The Hunger Games was definitely the fantasy film du jour of 2012 – surpassing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Breaking Dawn Part 2 and Brave at the domestic box office – so anticipation is high for the second instalment of the trilogy, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which opens in theaters later this year.
While Catching Fire does feature another Hunger Games tournament as a significant part of the plot, it also deals with the aftermath of the first film, picking up nine months after Peeta and Katniss successfully emerge as joint victors. The people of Panem – particularly those living in the most deprived districts – have been inspired by the defiance shown by the victors of the 74th Hunger Games, and as a result, revolution is stirring with Katniss as its reluctant leader.
To keep the hype machine chugging, Lionsgate has released a stunning new poster for Catching Fire on the official Hunger Games Instagram account, which shows Katniss standing symbolically upon a mountain peak at sunrise, with clouds behind her forming a set of Mockingjay wings. Together with the bow and arrow she is holding, the structure of the image is an approximation of the Mockingjay pin that is used as the symbol of the revolution, as well as the logo for the books and films.
The poster also introduces a tagline for the film: “The sun persists in rising, so I make myself stand.” It might sound a little like an inspirational bumper sticker, but it’s in keeping with the spirit of survival and perseverance that infuses both the story and Katniss’ character.
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The new poster is so overt in its symbolism that it almost looks like a recruitment flyer for the revolution, just as the character portraits that were released a while ago looked like they belonged in gilt frames on the walls of a government building, or perhaps in the pages of a Capitol fashion magazine. It will be interesting to see if Lionsgate in any revolution-themed viral marketing between now and the release of Catching Fire.
Though there are any number of great supporting characters in the books, Lionsgate seem to be using Katniss as the primary focus for their marketing. The Hunger Games trilogy does have an element of romance tied into the plot, with Katniss at the center of a love triangle and struggling to choose between her childhood friend and hunting buddy Gale, and her Hunger Games partner Peeta.
The potential Twilight comparisons more or less end there, however, as there’s a gratifying lack of lovelorn gushing in the books. Having been raised in a hard poverty and shaped for survival by the violence of the tournament, Katniss’ relationships with the two main love interests are at least partly political, leading her to question how much of the affection she shows for them is simply due to self-interest.
The first film wasn’t completely successful at expressing this nuance, but the romance element has at least been appropriately understated in the marketing so far, with the focus mainly being placed upon the sparks of revolution and the scheming of the film’s antagonists. Interestingly, several of the characters – Katniss included – were shown holding a white rose in their character portraits, which is actually the trademark of the tyrannical President Snow. A subtle symbol of subversion, perhaps?
Let us know if you think this poster is epic enough – and what you’re hoping the film will deliver – in the comments.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens in regular and IMAX theaters on November 22nd, 2013.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 releases on November 21st, 2014, while Part 2 opens November 20th, 2015.