAMES

Lionsgate has officially worked out a deal with Gary Ross to direct the film adaption of Suzanne Collins' novel The Hunger Games.

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Ross was reported being at the top of Liongate's list to direct the adaptation, while other directors being approached were David Slade and Sam Mendes. Ross and producer Nina Jacobson recently appeared at the AFM to promote the project and share their vision for the film.

Billy Ray is currently working on the screenplay, which was originally adapted by Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins.

The Hunger Games is based round a young girl, Katniss, who lives within District 12. Every year, each of the 12 Districts offer up one boy and one girl, between the ages of 12 and 18, as tributes to fight to the death in the annual Hunger Games. When Katniss' younger sister Primrose is chosen as tribute, Katniss volunteers in place of her younger sister and travels to the capitol to fight 23 other tributes to the death.

The Hunger Games is the first novel in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy. The second and third books are titled, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

Lionsgate is aiming for a 2011 release.