The Hunger Games is currently the reigning champion among young adult book-inspired movie franchises at the box office (by a wide margin), and expectations are high for the next installment in the series, Mockingjay - Part 1, after the second Hunger Games movie installment, Catching Fire, earned a whole lot of critical acclaim last year on top of $865 million worldwide. A full-length trailer will be released for the first half of the Mockingjay film adaptation next week, as the above trailer countdown preview reveals.
President Snow's (Donald Sutherland) observation that "It's the things we love most that destroy us" in the above preview, coupled with the shot of Hunger Games series protagonist Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) holding a white rose, is foreboding enough on its own. These scant details will mean even more to those who've read the source novel by Suzanne Collins, since they will better understand the events in the Mockingjay story that are being alluded to and foreshadowed here.
Mockingjay - Part 1, as the film's teaser trailer establishes, picks up as the districts of Panem unite in rebellion against the tyrannical Capitol, with Katniss (ultimately by her own free will) serving as the face of the revolution. The expectation is that the first Mockingjay film will focus on Katniss' struggle to overcome her post-traumatic stress from having competed in two Hunger Games battles - as indicated by the tagline "The courage of one will change the world" in the poster below - before it turns into full-blown war in Mockingjay - Part 2.
Collins' Mockingjay source book was adapted to movie form by screenwriters Danny Strong (Fair Game, The Butler) and Peter Craig (The Town); the combination of writers with backgrounds in, respectively, political theater and character drama/action, sounds like the perfect match for the Mockingjay story. Meanwhile, back as director on the final two Hunger Games movies is Francis Lawrence, who is all the more welcome after his fine work on the Catching Fire movie adaptation (read our review).
Finally, as the cherry on top, Mockingjay - Part 1's new cast additions include such quality performers as Oscar-nominee Julianne Moore, along with Natalie Dormer and (next year in Mockingjay - Part 2) her Game of Thrones costar, Gwendoline Christie. The Hunger Games series cast has continued to grow more impressive with every subsequent installment, so the more the merrier.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 opens in U.S. theaters on November 21st, 2014.