With The Hunger Games film franchise at the height of pop culture these days, it’s interesting to see how each movie in the series progresses its overall story. Catching Fire expands its world and characters, while Mockingjay puts them into action for a thrilling two-part finale. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire doesn’t open for another two months, but Lionsgate is continuing to give fans a first look at the sequel film with new images.
As part of Entertainment Weekly’s profile of the new Hunger Games movie, the entertainment magazine has released three new images from Catching Fire, which give us a better look at the cunning Johanna Mason (Jena Malone). Mason hails from District 7 and was the victor of the 71th Hunger Games, two years before Katniss and Peeta won the deadly competition. She’s described as having a “wicked ability to murder” and is extremely proficient with an axe, mainly because District 7 is the lumber capital of Panem.
We also get a look at Katniss as the girl not-so-on-fire and a group shot of Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch Abernathy in a single file. EW also released four new different covers of their Catching Fire issue, which features Katniss, Peeta, Gale, and new addition to the cast of characters Finnick Odair.
Splitting the final film into two parts is a very popular trend in Hollywood, as it’s a way for movie studios to make more money and stretch a series out even further. It was popularized with the last installment in the Harry Potter film franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The trend was then used on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, and now Mockingjay will also divide its narrative into two parts.
The most egregious practice of film dividing is with The Hobbit film adaptation. Peter Jackson divided a simple story into three separate, three-hour films with An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, and There and Back Again. While I’m not a fan of splitting films to extend a film series, it seems to be working for now because these movies are very profitable.
Yesterday, Lionsgate released a new featurette about the use of the IMAX format on Catching Fire. Apparently, the 75th Hunger Games, or Third Quarter Quell, was shot exclusively in IMAX. The movie studio and Republic Records also released more tracks from the Catching Fire soundtrack such as new songs from Christina Aguilera and Sia featuring The Weeknd and Diplo.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will hit theaters on November 22nd. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 will open on November 21, 2014, and Part 2 on November 20, 2015. All three films will be presented in glorious IMAX.