You know how you can tell the world we live in is really different from the nation of Panem in The Hunger Games? It isn’t the segregation, the class wars, or the annual battles to the death. It’s the presidential addresses, of course. Instead of watching President Obama stand behind a podium, or sit behind a desk in the Oval Office, the people of The Hunger Games get to see President Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland) completely decked out in a fabu white suit, sitting on a modest white throne set inside a completely white room. And before anyone can say “white” two more times, Snow has placidly laid to rest all of our war-mongering thoughts and urges.
Over the past few years, The Hunger Games has shown a particular aptitude with using viral, or unusual, marketing to hype their films, often providing a glimpse into the wider dystopian world of Panem in the process. We’ve seen them dig into the over-the-top fashion of the Capital, and now, ahead of the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 this fall, they’ve released a bunch of character posters for citizens from the various districts, not people from the books or films, but purportedly average citizens.
Unveiled by the new website theCapital.pn, these are part of the “District Heroes Collection.” This is framed as an attempt by the powers that be, especially President Snow (Donald Sutherland), to rally the patriotic spirit of the oppressed masses and stem the growing tide of rebellion in the districts. It’s a classic, “hey, your life if totally shitty, but what the hell, take pride in the shittiness and ignore the real problem” style tactic governments are so fond of.
The annual Licensing Expo is underway in Las Vegas. This is traditionally where we get our first look at the potential marketing materials, logos, and whatnot for tons of upcoming films and TV shows. As far as genres go, they run the gamut, but there is always a rather strong sci-fi showing in the house, and this year is no exception.
These images, from Coming Soon, feature things that are coming up on the schedule shortly, even a few movies and shows that we’ll actually see this summer, as well as things that are barely in the planning stages and that we won’t lay eyes on for years to come. But when has it ever been too early to get excited for an exciting science fiction project, or a new adaptation of a beloved property?
Over the course of the The Hunger Games, heroine Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence in the movies) becomes a symbol of rebellion, and eventually the figurehead of a full-scale revolution in the dystopian nation of Panem. Now it appears that this fictional character from a fictional future has become the very real inspiration for a group of protesters in Thailand.
Throughout the three books of The Hunger Games, Katniss and company flash a three-fingered salute as a sign of solidarity. It doesn’t always go that well, as on multiple occasions citizens who give that signal wind up dead for their actions. THR reports that groups in Bangkok have adopted the gesture as they protest the military’s recent takeover of Thailand’s civilian government. Citizens have gathered in flash-mob-style groups, waving anti-coup signs and holding their arms aloft like Katniss and friends.
One of the most successful franchises in the world, The Hunger Games is no longer content with thrilling teenagers (and barely exciting adults) through Suzanne Collins’ novels and big budget feature films. Lionsgate has announced they’re bringing The Hunger Games to cities across the country, looking for teenagers willing to sacrifice their lives to…wait, no. This will actually just be an interactive trip through the different locations of the film, with as small a body count as possible. Speaking of non-fatal experiences, the studio also announced they’re teaming up with game maker Kabam for a mobile role playing game set within the story’s universe. And you thought sleeping in a tree was the best way to pretend you’re a part of the movie.
Let’s tackle this exhibition business first. Lionsgate—which refers to itself in press releases as “the premier next generation global content leader”—is working with the amusement park design and production company Thinkwell Group for this project. The studio even hired Thinkwell exec Jenefer Brown as their in-house Senior Vice President of Branded Attractions. Lionsgate obviously wants The Hunger Games in theme parks and anywhere else where it seems even remotely suitable. This seems to be the big new revenue stream for franchises. Star Trek and The Walking Dead both already have their own versions.
Later this year, The Hunger Games will continue it’s cinematic domination when it unveils the first chapter of the two-film finale, Mockingjay-Part 1. If this film follows in the footsteps of its predecessor Catching Fire, the highest grossing film of 2013—the first female fronted movie to accomplish this feat in four decades—it is going to be one hell of a big deal. The studio has unveiled a new interactive website—thehungergamesexclusive.com—that offers your first look at the film.