Author Suzanne Collins even worked on the last draft of the script, director Gary Ross tells MTV News.
By Kara Warner, with reporting by Josh Horowitz

Jennifer Lawrence in the Girl on Fire costume in “Hunger Games”
Photo: Lionsgate

Thanks to a recent sit-down with charismatic director Gary Ross, we’ve gotten a great glimpse into what we can expect from the big-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ dystopian bestseller when it hits theaters on March 23.

When we asked Ross about his interaction with Collins, we were delighted to learn that he and the author had formed a close bond and ended up working on the script together and that Ross was completely impressed by the author’s talents as a screenwriter.

“She wrote the last draft of the script with me,” Ross said. “We collaborated. We were in a room together! We locked ourselves up in a room and literally wrote the last draft of the script together. It was a blast. I hadn’t worked with anybody else as a team since Anne Spielberg on ‘Big,’ so just being in a room with someone was a phenomenal experience. Just having the electricity of two writers was great.”

Ross went on to assure us and the millions of other “Hunger Games” fans that the movie version is as faithful as it could be, given the different parameters of the two mediums.

“It’s very, very faithful in the literal sense, but it’s even more faithful in the tonal sense. My job is to give you that same visceral feeling you felt when you read the book,” Ross explained, adding that he wants audiences to experience the film from Katniss’ perspective. “[I want you] to feel that same kind of urgency, feel that same uncertainty she feels, to feel uncertain about Peeta’s motivations — that’s essential.”

Finally, we asked Ross if we should prepare for any major deviations in the movie from the book, and he said there is nothing to prepare for in that sense.

“Oh no. No, no, no. It’s a faithful adaptation. There are obviously differences, because I’m adapting a book to the screen, but no,” he said. “It’s not like Peeta leaves the story or anything like that.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Hunger Games.”

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