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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Teaser Poster Released

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the-hunger-games-mockingjay-teaser-one-sheetThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part One is likely to be one of the biggest hit movies of 2014. With Catching Fire about to be released on home video in a few months, it’s never too early to start the marketing push for the next installment. Now Lionsgate has released the film’s first teaser poster, which features a variation of a very familiar logo.

If you watched Catching Fire (and considering its hefty box office, there’s a good chance that you did), you’ll recall that the film ends with Katniss Everdeen waking up to the evils of The Capitol and President Snow. She becomes the new face of the rebellion that hopes to bring an end to the oligarchy, as the film smash cuts to black and the Catching Fire logo turns into the Mockingjay symbol. It’s a powerful conclusion to the film, and the teaser poster sticks with that image, putting the Mockingjay logo front and center.

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Catching Fire Is The First Female-Led Film To Top Annual U.S. Box Office In At Least 40 Years

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CatchFireThere’s no question that Lionsgate’s Hunger Games franchise is a massive box office success, taking over where the Harry Potter and Twilight films left off. Thankfully Hunger Games has more in common with the former series than the latter, and that’s at least partially due to the charisma, acting talents, and all-around awesomeness of series star Jennifer Lawrence. In fact, the latest Hunger Games installment, Catching Fire, ended the year strong, surpassing Iron Man 3 as the biggest box office earner of 2013 here in the States (Tony Stark still wins internationally, with a ridiculous $1.2 billion worldwide). But there’s one other accomplishment that is just as impressive, if a bit sad. Journalist Mark Harris recently pointed out that Catching Fire is the first film with a solo female lead to top the annual box office since either The Exorcist or Funny Girl, depending on how picky you want to be. Those films, for the record, came out in 1973 and 1968, respectively.

Either way, that’s pretty depressing, if not entirely surprising. As Buzzfeed points out, there have been top earners that featured prominent female characters, such as the Harry Potter films’ Emma Watson or Avatar’s Zoe Saldana, but those were, at best, co-leads, and you’d have to really reach to suggest that either was the primary focus of those stories. Hunger Games has a large cast of characters, but it is clearly and indisputably Katniss Everdeen’s story.

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Jennifer Lawrence Almost Died Filming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

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Katniss is ready!When you’re in the midst of filming what will, in the end, be a multi-billion dollar movie franchise about a dystopian future, you certainly want to put your young lead in peril on screen. One thing you don’t want to do, however, is kill her off in real life. A few days ago, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay came dangerously close to doing just that. During the filming of one particular scene, star Jennifer Lawrence was almost choked to death by a malfunctioning fog machine.

Yahoo reports that the renegade piece of equipment almost accomplished what President Snow (Donald Sutherland) has failed to do over the course of two movies, kill Katniss Everdeen. According to their sources, the Atlanta-based production was in the process of filming a scene where the heroine, Katniss, played by Lawrence, leads a group of people through a tunnel. If you’ve read Suzanne Collins’ novels that serve as the basis for the Hunger Games movies, you have to assume that this is when a crew of rebels attempt to infiltrate the heavily-guarded Capital through the sewer system that runs beneath the city.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Concept Art

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Concept Art From Catching FireThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire is one of the biggest blockbusters of the year! The sequel film has already made $573 million worldwide and is poised to make over $1 billion when all is said and done. There are even people out there who are calling it the “Empire Strikes Back” of the Hunger Games film franchise. If you’ve seen the film, you can easily see that more money has been poured into the production, with grander set pieces, heavier action, and more luxurious art design.

Much of Catching Fire‘s can be attributed to Dawn Brown, one of the sequel film’s set designers and concept/costume artists. Brown previously worked on The Last Airbender, Oz: The Great and Powerful, and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot. In an interview with Film Sketchr, Brown talked about Panem’s overall look. Part of the challenge for Catching Fire was to establish a new look, but keep it in line with the first Hunger Games movie. Brown explains:

‘These films are coming out a year apart, so we really have to keep moving. And thankfully we have a very close art department. Phil Messina is the production designer, and I’ve been a part of his crew for many years. There’s a kind of shorthand — an efficiency — that develops when the crew is all on the same page. We’ve been working very hard to establish a vocabulary, a stylistic foundation for Katniss’ world. Once that foundation is established, we are free to build on it and push it and break it and make it bigger, better, cooler, with each film. There is definitely an effort to be respectful to the books, yet we want to surprise people with something new as well.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay’s Official Plot Synopsis Revealed

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The Hunger Games TrilogyNow that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is kicking ass at the box office, let’s look forward to November 2014 and the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part One. While the final installment of The Hunger Games film series will be split into two parts, the film’s director, Francis Lawrence, will hopwdully make sure audiences don’t miss a beat between parts one and two. The final book in author Suzanne Collins’ widely popular book series isn’t that much longer than the first Hunger Games and Catching Fire books, so it’s going to be interesting to see what Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Danny Strong will add to Mockingjay‘s film adaptation.

Lionsgate recently released the sequel’s official film synopsis, which clues us in on what will happen to Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, and Gale Hawthorne after the events of Catching Fire. Once again, Katniss is at the center of the action, as war breaks out in the Capitol and all of Panem.

In Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2, we follow heroine Katniss Everdeen’s journey as she leads the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol. As the war that will determine the fate of Panem escalates, Katniss must decipher for herself who she can trust and what needs to be done, with everything she cares for in the balance.

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Francis Lawrence On The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

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MockingjayREAD WITH CAUTION. SPOILERS FOR MOCKINGJAY AND CATCHING FIRE BELOW!

Now that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is in theaters, it’s time to look forward to its follow-up, Mockingjay. The final installment in Suzanne Collins’ extremely popular book and film series is currently in production in North Carolina. Mockingjay will be split into two parts to get as much of the book on the screen as possible, so Lionsgate can have another giant blockbuster on their hands. While Catching Fire was the start of the revolution, Mockingjay will reveal change is just over the horizon for Panem.

The reasons why Catching Fire was a bigger hit than its predecessor are the rising star of Jennifer Lawrence and the addition of the series’ new director, Francis Lawrence (no relation). Lawrence gave the series more weight and did away with the annoying presence of shaky cam. In an interview with Wired, Mockingjay‘s director opens up about the film’s psychological damage to its characters. Lawrence says: