Scott Derrickson met with producers to possibly direct The Hunger Games. While we have no idea what ultimately would have happened if he had ended up at the helm for the adaptation of Suzanne Collins' novel, Derrickson has revealed that he imagined Naya Rivera as Katniss Everdeen. The version we got saw Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role.
Naya Rivera, who starred on Glee for its entire run, recently passed away. Rivera had been out on a boating trip with her son and went missing. Rivera drowned and was later found at Lake Piru in California. Following the news of Rivera's untimely passing, Scott Derrickson, best known for his work directing Marvel's Doctor Strange, took to Twitter to share the story about when he met about possibly directing The Hunter Games. Here's what he had to say about it.
"I loved the first Hunger Games novel and vividly remember its description of 16-yr-old Katniss Everdeen as 'slender with black hair and olive skin.' When meeting the producer about possibly directing it, I said that while reading the book I always imagined Naya Rivera as Katniss."
This is a fascinating bit of alternate universe history to consider. Naya Rivera, at that time, was just a couple of seasons into her run on Glee. The show first aired in 2009, and The Hunger Games was released in 2012. Had Rivera landed the lead role in a franchise that ultimately went on to gross nearly $3 billion at the global box office, it undoubtedly would have changed the trajectory of her entire career. Granted, Rivera is just who Scott Derrickson had in mind. There is nothing to say that, even if he had landed the job, that Rivera is the one who ultimately would have ended up as Katniss. But it was on his mind.
As for Scott Derrickson, this was after his 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still and before his 2012 horror flick Sinister. Had Derrickson gone on to direct The Hunger Games, who knows what would have happened to his career beyond that? Perhaps he doesn't direct Doctor Strange because he's too wrapped up in another big franchise. Gary Ross ultimately directed the first movie in the series, with Francis Lawrence stepping in to helm all three sequels.
Scott Derrickson is currently working on several projects, including a mystery Joe Hill adaptation, a Bermuda Triangle movie with Chris Evans and, perhaps most importantly, Labyrinth 2. Naya Rivera had most recently starred in the series Step Up: Higher Water prior to her passing. The actress had also starred on Devious Maids after Glee wrapped up its run. Meanwhile, The Hunger Games new prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, is already being turned into a movie by Lionsgate. The story centers on a young Coriolanus Snow. You can check out the original post from Scott Derrickson's Twitter.