James Newton Howard has taken over scoring duties on the upcoming film adaptation of The Hunger Games. He has stepped in for Danny Elfman who was originally announced to score the film and had to leave the project due to a scheduling conflict. The Hunger Games based on the bestselling novel by Suzanne Collins is directed by Gary Ross and stars Jennifer Lawrence as a young woman selected to represent her district in a televised fight to the death. Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson are co-starring in the film. The project marks Newton Howard’s third scoring assignment for the coming year following Snow White and the Huntsman and The Bourne Ultimatum. According to a recent interview with Elfman on KCRW, he is currently finishing up scoring Men in Black III and will move straight into working on Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie and Dark Shadows afterwards, which likely led to the scheduling conflict. The Hunger Games is set for a release on March 23, 2012 by Lionsgate. For updates on the film, visit the official movie website.