‘Hunger Games’ Ditches Billy Ray's Script For One by Novelist Suzanne Collins and Director Gary Ross

The movie, which stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, is now shooting

“The Hunger Games” director Gary Ross has replaced the movie's script with a version he wrote with the author of the novel that the film is based on.

Billy Ray, who wrote the 2008 “State of Play” and the 1997 “Volcano,” and who wrote and directed the 2007 “Breach” and the 2003 “Shattered Glass” wrote an earlier draft of the script and has been credited as the screenwriter.

But on Friday evening, as Memorial Day Weekend had begun, Lionsgate announced it's not using that version.

In a message posted on Twitter, Lionsgate wrote, “The current draft of The Hunger Games script was not written by Billy Ray. It is a collaboration between Gary Ross and Suzanne Collins.”

Asked his thoughts on his script being replaced, Ray told TheWrap in an email, “I don't have any.”

Suzanne Collins wrote the novels on which the “Hunger Games” franchise is based. She also has written for several children's television series.”

The Hunger Games” is set in the dystopian future. In the story, the 12 districts of the nation of Panem send a teenage boy and a teenage girl to compete in annual Hunger Games, a nationally televised fight to the death.

In April, Collins and Ross told Entertainment Weekly that they enjoyed writing together. Ross told the magazine that he let Ray know he'd be reworking the script.

“I told Billy when I began — and he’s a director as well and a very good one — that I would have to put this into my own voice. And I wanted to get back as close as I could to the essence of the book and the emotional arc,” Ross told the magazine.

In addition to directing, Ross is the renowned screenwriter of the 2008 “The Tale of Despereaux,” the 2003 “Seabiscuit,” the 1993 “Dave” and the 1988 “Big.” He was nominated for the Academy Award for writing the “Seabiscuit” adaptation and for writing “Big” and “Dave.”

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz and Woody Harrelson star in “The Hunger Games,” which is set for a March 23, 2012 release.

  • Gordon Franklin Terry, Sr.

    A woman wrote the novel, a woman should be writing the script, and a woman should be directing as well.

    JULIE TAYMOR!!!!!!
    (JULIE TAYMOR knows how to make Visually EXCELLENT and Rivetingly-striking films. . . Julie Taymor should be considered as a possible director for THE HUNGER GAMES)

    Women Film Directors MUST become more AGGRESSIVE in making mainstream Hollywood movies (especially SCIENCE-FICTION THRILLER, Fantasy, and Horror movies). 

     It seems like films directed by women are ofttimes ESOTERIC in nature, only enjoyable by a niche (pronounced “NEESH”) audience.

    Niche is not prounced “Nitch” but “NEESH” (got it)!   

    • colcam

       Gee, guess no one got your memo, and the scale and scope of this movie refused to follow your rant– a male directed it, women loved it, and somehow the female directors survived.

  • Gordon Franklin Terry, Sr.

    Wait a minute . . .
    American movie-goers can't understand this, SCRAP THE PRODUCTION PUT IT IN TURN-AROUND. 
    unless you call it HANGOVER 3 (The Hunger Games) where 5 drunk guys wander into the “universe” of The Hunger Games.

    While preparing for the games, the book hints that the Tributes all
    seemed to like each other, even publially joined hands as a symbol of
    sorrow and defiance towards the Capitol. When inside the arena however,
    promptly after the bloodbath, Finnick asks: “What's going on down
    there, Katniss? Have they all joined hands? Taken a vow of nonviolence?
    Tossed the weapons in the sea in defiance of the Capitol?” and Katniss replies “No.”
    &nbsp
    All 24 tributes this year were previous victors all with a large variety
    of age and skill. Additionally, the Games were unique in that it was
    the first time that two tributes from the same district (Katniss &
    Peeta) both scored 12 out of 12. Peeta painted a dead yet decorated Rue
    with the camouflage and Katniss hung Seneca Crane.

