Dedicated fans of The Hunger Games have new material to help tide them over until the film’s release, with the latest pic released from director Gary Ross’ (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) adaption of the popular novel – depicting a touching moment/farewell between young Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her protective stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), just before the former heads out to face possible death in the titular competition.

Scroll down for that Hunger Games image – along with additional information concerning how the film will receive a limited run in digital IMAX theaters.

For those less familiar with Suzanne Collins’ source material: The Hunger Games takes place in a dystopian version of the North American continent, where a domineering central government rules over 12 surrounding districts from a prosperous Capitol city. In order to keep the impoverished districts in line (and as punishment for a failed rebellion in the past) the governing forces have created “The Hunger Games” – an event wherein a teenage boy and girl from each district is offered as a “tribute” and forced to battle their peers in a gladiatorial match inside a technologically-advanced arena, until only one person is left standing.

After volunteering to take her younger sister’s place, Katniss ends up a player in that terrible event, which also requires her (and others) to sell themselves as worthy contenders, for the entertainment of the Capitol’s masses. The soft-spoken and humble Cinna not only proves to be indispensable to Katniss, in this regard, but he also forms a strong platonic bond with the young woman during the tumultuous days leading up to the “Games.”

Check out the aforementioned pic of Cinna and Katniss below:


Meanwhile, The Hunger Games backer Lionsgate has announced that the film will be digitally-remastered for a release in IMAX theaters. The tentative plan is for the movie to be given a “limited engagement” and only be shown in the big, big screen format for its first week of theatrical release. Bear in mind, should The Hunger Games turn a handsome profit from its IMAX screenings, that could easily change.

Here is an official statement on the matter, from Lionsgate head Joe Drake:

“With this news, the release of ‘The Hunger Games’ has truly become an epic event. ‘The Hunger Games’ and IMAX are a match made in heaven – fans love this book because its world is so vividly imagined and seeing the film in IMAX will make them feel as if they have landed right in the middle of the action. It is the ideal way for fans to experience this film for the first time.”

Take that as you will, of course – though, truth be told, post-converted IMAX releases tend to turn out better than post-converted 3D releases. So, the news that The Hunger Games will be going the former route sounds more appealing, in that regard. Not to mention, this move will contribute to the “IMAX or 3D?” debate, which looks to be truly put to the test during 2012.

The Hunger Games is slated to hit theaters in the U.S. on March 23rd, 2012.

Source: Rolling Stone, IMAX Corporation