Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence has two films arriving in late 2015: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, which is the final chapter in the story of Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence), and Joy, a biopic that reunites Lawrence with her Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle director, David O. Russell. The latter is expected to generate awards season buzz, while the former should clean up at the box office – being the much-anticipated conclusion to the lucrative Hunger Games movie franchise.
Mockingjay – Part 2 picks up right after the conclusion to Mockingjay – Part 1, with Katniss and the Panem resistance prepared to launch one final assault against the Capitol’s oppressive forces. However, taking down the Capitol’s President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is easier said than done, and previously-released trailers for Mockingjay – Part 2 has teased the brutal traps which have been set up around the Capitol for “protection” – something that prompts Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) to refer to this last battle as being “The 76th Hunger Games.”
The final Mockingjay – Part 2 trailer (which you can watch above) touches on Katniss’ relationship with two loved ones: her sister Primrose (Willow Shields) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), who is shaky but is slowly recovering from being tortured and brain-washed by the Capitol into becoming a weapon meant to kill Katniss. However, most of this new trailer focuses instead on the traps that our heroes will face during the “final Hunger Games” – obstacles that vary from boiling oil to shooting flames and even violent mutant creatures that lurk in the sewers beneath the area surrounding the Capitol – while also highlighting what should be Katniss’ big inspiration speech in the film.
Lionsgate and Summit’s marketing approach, in other words, is to make it clear: for those who found Mockingjay – Part 1‘s slow-burn pacing and focus on character drama to be… well, on the boring side, Mockingjay – Part 2 will deliver all the bang for your buck that you could want from the (for now) last Hunger Games movie. The film’s action should be as impressive and stylishly handled as everything else that’s come to pass during the previous two Hunger Games films – both of which were directed by Francis Lawrence and featured pretty much the same production team, just like Mockingjay – Part 2.
Mockingjay – Part 2, like Part 1, was scripted by Peter Craig (The Town) and Danny Strong (Empire), based on Hunger Games creator Suzanne Collins’ “Mockingjay” novel. Generally speaking, the final installments in multi-part book adaptations tend to be among the better-received additions to their respective franchises; that much was true for such young adult best-sellers turned blockbusters Harry Potter and Twilight, for example. The second Mockingjay film is ultimately going to be half of larger story no matter what (as its very title establishes), but if handled well the film could still provide both a worthy conclusion to Katniss’ saga and a satisfying (relatively) stand-alone experience, all the same.
Back for the last Hunger Games movie are franchise mainstays Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in his final big screen appearance. Meanwhile, Julianne Moore will reprise her Mockingjay – Part 1 role here – as will Natalie Dormer and Elden Henson – and shall be joined by the Hunger Games newcomers Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) and Michelle Forbes (Powers).
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 opens in U.S. theaters on November 20th, 2015.