The Hunger Games series has always had a pronounced sociopolitical subtext to its sci-fi dystopia storyline (some might say it’s pretty much “text” rather than “subtext”), so it’s appropriate that viral marketing for the upcoming Mockingjay – Part 1 has taken on the form of political propaganda churned out by The Capitol and President Snow (Donald Sutherland), as part of a larger effort to stop the rebellion spreading throughout the nation of Panem.
In a newly-released second viral teaser, however, the forces behind said revolution gain the upper-hand on Snow and manage to hijack his latest broadcast, in order to serve their own purposes instead. No doubt, fans of the Hunger Games franchise will immediately recognize Beetee (Jeffrey Wright), who made his onscreen debut in last year’s installment, Catching Fire, as the representative for the resistance based in the mysterious District 13 – and thus, better appreciate his message of “The Mockingjay Lives.”
Like in the first teaser, Snow is flanked by Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) – captured by the Capitol’s forces at the end of the Quarter Quell in Catching Fire – but here, the pair are also joined by Peeta’s fellow captive, Johanna Mason (Jena Malone). While Johanna is doing a better job of keeping her rage in check than the last time she was on Capitol TV, you can see the cracks starting to form in her facade, even in the short amount of time that she’s onscreen here.
Catching Fire added several great characters (like Beetee and Johanna) brought to life by great actors to the mix, and the two Mockingjay films will up the ante even further, in that regard. Cast newcomers in the two-part Hunger Games finale include Oscar-nominee Julianne Moore as Alma Coin, along with Natalie Dormer and her Game of Thrones costar Gwendoline Christie, playing Cressida and Commander Lyme, respectively – key figures in the revolution against the Capitol, which our protagonist Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) gets swept up into.
Meanwhile, returning behind the camera is Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence; after delivering a Hunger Games movie that was a notable improvement on the original installment, the hope is that Lawrence will be able to complete this saga in top form. If all goes well, both Mockingjay movies could even wind up being better received than the source novel by Suzanne Collins (generally perceived as being the weakest in her Hunger Games book trilogy).
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens in U.S. theaters on November 21st, 2014.
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