So much of the world’s attention has been pointed toward March 23, the theatrical release of The Hunger Games. Gary Ross’ film adaptation of the best-selling novel is already considered to be one of those epic events in movie history. The sort of film that causes such a stir among the viewing public that it’s the only thing anyone can talk about for the weeks surrounding the date of the cinematic release. But what if Suzanne Collins’ book never became a movie? What if, instead, it became—perish the thought—a TV show?
It might not seem like it would work, but The Hunger Games was almost a television series instead of a film. Producer Joe Drake revealed at a Hunger Games premiere party that at one point, the project was being considered for TV. This isn’t today’s only “what could have been” news regarding The Hunger Games. Check out the Nine Actresses Who Could Have Played Katniss Everdeen.
How would this TV project have panned out? Although you’ll never see this television manifestation of The Hunger Games, there are other stories and concepts that have taken both big and small screen forms, giving the world an idea of which medium better suits what kind of story, and how The Hunger Games might have fared.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
TV Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (’97-’03)
Which Was Better? The Buffy movie, while original and fun in its own right, is more or less forgotten nowadays. The resultant television show, which placed then-rising star Sarah Michelle Gellar in the starring role, is practically a religion to some people. The show was obviously based around fantasy and horror themes, but the real investment was in its characters. The TV show wins by a landslide.
TV Series: M*A*S*H (’72-’83)
Which Was Better? This one is a much closer race. Robert Altman’s 1970 film was a masterpiece of satire, dark comedy, and a genuine look at the horrors and sorrows of war. But there’s something to be said for a war series that outlasts its real-life basis by over 400 percent. Another argument in the series’s corner: the finale remains the most watched broadcast in television history. MASH was terrific, but it was no M*A*S*H.
TV Series: Batman (’66-’68), The Adventures of Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder (’68-’69), The New Adventures of Batman (’77-’78), Batman: The Animated Series (’92-’95), The New Batman Adventures (’97-’99), Batman Beyond (’99-’01), The Batman (’04-’08), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (’08-’11)
Worked Was Better? With so many different incarnations, this is probably the biggest toss-up. The Batman series are revered by fans—and adamantly, as those of you who have ever been to a Comic-Con might know—but there’s just something about those movies. They don’t just satisfy, they thrill. Directors Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan (and to a lesser extent Joel Schumacher) have exhibited the diversity of the DC comics legend and his gripping story with their different movie adaptations of the character. Batman may be more subtle and introspective than most superheroes, but he’s a big presence who works best on the big screen.