'The Hunger Games' movie to have a $60 million budget?

Kickstarting a movie franchise based on a bestselling book series is tricky business. For every Harry Potter, there’s an Eragon (and a Percy Jackson, and a Series of Unfortunate Events). The filmed version of The Golden Compass cost close to $200 million — a huge expenditure that didn’t pay off. It looks like the makers of the upcoming Hunger Games movie are taking a slightly more conservative approach: according to a report on the Baseline Intel blog from the American Film Market, the film will have a budget of roughly $60 million. That’s about $20 million more than the budget of the first Twilight, but hey, the first Twilight didn’t feature a lavish future metropolis. Do you think it’s enough?

Speaking as a proud limousine Marxist, I tend to think smaller budgets are better — they prevent bloat, and force the filmmakers to get creative instead of just throwing money at the screen. And, if you think about it, the first book doesn’t necessarily require much in the ways of set design or special effects. You’ve got District 12 and the Capitol, sure, but it’s not as if you see very much of either place. (Remember, Katniss spends most of her time in the Capitol training.) And the bulk of the story takes place in the forest of the Arena. So basically, we’re looking at a movie that’s 75% The New World, 15% October Sky, and a mere 10% Blade Runner. $60 million sounds about right!

What do you think, Hunger Games fans? Is this the end of our Downey-as-Haymitch dreams?

Comments (98 total) Add your comment
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  • bruno

    since you’ve said it i can’t picture anyone else but Downey as Haymitch. 60 mill?…totally agree. start getting creative.

    • Katherine

      I too would love to see him play Haymitch, but if the budget is only going to be 60 million then getting him would take a huge chunk of that budget without even paying the other actors. He’s in too high of a demand which is good for him . . . bad for those of us who want to see him drunk and disorderly :(

    • Jen

      No! No! I NEED Hugh Laurie as Haymitch.

      • Jamie

        I completely agree! That is always who I pictured!

      • Rachel

        Hugh laurie!

    • Jenn


      • Jenn

        Except younger. Who’s a younger Brendan Gleeson?

    • reader

      How about Vincent D’Onfrio (sp?) as Haymitch? I think he would be perfect if he isn’t too old

  • Prunella Von Schleidlhaagen

    Same here, with the Downey thing. I didn’t start reading them until after EW mentioned him as Haymitch and he’s all I can see.

  • Alex The Man

    Yeah its good that they dont just throw money away, like they did with the golden compass, which ended up sucking anyway.
    If Peter Jackson could to each LOTR for 90 million than they can surely do this for 60.

    • Stephanie

      He could do each for so little because they were shot consecutively.

  • Briana

    I can’t wait until this movie comes out!

  • Erin

    Downey as Haymitch, that’s an awful idea! He needs to be older and more grizlly, like Jeff Bridges.

    • Sarah

      Agreed, Downey is too good-looking to be Haymitch.

    • Lisa

      Doing the math, though, Haymitch is only 42, at the most, in the first book, 43 in the second. He wasn’t any older than 18 in his Quell match and Catching Fire set was 25 years after Haymitch’s Quell. So someone like RDJ or Gerard Butler, etc. would be around the correct age.

      • Lisa

        And, I feel like Haymitch is kind of like Mrs. Everdeen. He used to be attractive, like Katniss said when she saw his games, but he just let himself go. I think that both of them would have hints of them still being attractive if they were to get themselves together.

      • Kristen

        Haymitch was 16 when he won his Hunger Game. Which makes him a only 41 during Katniss’ first Game. But raging alcoholism does not improve one’s looks. Maybe Charlie Sheen? RDJ has cleaned up too much recently. What about accents? District 12 is clearly Appalachia. Maybe Owen Wilson? He really can act and if his costars are only 16 maybe he won’t feel a need to date them.

      • Jen

        Charlie Sheen?!?!! Owen Wilson?!?!? What book are you reading??

      • Alexis

        You know what, I didn;t consider Gerard Butler until you mentioned him, but he would be pretty perfect if he could get rid of or tone down his accent (which we’ve seen he is working on). I vote Butler! Downey is too prolific right now

    • Macyi

      Agreed. Jeff Bridges or Brendan Gleeson (Harry potter) would make a great Haymitch.