    Gloss (District 1
    – Age: Late 20s) – Gloss and his sister Cashemere won consecutive years
    of Hunger Games when Katniss was a child, winning either the 63rd,
    64th, 66th, 67th, 68th or 69th Hunger Games.
    Cashmere (District
    1 – Age: Late 20s) – Sister to Gloss who won the Hunger Games in
    consecutive years with him, their games being either the 63rd, 64th,
    66th, 67th, 68th or 69th Hunger Games
    Brutus (District 2 – Age: Late 40s) – A middle aged Victor who could not wait to be a part of another Hunger Games.
    Enobaria
    (District 2 – Age: About 30) – Victor of the 62nd Hunger Games who
    ripped the throat open of a Male Tribute with her teeth while in hand to
    hand combat.
    Beetee (District 3 – Age: Aprox. 50s-60s) – An older Victor/ Inventor. Won his Games by creating an electrical trap to fry the remaining Tributes.

    Wiress (District
    3 – Age: Mid 40s) – A middle-aged and slightly batty Victor, Wiress was
    also an inventor like her District partner and had a keen sense of
    intuition which allowed her to pick up on things before others.
    Finnick Odair (District 4 – Age: 24) – Beautiful, athletic… Finnick, Victor of the 65th Hunger Games, crowned at the age of 14.
    Mags – (District
    4 – Age: 80) – An elderly woman who needs a cane to walk, volunteered
    to take Annie Cresta's place in the 75th Hunger Games, She is the only
    known living Victor who was alive before the Hunger Games.
    District 5 Male – A Victor who turned to drink after his victory in the Games. Threw up his wine on the swordfighting station during training.
    District 5 Female – A Victor who managed to escape The
    Cornucopia during the 75th Games and survive until the second day, when
    she was either drowned by a tidal wave or ripped into five pieces by an
    unknown Muttation.
    “The Morphlings”
    (District 6 – Age: Aprox. 60s) – Victors that turned to the drug
    Morphling, a pain killer, rather than drink like several other Victors.
    The two were friendly, and became close to Katniss and Peeta during
    training. The two fully supported Katniss’ chain of Victors she formed
    at the Interviews, as they were two of the first to join.
    Blight (District 7
    – Age: unknown) – Blight was a Victor who didn't amount to much in the
    eyes of his District partner, making it possible that he only was a
    Victor by chance.
    Johanna Mason (District
    7 – Age: Early 20s) – Johana was a Victor who won her games 3 or 4
    years prior to the 75th Hunger Games, making her the closest Victor to
    Katniss and Peeta's victory that was mentioned. She was the only
    District 7 female Victor and she won her Games by pretending to be weak
    until later in the Game, to be ignored, where she then exhibited her
    murderous skill.
    Woof (District 8 – Age: unknown, but rather old) – An elderly Victor who was hard of hearing. He died quickly in the 75th Hunger Games.
    Cecelia
    (District 8 – Age: About 30) – Cecelia wasa a well known Victor. She
    was kind and had three kids who clinged to her when she was reaped for
    the 75th Hunger Games.
    District 9
    (Unknown) – It can be assumed that the two either didn't show up for
    training or were of no intrest to Katniss, who was at the time, going
    through Victors to know her competition/ form alliances.
    District 10
    (Unknown) -The Victors from District 10 were forced into cow costumes,
    because of their livestock industry, and wore flaming belts at the
    Chariot Races, Katniss said this made them look like they were “cows
    broiling themselves” something she thought pathetic, as the designer
    stole Cinna's idea from the prior year. The Female Victor died at the
    Cornucopia while the Male Victor escaped with his life until the 2nd
    day, where he was either drowned/crushed by a tidal wave or ripped into
    five pieces by an unknown beastly Muttation.

    • colcam

       This post managed to bring the people who have seen the movie to out and out laughter, wondering if you were smoking some controlled substance.

  • Gordon Franklin Terry, Sr.

    Americans will say: 
    Huh?  What? 
    District 10?  Who or What is:
    “Cashmere” ?  . . . /  Mutation?  What?

    this is boring.  

    But then its been demonstrated that movies make more money in foreign countries.
    “Screw” what American movie-goers “say” and “think”

    • colcam

       Now that the movie has been made and actually released– look at your comments with 20/20 hindsight.

      “boring”

  • Shawn Cannon

    I think of a movie was ever made of a novel I wrote, I'd prefer I work on thus screenplay as well. Granted, rare is the day that one ever said the movie was better than the book. So maybe a crappy theatrical version would only add value to the book.