‘Hunger Games’ And MTV Movie Awards: A Budding Romance?

New franchise collects four awards at Sunday's show, signaling what may become a 'Twilight'-esque Movie Awards dominance.
By Ryan J. Downey, with reporting by Josh Horowitz & Eric Ditzian

Josh Hutcherson wins at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards
Photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty Images

The relationship between the MTV Movie Awardsand "The Twilight Saga," which picked up fourth-consecutive wins for Best Kiss and Best Movie during Sunday's show, is well-documented. The stuff of pop-culture legend, some might say. But 2012 marked the beginning of a franchise with strong potential to pick up the torch for years to come: "The Hunger Games."

The inaugural entry in the big-screen adaptation of the young adult trilogy already surpassed all of the "Twilight" movies on the all-time domestic box-office list, collecting nearly $400 million before being surpassed by "Marvel's the Avengers."

On Sunday, during a telecast that saw host Russell Brand exclaiming "Twilight! Hunger Games!" multiple times throughout his monologue, the newly minted box-office juggernaut swept up four MTV Movie Awards, including Best Male Performance, Best Female Performance, Best Fight and Best On-Screen Transformation. Despite the dire circumstances surrounding their characters in the series, there was no shortage of celebration among the cast during a series of acceptance speeches that included Elizabeth Banks getting hauled off by a shirtless Joe Manganiello.

"I'm a little parched, yeah. I need some water!" Banks told MTV News just after she was surrounded by the cast of "Magic Mike," who were all channeling their male stripper personas from the movie. Manganiello, Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey presented her with the Golden Popcorn and the four of them played the moment for laughs. Even Banks' husband, sportswriter and producer Max Handelman, was seen smiling during a cutaway. "Honestly, thank God I had those guys up there so I could make a little bit of it," she said. "I just wanted to have fun with it."

MTV News also went backstage to catch up with Josh Hutcherson, who joined an esteemed group of leading men that includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise when he took grabbed the Golden Popcorn for Best Male Performance. "I've wanted to hold a Golden Popcorn since I was like 4 years old. This is incredible," the 19-year-old told the audience when he accepted the award. "To even be up here is blowing my mind right now."

When asked about all those casting rumors surrounding fan favorite District 4 tribute Finnick Odair in "Catching Fire," neither Hutcherson nor Banks would speculate. (Fellow Best Fight winner Alexander Ludwig did tell us he had his eyes on Ryan Reynolds, though.)

"Everybody that's ever been mentioned seems fantastic," Banks said. "I'm sure they'll find the right fit."

And although Hutcherson wasn't able to give us specifics about the film's rumored change of location, he did open up about his meeting with the film's director, Francis Lawrence ("I Am Legend"). "I just had lunch with him a couple days ago and he's fantastic. He's so smart and really has his finger on the pulse of the story, and I love the way he's going to structure the script. The first thing he said to me was, 'I want to make the movie out of the book. I want the book to be the best movie possible.' That was immediately what he led with, which meant a lot to me because the books mean a lot to me."

If there's one thing we could confirm at the show, it was that producers definitely did not find the right fit when it came to its archery expert. Jennifer Lawrence with a Steve Martin-esque arrow through her head already ranks among some of the more classic Movie Awards comedy bits ever. In the short piece, "Community" star and comedian Joel McHale played Lester Boonshaft, the worst bow and arrow "expert" ever imagined.

Before the show, Banks helped MTV After Hours reveal some lost audition tapes from "The Hunger Games" featuring several actors who didn't make the cut, including Chris Colfer from "Glee," Chloë Grace Moretz ("Kick-Ass"), Clark Gregg ("The Avengers") and action-movie legend Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Jaw-dropping, heart-pounding, gut-busting moments galore. See what went down at the 21st annual MTV Movie Awards!

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