Despite the fact that it is probably the most highly-anticipated movie of the year, that doesn’t mean that Lionsgate is going to skimp on the promotion for their upcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1. One thing that the franchise has always done well is make use of a nontraditional marketing strategies, often employing a viral, almost propaganda-style approach, which, if you’re familiar with the books or movies, provides a definite thematic link. Earlier this year they used the interactive HungerGamesExclusive website to introduce Julianne Moore’s President Alma Coin character, and in conjunction with the new trailer that dropped this week, they’ve updated the page with a bunch of new material.
After a flaming opening page, which still looks like the Burger King logo to me, you can dive right into the expansive site. The more you dig, the more fresh information you’re going to come across. It not only examines the movie itself, but also the actors and people involved in bringing the world of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling young adult novels to life on the big screen.
You’ll find an extensive interview with the star of the show, Jennifer Lawrence, now the highest-grossing female action star of all time, according to The Guinness Book of World Records. She plays heroine Katniss Everdeen, compelled by circumstances to become the face of a revolution in the futuristic dystopian world of Panem. Over the course of the Q & A, Lawrence digs into just about every element you can think of. She talks about how Katniss is a dream character, how she prepares to portray a character that has gone through such deep trauma, and even gets into working with new actors and new characters, and how the dynamics change both on set and on screen.
The next section examines the roles that Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Cressida (Natalie Dormer) play in the new film. Gale is, for those of you not familiar with The Hunger Games, a key part of the love triangle that figures prominently in the plot, at least on a personal, more human level. Cressida is a new addition in Mockingjay. She’s a director who leads a camera crew that films Katniss in battle, footage that is then used as propaganda by Coin and the powers that be in District 13. This region also features an interview with Hemsworth, and he discusses the new setting, the expanded scope and scale of Mockingjay, doing his own stunts (he is Thor’s brother after all), and punching his costars.
When Katniss and Gale go into combat they’re surrounded by more experienced soldiers, all with a variety of specialties and backgrounds, and this section introduces them. You meet Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Pollux (Elden Henson), Castor (Wes Chatham), and Messalla (Evan Ross). There are photos of them all decked out in their shiny new battle gear, as well as a short bio paragraph of each that runs down their role and personality.
Then, of course, there’s a section that reminds you to watch the new trailer if you haven’t already. And just in case you haven’t yet, here it is, and it’s well worth two minutes of your time. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 opens everywhere on November 21, with Part 2 following a year later, on November 20, 2015.