Harry Potter has come to a close on the big screen and the Twilight series only has one more installment before it retires too. What book series will fill the chasm left by those two gigantic franchises? Fans are betting on The Hunger Games, arguably the most anticipated adaptation (behind The Hobbit) coming out in 2012. Will the odds be in our favor that it turns into a fantastic film series? We hope so and as we wait to find out here are 20 fun ways to bide your time.
1. Read The Hunger Games Trilogy
This is where you start – read Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games trilogy to find out what all the pop culture fuss is about. The young adult series is an unqualified crossover hit with teens and adults devouring the epic journey of 16-year old heroine Katniss Everdeen as she volunteers to save her sister from the sadistic Hunger Games and unintentionally sparks a revolution. At least read the first one before the movie comes out!
2. Get Registered as a Citizen of Panem
At the official website for the Capitol [you can register as a citizen of Panem and get placed in one of the 12 Districts, each with its own trade specialty. Once placed, you can fill out a digital I.D. card, upload your picture and, if you’re inclined, you can actually have it printed and sent to you as a hard copy via Facebook registration.
3. Take Archery Lessons
Katniss Everdeen is a master with her bow which gives her some serious skills in the Arena. Archery sounds like a kick-ass hobby to pick up too. There are local archery clubs around the country to help out with stance and bow selection. You can even get the basics online or take full lessons via computer.
4. Obsess Over the Full Trailer
If you’ve read the books, then the full trailer provides a better glimpse at Panem as interpreted by director Gary Ross. It’s the perfect opportunity to arm-chair compare and contrast the movie reality versus what you conjured with your mind’s eye.
5. Test Your Skills as a Tribute
Ever wonder how you would handle being a Tribute in the Arena, making split-second life or death decisions? Collin’s publisher Scholastic has created two engaging online, text-based games that put you in a virtual Arena situation and then rate your strategy along the way.
6. Show Your Mockingjay Support
It’s the symbol of the revolution and a pretty cool, subtle way to show off your Hunger Games appreciation. Some lucky Comic-Con fans got the pins free from Lionsgate last year, but now everyone can buy the official Mockingjay design pin from NECA.
7. Try Your Hand at Designing Capitol Couture
The official Capitol Couture Tumblr blog is like a digital magazine highlighting the extreme fashion worn by Capitol citizens. They’re also presenting District Challenges where readers can submit their own fashion or makeup designs for chances to win some very ritzy prizes.
8. Watch Taylor Swift’s Soundtrack Single “Safe and Sound”
The Hunger Games inspired official soundtrack produced by T Bone Burnett drops on March 20th, but the first single “Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift with The Civil Wars is already out. They created a very haunting and tone appropriate video to go with it, which bodes well for the entire collection.
9. Get Your Braid On!
Aside from Katniss’ bow, Ms. Everdeen’s other signature feature is her long braid. In the Arena, it’s a utilitarian single braid, but for the Reaping and in the Capitol, Katniss gets lot of variations on the twisty style. Already celebs are adopting the braid, so if you’ve got the hair-length (or the extensions) to play with try threading some of these styles yourself.
10. Have a Dystopian Future Movie Marathon
Suzanne Collins certainly didn’t invent the idea of youngsters battling to the death or contestants killing one another for reality TV. If you’re curious about what came before The Hunger Games, try renting (if you’re of age) films like The Running Man (1987), Lord of the Flies (1990), Series 7: The Contenders (2001) or the much darker but similar Japanese import, Battle Royale (2000)
11. Dress Like a Tribute
Important question: what are you going to wear to see the movie? Luckily, you’ve got plenty of choices with lots of The Hunger Games-inspired apparel out there from the official CafePress store or you can go more authentic with a movie costume inspired District 12 Tribute training shirt from NECA.
12. Collect GetGlue Stickers
Check in entertainment media site Get Glue announced they’re supporting the movie with a range of exclusive virtual stickers that fans can achieve by signing in and checking into their Hunger Games section. They’ll be releasing them leading up to the premiere of the movie.
13. Watch Our Exclusive Videos
Fandango’s been all over The Hunger Games for a while now so spend some time catching up with our special movie section featuring exclusive video interviews with director Gary Ross, co-star Woody Harrelson and much more.
14. Take a Tour of the Capitol
In the book and from what we see of it in the trailer, the Capitol is a towering epicenter of power and garishness ruled by President Snow. Want to see the vast city created for the film up close and personal? You can register with the Capitol and scroll around the city via your mouse to get oriented.
15. Load Up on The Hunger Games News
Stay on top of everything leading up to the movie release, from official news and interviews to contests and actor updates, at various fan sites that are gathering the latest intel all day every day. Sites like The Hob (thehob.org), Mockingjay.net, Down With the Capitol (hungergamesdwtc.net) and HG Girl on Fire (hggirlonfire.com) provide daily blogs or Twitter news.
16. Read Up on How the Movie Was Made
If you can’t stand to wait until you see the movie, Scholastic has already released their Tribute Guide book that highlights every Tribute in the 74th Hunger Games, and their Official Illustrated Movie Companion, which explains how the movie was made with new interviews from the cast and crew. They include very spoilery images and copy, so don’t say we didn’t warn you!
17. Pick Your Capitol Colours
Those Capitol citizens look like a box of Crayolas smacked them around, so you can’t see the movie without letting your freak out a little bit. China Glaze has a new line of nail polish based on The Hunger Games called Capitol Colours. Paint some on your digits, then maybe add some wacky hair color and you’ll be good to go.
18. Follow the cast on Twitter
These are the verified accounts of the major cast:
When any pop culture phenomenon gets as big as The Hunger Games, it opens the door for mocking. There have been plenty of video parodies gently poking at the story including a song done in the style of indie lightning rod Lana del Rey, a bit of a racy Second City riff on Gale’s real feelings about Katniss, and even a Harvard Lampoon book called The Hunger Pains.
20. Host a Movie Premiere Party
Before you head out to the midnight show on March 23rd, you can party it up with your fellow pals with a District themed bash complete with book-inspired recipes, lots of cheese buns and Mellark styled cakes, and maybe even some friendly competitions (that don’t involve death!)