The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has quietly overtaken Iron Man 3 as the top-grossing U.S. title of 2013 (worldwide is another story), which serves to only drive home just how much interest there is for this year’s installment in the franchise, Mockingjay – Part 1. In fact, the third Hunger Games movie topped Fandago‘s poll for fans’ most anticipated release of 2014, while the young adult blockbuster also ranked pretty high on Screen Rant’s own rundown of which movies we want to see most – being released this year, that is.

Mockingjay – Part 1 will deal with the fallout from the final moments of Catching Fire, as the cries for rebellion around Panem give rise to action and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) evolves into a soldier in the war between the Capitol and the surrounding districts. The Hunger Games series continues to attract the cream of the character actor crop with its latest chapter, as the film will add key supporting players brought to life by the likes of Julianne Moore (Carrie), Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) and Robert Knepper (Prison Break, Mob City) to its already-impressive ensemble.

You can now check out the first official poster for Mockingjay – Part 1 online (via Yahoo! Movies), almost exactly ten months before the film actually opens in theaters. Its design is nothing unexpected or that inventive, but as ever there’s something quite beautiful about the image of Katniss’ mockingjay pin lit aflame and springing to life, regardless.

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Moviegoers of all shades – be they professional critics, Hunger Games purists or your everyday film buff – were generally pleased with how director Francis Lawrence handled everything from the intimate story/characters details and mythology to the IMAX-enhanced mise-en-scene of Catching Fire (read our review), so most everyone should be equally pleased to hear that he is also helming both Part 1 and 2 of the Mockingjay finale.

Screenwriting duties for the third and fourth Hunger Games movies were handled by Danny Strong, who’s earned his reputation by scripting dramatized political and/or historical fare like Recount, Game Change and The Butler. Opinions about the political outlook of Strong’s previous output aside, he’s an interesting choice to handle the social commentary of the Hunger Games series.

Many a fan of the Hunger Games books will also tell you that Strong has an easier task ahead, when it comes to improving on Suzanne Collins’ source material – more than Catching Fire co-writers Michael Arndt and Simon Beaufoy did, anyway.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens in theaters on November 21st, 2014, followed a year later by Part 2 on November 20th, 2015.

Source: Yahoo! Movies