If you read Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy and thought to yourself ‘[sigh], I wish that was me being made to fight to the death in a hellish futuristic dystopia with massive inequality between the haves and have nots’, then good news, you weirdo – you may soon be able to live out all your most cherished teenage deathmatch dreams in a Hunger Games theme park. Jon Feltheimer, CEO of Lionsgate – the studio behind the film adaptations of Collins’ novels – tells the Hollywood Reporter that his company has joined forces with hellish futuristic dystopianly-named theme park creators Thinkwell Group to begin work on ‘line extensions of The Hunger Games and all of our other brands’ (so fingers crossed, Crank 2: High Voltage cultists).
Feltheimer says ‘As a first step, we’ve already designed a state-of-the-art travelling museum involving costumes, props and other elements of the Hunger Games world that will begin touring the U.S. next summer’ (weapons, what he means by ‘other elements’ is the weapons that its teenage protagonists use to brutally murder each other at their tyrannical government’s behest). The Hollywood Reporter says Lionsgate ‘is also eyeing theme park attractions and other location-based entertainment opportunities’, the latter of which phrased in such a way to serve as a reminder that Lionsgate is also the studio behind Hostel.
Feltheimer first floated the prospect of a Hunger Games theme park last year ahead of the release of the cinema release of Catching Fire, based on the second of Collins’ novels. The idea of some sort of real-world tourist trap based on the blockbuster films based on the YA books is almost certainly inspired by the assorted Harry Potter attractions that have sprung up in the wake of that franchise’s end. The crucial difference, however, is that at least the Harry Potter books have some whimsy and childhood innocence before their descent into death and betrayal, giving theme park designers plenty of delightful material to work with, whereas death and betrayal is more or less Collins’ stock-in-trade from the get-go, making the devising of a fun day out for all the family that bit more challenging. Maybe brush up on your archery skills before booking flights.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.