      • Heather P

        Ooh, Jeff Bridges would be perfect. Grizzled and constantly drunk is how Haymitch is described.

      • Denise

        I agree not RDJ

    • Jen

      You know what – Bridges would be great too. Good Call.

      • Teal

        Jeff Bridges is too old for this role. What is he, 60? I’m going with Hugh Laurie or Downey.

      • Jenn

        Philip Seymour Hoffman

    • Teal

      Do you think they can’t make Robert Downey Jr. look grizzled and hazzard? In Tropic Thunder they made Downey look like a black man so do you really think with 60 mil they can’t break off a couple of thousand to make him look like a man who has drunk his life away at 43?

  • zozo

    60 million sounds right to me…and if not Downey, there’s Hugh Laury as Haymitch(and actually, he’s who I saw when I read the books). In any event, I can’t wait to see this film!!.

    • Kacy

      YES! Hugh Laurie MUST play Haymitch.

    • Jackie

      Hugh Laurie could play Haymitch like no other! Drunken buffoonery, masking razor-sharp intellect and inner demons? Right up his alley.

      • Wendie

        Peter Wingfield. costs considered, his wide range of ability. Has fighting skills and stays active. Haymitch is not a large man (Butler, and Hugh is better but may cost more) Wingfield, look him up!

    • Jen

      ^ Team Laurie

  • McNulty

    Mickey Rourke screams Haymitch to me.

    • Macyi

      No. Way.

    • Teal

      No way. If they write in a scene where someone had a cat surgery that went awry then they can cast him. He would be miscast as anyone from District 12.

  • McNulty

    Mickey Rourke screams Haymitch to me. The part is 3/4 Randy the Ram, 1/4 Marv.

  • he

    i LOVE the fact that it is not alot of money, this means that they will not get known famous actors which cost alot and instead get new better actors which noone has ever seen!!!1

  • D

    “Speaking as a proud limousine Marxist” — WTF?!

    • mutegiirli

      i know, right!!

      • Kristen

        Spread the wealth, as long as we start with other people’s money. Think Kennedys-“wind power is great as long as it isn’t on Martha’s Vineyard”.

      • Noel

        hahaha wtf?? at least he’s proud of it..
        i can’t wait for this movie i’m so excited! since they haven’t really started casting, i’m hoping they’ll hold open auditions for young aspiring actresses like myself :]

  • Kiki

    I think they can do it for $60 million. There is really no need for ridiculous special effects. Although that budget does kind of rule out hiring too many big stars for any of the roles. But agree that a smaller budget will probably result in a better quality movie. I’ll see it no matter what, so bring it on!

    • Alice

      What about the Mutts and stuff.

  • nodnarb

    There is not a single setting in The Hunger Games that could be described as Blade Runner-esque.

    • Kristen

      The description of the “style” in the Capitol strikes me as very Blade Runnerish. I can’t wait to see them come to life. The actual settings could be all done real world with very little CGI.

      • Sam

        Read the last book closely when they are in the capitol it is clearly multicolored and full of opulent excess. The city in Blade Runner is too dark.

  • Sarah

    I just finished Mockingjay and can’t freaking wait for the movies.

  • Kate

    I had to de age Haymitch as I realized how old he was during his games (16) and that Catching Fire was 25 yeears later, I initially had an Oliver Platt type in my head, but I am now actually thinking like Mark Ruffalo.

  • Louise

    Loved the books and am terrified they are going to screw them up. I will try to keep an open mind. My question is, how in the world do you keep them from being R-rated films due to violence?

    • Deanne

      Lord of the Rings was PG-13. Lots of violence. They can easily do it.

    • Liz Lemon

      They can go the same route as the Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, LOTR films. Quite a few of them were PG-13 and somewhat violent, but not extremely bloody.
      It’s possible to do it.
      However, 60 million is not a very big budget, so hopefully they can do the books justice, especially considering how many visual effects will be needed.

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