The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is but one of several upcoming tentpoles that is going to be highlighted at the 2015 Comic-Con International in San Diego, though it’s certainly one of the most noteworthy. It’s the finale to the Hunger Games movie saga, which introduced the world to the young, bow-and-arrow wielding, warrior Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) over three years ago. And until further notice, this is the last film that will take place in the Hunger Games universe, making it all the more of an event for fans of Suzanne Collins’ source material and/or their big screen adaptations alike.
Lawrence returns as Katniss in Mockingjay – Part 2, (mostly) ready and willing to lead the districts of Panem in a revolution against the Capitol and the tyrannical President Snow (Donald Sutherland). The first Mockingjay – Part 2 trailer highlights the beginning of said attack on the Capitol, though Hunger Games book readers no doubt noticed that the trailer also foreshadows some of the emotional turmoil that lies ahead for the film’s heroes, too.
Mockingjay – Part 2 director Francis Lawrence (who also helmed the previous two Hunger Games films) noted as much during an interview with EW, where he stated that the second half of Mockingjay is “probably the most emotional of the bunch, and I think it’s the most satisfying of the bunch.” That may not come as too big a surprise to even those who haven’t read Collins’ source novels, though, as such emotionally-charged finales are not so unusual for this type of genre fare (see the Harry Potter series finale, for case in point).
That said, Mockingjay – Part 2 should certainly have its fill of heartstring-tugging moments, and not all of them will necessarily be directly related to the plot, ether (see: the onscreen return of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman). It’s fitting then that, in the latest official Mockingjay – Part 2 still released, both Katniss and Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) appear to be feeling some trepidation as they dress Katniss for the battle that lies ahead (see below).
The Mockingjay – Part 2 script by Peter Craig and Danny Strong (who also penned Part 1) will also introduce a handful of new warriors into the equation, including Game of Thrones‘ Gwendoline Christie as Commander Lyme and Michelle Forbes (True Blood, The Killing) playing Lt. Jackson. Combine their presence with the return of such players as Julianne Moore as Panem revolution President Alma Coin and Natalie Dormer (another Thrones cast member) as Cressida, and you have a movie that features a number of prominent female characters – as director Lawrence noted:
“There is some serious girl power in this movie. [Suzanne Collins] wrote it that way, and it’s been so much fun to inhabit.”
Mockingjay – Part 1 earned the overall weakest critical reception for a Hunger Games movie yet, but it nevertheless got its job done: laying groundwork for a strong finish to the series, complete with the addition of exciting new characters and payoffs to over-arching plot threads and themes of the franchise. So long as Part 2 can follow through on that promise (and thus far, there’s little reason to think it won’t), then the big screen version of Katniss Everdeen’s story ought to go out with a bang, rather than a fizzle.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 opens in U.S. theaters on November 20th, 2015.