It's always interesting to wonder how movies, or entire film franchises, might have been different had certain roles been played by somebody else. Sometimes an actor turns down a role that ends up leading to massive success for another actor. Other times it's simply the decision to pick one audition over another that can have drastic, and usually unforeseen, consequences. Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson might have been chosen to direct the original Hunger Games movie, and if that had happened, it turns out we could have ended up with the late Naya Rivera in the role of Katniss Everdeen.
The director revealed this piece of information on Twitter. Many on social media who knew, or were simply fans, of Naya Rivera have been sharing their thoughts on the actress in the wake of her death. Scott Derrickson says that, based on the brief description of Katniss given in Susanne Collins' original novel, he envisioned Rivera as Katniss while reading the book, and he said as much when he met the producer to discuss directing the movie.
The idea of a Hunger Games movie directed by Scott Derrickson is an exciting idea all by itself. We have no idea how close that actually came to being a reality. This may have been the longest of shots to start with. The production almost certainly met with a lot of different directors. We know that many actresses were considered to play Katniss.
The Hunger Games would go on to be directed by Gary Ross and would star Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role. To be sure, even if Scott Derrickson had been hired, it's no guarantee that Naya Rivera would have become Katniss, but it is an interesting thought experiment. With both a different director and a different lead we would have seen a very different movie, that much is certain. The Hunger Games became a huge film franchise. Perhaps it could have been even bigger, or perhaps it would not have been the success that it became.
Either way, it could have very likely changed the trajectory of Naya Rivera's career. The first Hunger Games movie would have been filming in the middle of Glee's run on television, putting the actress in, likely, a hit movie and a hit TV show at the same time. One would have to assume that in addition to the film sequels, she might have been offered some very different roles going forward. We never got to see Naya Rivera play an action hero, and now there are a lot of replies to Scott Derrickson's tweet that are wishing that we had.
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