God dammit, America. Do we really have to do this? Do we really have to prove to the rest of the world that we're the kind of ruthlessly capitalistic society that we can't even sense when it's a good idea to not build horrifically ironic theme parks? Do we really gotta do this? I am looking at you, Lionsgate, and your Hunger Games theme park.
The prospect of a Hunger Games theme park isn't new— it was first brought up during the press brouhaha around Catching Fire, right around the time they were using Subway as a sponsor for a movie about starving children. It was just as bad an idea then as it is now. But they're apparently pushing ahead with it. As Lionsgate's CEO Jon Feltheimer told investors, according to Hypable's Andrew Sims:
In addition to the mobile game partnership and The Hunger Games traveling museum we announced on the last call, we’re deep into conversations with prospective partners on 4 continents to explore theme park attractions and other location-based entertainment opportunities.
Of all the dystopian teen stories circulating the box office in recent years, we need to remember that the Hunger Games series carried allegories much more relevant to our modern society than, say, Divergent or The Giver. Turn to CNN any night this week and the footage from Ferguson literally looks like a scene of the districts rebelling, but with less violence on the part of the protesters. The Hunger Games is a sci-fi story, but we're not as far from the atrocities and the big political questions the books and movies explore as we'd like to think.
It's hardly a mystery why this theme park would seem like a good idea to the powers that be: Money. Lots of money. Sooo much money. It's a way to appease their investors, who are no doubt calling in every day wondering how they're gonna extend this Hunger Games cash cow into the next ten years.
But it's that capitalistic excess and complete disregard to what this actually means — that the Capitol is far from something we should want to emulate, and that in the grand scheme of the world America kind of is the Capitol — that defines this entire venture as so thoroughly tone-deaf. Do capitalism all you want, just don't be a clueless dick about it, you know?
Images: Lionsgate; mrwgifs