At the Harry Potter Studio Tour press conference, the popularity of The Hunger Games inevitably came up. Speaking to producers David Heyman and David Barron, Hypable found out what they think about movies trying to replicate Potter‘s success, and if the popular franchise comparisons are valid!
Hypable attended the Harry Potter Studio Tours press junket earlier today, and while we will have more coverage of the actual press conference, one topic we can talk about now is what happened when a journalist asked what the panel thought of the success of The Hunger Games.
Overall the entire panel responded positively, with both Evanna Lynch and Tom Felton talking about how much they liked the film.
Later, Hypable participated in a round table discussion with Barron and Heyman and we asked them to expand on what they thought about other film franchises trying to replicate the success of Potter.
Heyman replied that while having been a part of a project which other franchises aspire to “be the next of,” he believed that creators (and consumers) need to stop thinking of new creations like they are the new something else.
You see people trying to replicate it, taking the same format, and it doesn’t work. It’s just that magic dust that Jo created. [...] It’s pretty cool that people think it’s something to be the next of, but actually you can’t aspire to be the next anything. You just have to aspire to make the best film you can, of stories that in some way you connect with.
David Barron added:
Which is where the audience connection came from. [...] I think you can’t try to replicate something. If you’re setting out to replicate something, there’s no truth underpinning it.
Note: They did not name any current adaptation series, nor insinuate that Twilight or Hunger Games set out to replicate what Harry Potter had done.
Later in the interview, Heyman went on to compare Harry Potter to both Twilight and The Hunger Games, and had some interesting things to say about why fans should or shouldn’t compare the different film series:
I don’t think that Twilight is the next Harry Potter, it’s completely different. Yes, it’s aimed for people under 20 primarily, but it’s much more… Harry Potter has an innocence. It’s about a school. And then you look at The Hunger Games, which is again completely different. There is no relation to Harry Potter. The term ‘fantasy’ possibly, but one of the reasons I was able to relate to Potter was that I never thought of it as fantasy. It was reality. It was a bit off-kilter, but it was really grounded in reality: a school, friendship, loyalty, betrayal.
They further discussed how series like Twilight and The Hunger Games really have very little in common with Harry Potter, except perhaps the age range of their protagonists and the fantasy element present in the stories.
Do you agree that there is no cause for comparisons? Or has Harry Potter set a precedent which cannot be ignored when looking at more recent film series of this scale and popularity?