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While The Hunger Games has reached its conclusion as both a book and film series, the franchise is still popular. This has led to talk that more movies may be on the way, but until then, there's always the Hunger Games land which recently opened in the Lionsgate zone at the Motiongate theme park. On the downside, in order to check it out, you'll have to travel to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to see it. However, on the plus side, the land sounds really cool, including a lot that fans of the movies will enjoy.
We recently had a chance to speak with Jason Ambler, the executive producer of Falcon's Creative Group who designed the new land. Here's are the four biggest things we learned about the new theme park space.
Actors From The Films Will Appear
One of the things that really helps you feel like you're inside the movie when you enter the Hunger Games land is that you'll actually see stuff from the movie. This includes several prominent actors from the film franchise who recorded original material for the theme park. They'll be seen on video screens while standing in line for the attractions as well as other places. As Jason Ambler explained:
We shot quite a bit of original content with several iconic characters from the feature films who are reprising their roles. This includes Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, and Mahershala Ali as Boggs.
It Goes Deeper Into The Lore
The Hunger Games covered a lot of material over the course of four films, which the new theme park land will certainly include. However, one of the benefits of creating a new space is that the park is able to explore parts of the world that were never really dealt with in the films. As Jason Ambler told me...
I think one aspect of the films that really works is getting you immersed in the world without needing too much backstory or explanation. For example, we can just accept the technology of something like the hovercrafts without having to stop and ask why, but then what does this technology really mean when they are brought into our world and we get to experience them for ourselves?
People who really want to get into the nitty-gritty of the films will have all new things to learn.
It's Set In The Middle Of The Story
The story of Katniss Everdeen is over in the films, and the world now has to recover. That won't be the case in the park, however. In order to feel like you're really part of the world, you have to know where in time you are, and in order to give people an experience like you're in the movie, the land is set somewhere in the middle of the story. Says Ambler:
We chose to focus on a sort of 'heyday' of each district as opposed to picking a specific moment in time from the films. District 12 is still a mining town and hasn't been destroyed, so we are somewhere in the middle of the film franchise.
It makes some sense. There's not a lot of fun in seeing iconic locations from the movies if it's only after they were destroyed in a civil war. While it sounds like you may not be able to pinpoint the exact time and place where the land exists, there will be plenty people will recognize.
It Will Still Be Fun, Even Though The World Is Bleak
My single biggest question about creating a Hunger Games theme park, was how you would design a place that was fun for families to visit, when the actual world of the Hunger Games is bleak and terrible for pretty much everybody who doesn't live in the Capitol. As it turns out, the Capitol's perspective, that everything is fine, will be a big part of the land's outward appearance. The fact that this isn't the case will be under the surface. As Jason Ambler explained...
One way that we approached the design and experience of the land was through the propaganda of the Capitol. On the surface, everything is great, it's wonderful, right? But throughout the land, we start to hint that there may be something more sinister going on underneath the surface, where we incorporate elements of dissension from the rebellion as well.
The people who live in the Capitol are always having fun, and so you will too when you arrive, though if you pay close enough attention you'll find the truth.
While a trip to Dubai isn't in my future anytime soon, it's too bad because the new Hunger Games land sounds really impressive. If you are on that side of the world, the new area is now open. Let us know how it looks!