In the midst of 2014's spring blockbuster season, the adaptation of the popular YA novel Divergent proved successful enough to keep a sequel going full-steam ahead, but Lionsgate is not about to let you forget about a certain other dystopian sci-fi/drama series starring a female lead.
The fate of The Hunger Games: Mockingay - Part 1 seemed uncertain in the wake of the sad passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was set to reprise his Catching Fire role of Head Gamemaker-turned-rebel Plutarch Heavensbee. It turns out that Hoffman will be digitally recreated and the film will be released this November as planned.
Our only recent news on The Hunger Games front came in the form of casting news for Mockingjay - Part 2, but now the studio has released a wealth of new material, including images of the cast, a digital poster, and a featurette centered on newcomer Julianne Moore (Carrie), who has the pivotal role of President Coin, the leader of rebellious (and hidden) District 13.
Watch the interview with Moore up above and take a look at the cast images below for our first good look at Moore as Coin, alongside Hoffman, along with the returning Woody Harrelson as Haymitch and Jeffrey Wright as Beetee and a look at returning Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence on set (click on the images for full resolution):
These cast images give us a sense of the cold, austere world of the massive underground bunker which is District 13, and it's interesting to note that at this stage in the marketing, the main stars of the franchise - Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson - are nowhere to be found.
Instead, we're introduced to President Alma Coin, who leads the resistance effort against Panem's President Snow and the Capitol. Julianne Moore's insights into her character and the world of Mockingjay are very interesting, especially considering that once again the big-screen version of the story will have to expand well beyond the novel's first-person perspective, filtered through our protagonist, Katniss Everdeen.
President Coin is a mysterious figure with her own hidden agenda, and it will be intriguing to find out how screenwriter Danny Strong (Game Change) will flesh out her character and personality while keeping her motivations a secret. With Katniss' home destroyed along with the rest of District 12 by the end of Catching Fire and Peeta (Hutcherson) in the hands of the Capitol, Katniss will have to reconcile her role within the full-scale revolution with her guilt over Peeta and fury against the conspiracy which kept her in the dark throughout the entire Quarter Quell.
While the Mockingjay book itself was slightly underwhelming, this only heightens the chance for the final two Hunger Games films to truly shine. Expect a trailer or footage sometime soon.
Check out the film's digital poster below, and head over to thehungergamesexclusive.com for even more material.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 opens in U.S. theaters on November 21st, 2014, followed by Part 2 a year later on November 20th, 2015.