I have never reacted to the news that a particular screenwriter has been attached to a movie with such glee. But, as of yesterday, Emmy Award winning screenwriter Danny Strong—you may know him better as Jonathan Levinson from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a.k.a. faux-James Bond in that one episode where he learned to do magic, a.k.a. “I’m supposed to buy that Jonathan would go all evil villain and try to kill Buffy? Really? He gave her the class protector umbrella. Side-eyeing you so hard right now, season six”…
Ahem, sorry, getting off track. Where was I?
Oh, yes. Danny Strong has been tapped to write Mockingjay, the two-part finale of The Hunger Games franchise. Strong recently won a pair of Emmys for writing and co-executive producing Game Change, that HBO movie from last year that starred Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin. His only previous feature-length writing credit is for 2008’s Recount, another made-for-HBO movie, this one on the 2000 election.
The Hollywood Reporter says The Cabin in the Woods’ Drew Goddard and Game of Thrones’ Vanessa Taylor were on the shortlist before the final decision was made.
While Strong may seem an odd choice to write Mockingjay given his limited writing résumé of two political dramas, it’s actually not that strange. If you haven’t read Mockingjay (no spoilers, I promise!), it’s fairly heavy on the political intrigue, though in a more action-heavy, explode-y way than Game Change or Recount. I for one am excited by the news. Go Jonathan!
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2 are set for release November 21, 2014, and November 20, 2015, respectively.