Many of the plot points from the Hunger Games series are highly derivative, however the books really don't come off that way when you read them. There are enough original twists and turns, and creative spins that you don't really see it as any kind of outright theft of ideas.
While it may be similar to things like "The Running Man" or "Battle Royale," it probably has more in common with the TV show Survivor - and it's the characters and their desire for freedom and independence which really comes through. The "games" are simply action surrounding the drama.
I enjoyed the books. My 11 year old son and I read them at the same time. I'm looking forward to the films. The trailer looks like they are keeping true to the story and characters. Hopefully they don't tone down the violence. Lot's of kids dying at the hands of other kids.
I am really excited for the movie! I read all the books and I really enjoyed them. The trailer looks good. As for the casting for peter and gale, I say give them a chance, we haven't really seen them act yet, they might surprise us. Maybe we can discuss the wrong casting choices once the movie is in theaters, just my 2 cents.
I've heard good things about this. Wish I could see the trailer, but I refuse to install Quicktime. If anyone wants to watch "Battle Royale" it's already been done, the first is good but there's a second one which is just a bunch of ****.