CATEGORIES Movies, Cinematical
Could this be the next 'Harry Potter'-'Twilight'-'Lord of the Rings' movie franchise?

Lionsgate has set a March 23, 2012 release date (just prior to spring break and Easter) for director Gary Ross' feature adaptation of Suzanne Collins' young adult bestseller 'The Hunger Games,' the first book in a trilogy about youngsters in a post-Apocalyptic America. The book has sold 3.3 million copies in the U.S. with foreign rights sold in 41 countries, according to a report in the Hollywood Reporter.

Guess who publishes 'The Hunger Game' and the two follow-up novels, 'Catching Fire' and 'Mockingjay': None other than Scholastic, home of the Harry Potter series.

The story takes place in the not-too-distant future, when the U.S. has collapsed and has been replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. To keep the subjugated citizens entertained, each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in the brutal Hunger Games, which are broadcast throughout the country, with all citizens required to watch. The first book follows the adventures of two contestants -- Katniss and Peeta -- as they become gladiators in the futuristic reality show.

Ross ('Seabiscuit,' 'Pleasantville') will begin shooting the film in late spring or summer. No cast has been announced, including the coveted role of Kantiss, THR reports.