On the surface, the similarities are there: Both originally young adult novels, both now films with a young, sexy cast, both stories revolve around a potentially ill-fated love triangle. But beyond that, The Hunger Games -- which we have to wait until March 23, 2012 to see (boo!!) -- is not and never will be Twilight. I'm with Jennifer Lawrence on this one.
The actress cast to play the HG lead, Katniss Everdeen, recently spoke up to Vanity Fair about the comparison on everyone's lips. It sounds like she was being modest, explaining, "I try not to think too much about it. Hunger Games is not Twilight ... It's really premature to say it will be the same phenomenon." Well, as good an actress as I'm sure she is, she can't fool us. She knows how huge the futuristic franchise is going to be; she's just playing nice. The fact of the matter is that Hunger Games definitely WON'T mimic the success of Twilight. No, it's going to be even bigger.
Hold up, Twi-hards, don't hate on me just yet. Hear me out!
Twilight is/was a tremendous smash, and we all know there's a huge audience out there for it, filled with folks of all ages. But if the films are able to truly capture the heart of the books, The Hunger Games series will appeal to an audience that's even more massive than the legions of Edward Cullen admirers. Actually, I see it being more like Harry Potter.
That's because the message underlying the post-apocalyptic madness in The Hunger Games epic could very easily strike a chord with anyone. It's almost impossible to NOT relate to the story in some way, shape, or form. It's compelling commentary on politics, war, the environment, entertainment, violence, coming of age, and above all, humanity. Sure, Twilight had something to say about ... virginity, I guess? ("Save it for marriage, or else you'll get hurt and turn into a vampire. Oh, but wait, sex while married will immediately strap you with a scary pregnancy.") But sorry, there's no deep, important, internationally relevant message in Stephenie Meyer's tales. (Unless we really have to beware a vampire takeover in the near future, heh.)
Maybe the wealth of fans who will fall for the series won't necessarily realize depth plays such a large part in why they're loving Hunger Games more than Twilight. Or maybe they'll decide it's like comparing apples to oranges. Either way, Jennifer Lawrence better steel herself, because come springtime, her life is going to change in a major way.
How do you feel about The Hunger Games being called the next Twilight?
Image via TheHungerGamesMovie.com