Two of the three currently-popular young adult/dystopia novel-based movie franchises (Divergent and The Maze Runner) won’t be over until 2017. However, the series that started that craze – The Hunger Games – will conclude this fall, with the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2; as such, Lionsgate’s marketing machine is now revving up to make one final push for the final chapter in Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) saga.
Mockingjay – Part 2 reunites director Francis Lawrence – who also helmed both The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mockingjay – Part 1 – behind the camera with Mockingjay – Part 1 screenwriting duo Peter Craig and Danny Strong, for a film based on the second half of Suzanne Collins’ book of the same name. This new installment delivers the payoff to the slow-burn first chapter of the Mockingjay story, as Katniss and the rebel forces located in District 13 – led by one President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) – move forward with their planned invasion of Panem’s Capitol, in an effort to overthrow the autocratic President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and bring greater equality to the surrounding districts.
Previously-released Mockingjay – Part 2 theatrical trailers have focused on the film’s wartime visuals and action – now unfolding on a larger canvas again painted by cinematographer Jo Willems – while at the same time teasing a fittingly dramatic conclusion to the personal battle of wills/ideologies between Katniss and President Snow. However, for a change of pace, the latest preview (watch it above) instead highlights the heart of the Hunger Games series narrative: the relationship between Katniss and her younger sister Primrose (Willow Shields), whose selection for the 74th Hunger Games – leading Katniss to volunteer in her place – was the event that set the entire franchise’s narrative in motion in the first place.
Most of the footage in the “For Prim” trailer is taken from Hunger Games movies past, though at this stage there’s not much reason for the studio powers behind Mockingjay – Part 2 to reveal more of their hand – seeing as the movie still ranks among the most anticipated films of 2015 (only trailing the box office titan Jurassic World and soon-to-be box office titan Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Nonetheless, we can also offer a brand-new poster for the film, which you can check out below:
Mockingjay – Part 2 does risk being too much of a non-stop sprint to the finish line, after the far more gradual buildup provided by Part 1. For that reason, it’s encouraging to see that the final Hunger Games film – as suggested by the trailer footage and the “For Prim” clip – will take some time to reflect on the relationships between characters (like Katniss and Primrose) before the last battle starts. Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, in particular, will again do some heavy-lifting, in order to (hopefully) bring Katniss’ over-arching journey to an emotionally-satisfying conclusion here.
The rest of the talented Hunger Games franchise supporting cast (including, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) should also get to do their share of emotionally-challenging work in Mockingjay – Part 2. Meanwhile, the film’s bad-assery index will be increased, thanks to the additions of Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) and Michelle Forbes (Powers) as key leaders in the military operation against The Capitol and its defenses.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 opens in U.S. theaters on November 20th, 2015.
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