‘Hunger Games’ producer on ‘Twilight’ comparisons: ‘It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me’

“The Hunger Games” producer Nina Jacobson isn’t all that keen on those “Twilight” comparisons.

“Honestly, I”ve always thought of them as very different animals,” answered Jacobson when prompted about the comparisons at a recent “Hunger Games” roundtable discussion. “I think that they have actually very different fan bases and they are very different books.  And so, honestly, I”ve never really understood the comparison and…it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, honestly, because I think they”re quite distinctive books. Very, very different.”

Regardless, the inevitable “Twilight” comparisons have cropped up in the media ever since the film first embarked on its journey to the big screen – comparisons that unfortunately don’t do justice to the fact of how very different the two young-adult properties are.

While both are targeted at a ‘tween/teen demographic, the “Twilight” series is, at its core, a slice of romantic escapism (and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that). “The Hunger Games”, by comparison, actually has a great deal to say about the way we live now, and possibly where we’re headed.

“I think [‘The Hunger Games’ is] actually a very contemporary book,” said Jacobson later. “And I think it speaks to the divisions between the 99 percent and the 1 percent, and I think it speaks to young people and their anxieties about the future that awaits them.  And I think it”s a book that is very relevant to the times that we live in, a time where sort of celebrity and the gloss of reality TV and of the quest for fame overshadows larger social ills that people also need and want to talk about.  And I think the fact that the book marries those things makes it very relevant.”

Jacobson spoke about the project with such passion and conviction throughout that I had no doubt she meant every word of it. And not just passion and conviction for the potential (read: likely) financial rewards to be reaped from the property, but also a belief that the story was a valuable one, worth telling.

“I couldn’t put it down.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  I couldn’t bear the thought of not being a producer of it.  I couldn’t bear the thought that somebody else would produce it,” she told us at one point during the interview. “I felt very protective of the book.  I felt like this was a great book.  It could be very easily adapted in the wrong way.  And I wanted to have the chance to be its champion, and I was able to convince Suzanne of that.”

All other considerations aside, one thing the “Hunger Games” and “Twilight” franchises do have in common (or at least will very soon) is that they’re both massively-lucrative pieces of business for anyone lucky enough to be involved.

Do you think there’s any relevance to the comparisons between “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” outside of their young-adult origins? Sound off in the comments!

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