Josh Hutcherson: ‘Filming The Hunger Games was like college’

Josh Hutcherson found that filming The Hunger Games movies was similar to being at college.The 27-year-old played baker’s son Peeta Mellark in each of the four movies in the hit franchise, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, E…

Josh Hutcherson found that filming The Hunger Games movies was similar to being at college.

The 27-year-old played baker’s son Peeta Mellark in each of the four movies in the hit franchise, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, and Stanley Tucci.

And the actor doesn’t feel like he ever missed out on going to college, as filming The Hunger Games was a similar experience.

“It was like my college,” Josh told Entertainment Weekly. “That was like such a coming-of-age time for me. It was the first time I was away from my family, and on my own.”

He also revealed that if he was offered the role of Peeta now, he would think twice about accepting, as starring in a hugely popular franchise, which has grossed more than $2.9 billion (£2.3 billion) worldwide, wasn’t something wanted to do with his career.

“It was worlds apart from anything I have ever experienced. It’s like a double-edged sword,” he shared. “But when I set out to become an actor at eight, being famous and being recognised was not on my radar. I just wanted to make movies.”

“That naivete followed me until slapped me in the face,” Josh added, noting the worldwide fame that came with starring in the saga. “It made me realise the kind of actor I wanted to be. The idea of doing big, big projects that make you even more well-known doesn’t sound as appetising. If that opportunity came up again, I would have to think about it more.”

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The Hunger Games prequel movie in the works

A prequel to The Hunger Games movie franchise is in the works. Suzanne Collins’s popular young adult novel trilogy was adapted into four hugely successful films starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson between 2012 and 2015. O…

A prequel to The Hunger Games movie franchise is in the works.

Suzanne Collins’s popular young adult novel trilogy was adapted into four hugely successful films starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson between 2012 and 2015.

Officials at Lionsgate, the studio behind the franchise, announced on Tuesday that they would also be making a movie adaptation of Collins’s upcoming prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which is due to be released on 19 May.

“Suzanne’s new book has been worth the wait. It offers everything fans could hope for and expect from The Hunger Games while also breaking new ground and introducing an entirely new canvas of characters,” said Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, in a statement.

The new novel follows an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow, who would eventually rise to become the tyrannical ruler of the dystopian nation of Panem, and the central villain of the original Hunger Games series.

Snow, who was portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the franchise, is chosen to be a mentor for 10th annual Hunger Games, for a young girl from District 12, the future home of Lawrence’s heroine Katniss Everdeen.

Collins, who will also serve as an executive producer of the new film, added, “Lionsgate has always been the cinematic home of The Hunger Games, and I’m delighted to be returning to them with this new book.”

The prequel adaptation will serve a reunion for some behind-the-scenes crew. Francis Lawrence – no relation to Jennifer Lawrence – will return to the director’s chair after helming Catching Fire, Mockingjay – Part 1, and Mockingjay – Part 2, while Nina Jacobson, who produced all of the films in the franchise, will produce the latest film, along with her partner Brad Simpson.

Collins will write the film’s treatment and Michael Arndt, who previously helped write Catching Fire, will adapt the screenplay.

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