It's gut-check time for Lionsgate's marketing of The Hunger Games, seeing how the highly-anticipated young adult literary adaptation hits theaters in less than two weeks' times. Hence, we've recently been bombarded left and right with promotional material for the film, ranging from featurettes and official images, to even another Muppets Hunger Games parody trailer ( sort of a "two birds with one stone" approach, with that last one).
Today we have a new Hunger Games clip that compliments the previously-unveiled scene involving protagonist Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her designer Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) - by instead focusing on her fellow "tribute" Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) in an important scene that occurs just prior to the actual Games.
Before Katniss and Peeta are forced to battle nearly two dozen other teens (including one another) to the death in the Hunger Games arena, the pair are forced to participate in a whirlwind marketing campaign in which they sell themselves as potential champions for the masses to bet upon - and also, in order to gain "sponsors" who can help by providing the duo with vital supplies once the battle actually commences.
However, in order to help Katniss and Peeta really chalk up sympathy points with the viewing pubic, their mentor Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) comes up with a plan which Peeta enacts during his interview with Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) - a sort of colorful, futuristic talk show host who interviews the "tributes" individually just before the Games begin.
Check out an excerpt from that scene in The Hunger Games, below:
As anyone who's read the original Hunger Games book knows, the Katniss/Peeta romantic angle glimpsed here is more than just a shrewd tactic on Haymitch's part. It's not so surprising that Lionsgate has downplayed that element, though - so as to not prompt more of those Twilight comparisons, which generally do more harm than good (as far as appealing to newcomers goes).
For our money - judging by this footage alone - Hutcherson and Tucci are spot-on matches for their respective Hunger Games characters; in fact, virtually all of the casting for the film continues to look as good in motion as it did on paper. In that sense, it's not surprising that original Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins so heartily approves of Gary Ross' film adaptation (at least, officially).
The Hunger Games opens in theaters around the U.S. on March 23rd, 2012.