‘The Hunger Games’ Theme Parks Are a Possibility, Says Lionsgate
Thrill rides and attractions based on popular franchises have proven incredibly lucrative in the past decade, so it's not surprising that a massively popular young-adult book and film series is being eyed for the theme park treatment. What is a little surprising is that we're talking about 'The Hunger Games,' a franchise that takes place is a dystopian future where poor people suffer at the hands of the vicious Capitol and are forced to battle each other to the death on TV. You know, fun for the whole family.
Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer revealed during a conference call (as reported by Variety) that the studio has been approached about building 'Hunger Games'-themed parks in "two territories," and that they are considering these possibilities. But the details end, rather agonizingly, right there. Which company is crazy/brilliant enough to bring the world of Panem to life? Which nation will be okay with a pocket-sized tourist dystopia within its borders?
On one level, a theme park based on Suzanne Collins' science-fiction world is in awful taste. Unlike 'Harry Potter,' Marvel comic book characters or 'Avatar,' there is very little joy and awe in this series -- it's really about a handful of desperate people fighting a difficult battle against forces that could crush them in an instant. It's grim stuff, and unlike Hogwarts, you never really daydream about actually going to District 12 and hanging out with Katniss Everdeen because that would be horrible.
Still, there's no denying the appeal. Universal Studios' The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at their Orlando-based Islands of Adventure theme park has proven mighty successful and for good reason: it's astonishing. The attention to detail and the technology used to create an elaborate fantasy world that you can actually explore is nothing short of incredible. It's top-notch work and it's the high watermark that Disney will be chasing with their upcoming 'Avatar' park. It's easy to understand why a handful of smart business-types would want to invest in a 'Hunger Games' park. It worked for the wizards, it'll probably work for the Na'vi, so why won't it work with teenage archers?
So consider us torn. The only question now is who is courting the franchise, because there's no way the typical major players are pursuing this one.
Meanwhile, 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' is set to be released this November 22. When you watch it, look for scenes that would inspire excellent roller coasters.