Hunger Games will be made into 4 filmsNot sure how fans of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games novels will react to this, but Lionsgate has just announced that they are spanning the author's narrative across a series of four films rather than the three in the book trilogy.

It's no surprise that the studio suits are expecting big things from the adaptation, but this latest announcement seems to be nothing but a pure money grab with hopes of stretching the series out into as many films as possible a la Deathly Hallows and Twilight. The Hunger Games film franchise, Which Lionsgate purchased the right to before the novel series reached best-seller status, is being described as "the movie that can  change their company." But the studio will have one major hurdle to overcome however, and that is figuring out how to market the four films to the deep-pocket demographic of the young male movie goer, who is already beginning to hear "Twilight" ( the female-centric series of teen vampire films) when he hears "Hunger Games."

The film adaptation is already facing substantial scrutiny for its casting of 21-year-old Jennifer Lawrence to portray the story's heroine, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen who joins a survival contest in order to save her community in a hopeless, dystopian future. Some of those fears were allayed last week however when a still was released of Lawrence in full bow-and-arrowed regalia. By the time she's finished with the series, she may look like one of the 30-year-old teenagers from Grease.

Lionsgate has confirmed the four film structure, but refused to discuss where the movies might be split to create a fourth installment. Any ideas?

Donald Sutherland cast in Hunger GamesIn other Hunger Games news, veteran actor Donald Sutherland, who we'll be seeing this summer in Horrible Bosses, has been tapped to depict slimy President Coriolanus Snow in the Hunger Games film adaptation. He's the sadistic autocratic ruler of the capital and all of Panem whom Katniss describes as exuding the smell of blood and roses. Sounds like a fun role, and it will be interesting to see if and how they pull off the very puffy lips which he is described as having in Collins' novel.

The Hunger Games stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, and Woody Harrelson, and is scheduled for a March 23rd release of 2012.

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