READ 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:
To me Catching Fire is the beginning of it, where you start to see that damage and it only gets worse. Obviously if you know Mockingjay, you know stuff is done to Peeta and so there’s a lot more exploration of that.
Peeta Mellark was captured during the 75th Hunger Games, or Third Quarter Quell. Throughout Mockingjay the Capitol brainwashes Peeta against Katniss and even tries to kill her. It’s going to be interesting to see how some people who haven’t read the books will react to that scene in the movie.
Considering that Mockingjay will be split into two parts, and released next year and the following, Francis Lawrence has the opportunity to include as many elements from Suzanne Collins’ best-selling book series into the final films as possible. While it’s unclear where in Mockingjay‘s story the first movie will end and the second will begin, it’s believed a natural break in the story comes just before the rebels invade the Capitol. Lawrence also talks about Mockingjay‘s story elements, and how much of the film’s epilogue will be featured in part two of the Mockingjay film. Lawrence continues:
The ending of the book and the book itself is just really important to me. I will just say that we’re making the book. But because we are splitting it into two there’s room for world growth. I don’t want to give anything away or anything, but we’re being very true to the book.
In The Hunger Games‘ epilogue, Katniss and Peeta return to District 12 after the war and the pair eventually marries. They have two unnamed children together, a boy and a girl. After being disqualified in the Third Quarter Quell, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) agrees to be the face of the newly materialized revolution against the Capitol. Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) rises to a leadership role, while Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) continues to be a victim of President Snow’s (Donald Sutherland) brainwashing. Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Danny Strong will write Mockingjay‘s screenplay.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 will hit theaters everywhere on November 21, 2014, while Mockingjay – Part 2 will open on November 20, 2015. Both films will be presented in IMAX.