Should David Slade have directed The Hunger Games?

Should Lionsgate had tried to keep 30 Days of Night director as the director of The Hunger Games? Check my unbiased thoughts here.

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By Nick Salinski - 1/21/2013


I know this isn't a comicbook based movie but, we've covered the movies so, why not? At one point, Lionsgate and David Slade were going to team up for the adaption, The Hunger Games. While I had to watch it twice before finally liking the film, I didn't love it like I wanted to. I didn't have too high of expectations. Here are my problems: It didn't have any emotional weight, the camera was constantly shaking. When something violent or was action-y in the scene, they shook it even more causing it hard to see what they were doing, No chemistry among ANY of the actors (seriously, Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence despite being good actors have chemistry like Nicolas Cage and Kristen Stewart)and a lack of explination for the back stories of Gale, Peeta and Katniss. Hell, we got more explination and depth for Seneca Crane (Wes Bently and Woody Harelson are the bright spots of the film) than we did for the characters that are gonna matter in the sequel. Gary Ross is a very, very poor choice for The Hunger Games. One adaptation, woopy doo. Last time I checked, he has no experience in action movies or movies with emotional weight (don't get me wrong, he's good but just wrong for this movie). Also, the tone and look for the movie was wrong. The tone felt lighter than Twilight but not as dark as Harry Potter compared to movies three to eight. Which is wrong cause The Hunger Games is really, really dark. The look was right for the captiol but, that's it. The rest of the film had the wrong look to it.

David Slade has had only three movies so far. Yet, he is pretty much the perfect choice for The Hunger Games. Despite Hard Candy and 30 Days of Night being under two hours, they still have more emotional weight and depth than The Hunger Games. The action in Eclipse and 30 Days of Night were clear and you can see what was going on. Despite the subject matter of The Hunger Games being very dark, the movie itself did not feel that way. Thanks to Slades movies like Hard Candy, we could have gotten that feeling of "okay, this is a very serious subject and I can feel it through the film." Instead, we got "Okay, it's a very serious movie cause kids kill each other." Really? David Slade would have owned the movie. He would have casted actors with chemistry and could give the film some serious emotional weight and would have gave the characters their back stories that was seriously missing from the version we got.



Again, the cast Gary Ross had casted wasn't bad. It was real far from it actually. The problem is that the only people that you believe that what their saying is true are the following: Woody Harelson, Liam Hemsworth and Wes Bently. That's it. You don't believe what anyone else is saying and you don't buy into the emotions they are giving off. It's like watching Kristen Stewart and Nicolas Cage as an on screen couple and you know that's bad. There was more spark and you believe what Mike Meyers and Jessica Alba are saying is true in "The Love Guru" over most of the cast in The Hunger Games. I'm not sure if you're still wondering why David Slade is the far superior choice. Well, let me explain it to you like this. His films have proven he is more than capable of handling a dark, serious, disturbing, violent film adaptation. He's done two adaptations. Both of them turned out very good (yes, Eclipse is actually a really good movie. Get passed the fact it's twilight and you might like it too). He's handled a disturbing film before in the hands of Hard Candy. This is a man whose proven in just THREE films that he is the best choice for the film adaptation of, The Hunger Games.

Let's take a look at why Gary Ross was the wrong choice for, The Hunger Games.



Okay, I can't use the argument that he has only directed three films cause that's how many that David Slade has directed. But, he helped write The Hunger Games with its own author, Suzanne Collins. They couldn't make a proper adaptation. I'm not saying it should have been R but, there was a few things they got wrong and just ones the just left out. Gary Ross has made some critical acclaimed movies and a couple so, so with one of his written movies being mixed. Sure, that is good filmography. But, there was nothing in his filmography I feel that qualifies him to be director of a big adaptation like, The Hunger Games. Sure, as a writer he's had a couple of movies that show he can write drama. But, none of it is all that good. The film he wrote that has the best drama is the only other big adaptation he did and it wasn't much of a hit. Seabisciut. The problem I have with his movies is that with the exception of his comedies, like the film, Big. None of it has any weight on them. They have emotion but, that only gets you so far. Why do you think the drama in the original Spider-Man trilogy isn't all that great (yes, even Spider-Man 2 doesn't feel convincing at times)? Cause you can't buy into it. You don't believe that it's a real problem for the characters. The only people that make it feel real are: Tobey Maguire and surprisingly, J.K Simmons. I like Simmons but, the one scene where Spidey takes his suit back. Before he actually takes it back, J.K Simmons makes you feel like this is a real, major problem. I don't get any of that sort of feeling in most of Ross' films.



Final thoughts: I think that I haven given some solids that prove (those who have seen Hard Candy or 30 Days of Nights, know) that I have given at least a couple decent points. David Slade has a nose for editing and knows how to direct action. Which makes him capable of directing the action in The Hunger Games. Even if his films aren't that long, they still have emotional weight cause he can get the best out of his actors. They've each got three films they have directed in their filmography. Gary Ross has experience writing films and yet, isn't as strong of a film maker as David Slade to have made a worthy adaptation. Gary Ross can tell stories, he can make good movies. But, he is all wrong for The Hunger Games.

Agree? Disagree? Comment below and be respectful towards me, the editorial and to others who comment.
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TheRaven20 - 1/22/2013, 2:06 AM
I don't think Slade would be a bad choice at all but I like the direction they're going with Francis Lawrence. And I too liked the movie but felt it was underwhelming and a bit disappointing. Potential is still there though.
EdgyOutsider - 1/22/2013, 3:53 PM
@Battlin: It's not that she made changes. It's the fact that they left out back stories for Peeta, Gale and Katniss which really hurt the movie. Yes, I realize I put all of it on Maguire and Simmons (regarding the dramatic weight goes) and I was wrong to do so cause to be honest, I wasn't thinking clearly when I wrote that part. Dafoe was great as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin. But, the rest of the cast you named, I just didn't feel much dramatic, emotional weight from them. I also disagree with that Hard Candy was his only film with emotional weight. While it wasn't anything truly impressive, the performances in 30 Days of Night (notably Josh Hartnett) is what really made the movie for me. I just feel that Slade has succeeded as a director where Ross really hasn't that makes Slade a more qualified director for The Hunger Games.

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