We fully expect The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 to be one of the biggest movies of 2014, if not the biggest, and it’s certainly one of the most highly anticipated. An incredible new trailer dropped earlier this week, and while it’s super intense and epic in scope, it really only appeals to already existing fans, who honestly, are already going to see this movie even if there was no advertising at all and it only released to a dozen theaters. This new video aims to open up their viewership a bit by taking a totally different approach to marketing this movie.
This clip comes from Jimmy Kimmel Live, and reimagines The Hunger Games as a breezy romantic comedy called Cupid’s Arrow. As the talk show host says, it’s designed to attract an audience who might not otherwise be interested in a movie about teenagers murdering each other, and they hit all of right romcom notes. And with the love triangle subplot between Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), and Gale (Liam Hemsworth), a quick editing job, some voiceover, and a jaunty, familiar tune, show just how close this is to being a totally different movie.
Katniss is torn. Gale is “down to Earth” and “aimed straight for her heart” (sure it’s with a crossbow and an explosive-tipped arrow, but still). On the other hand, there’s the “big TV star,” Peeta, who in reality is being held prisoner by the nefarious President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and being used for propaganda purposes. But again, it totally fits nicely into the genre mold.
And really, The Hunger Games movies are a bit overly serious. They could use some levity. Sure, the characters inhabit a dystopian world ruled by a cruel, controlling, Orwellian overlord, and some people live in splendor while others dwell in abject squalor, but there’s still time for love and wacky adventures, isn’t there?
For the sake of comparison, here is the most recent trailer, and if you look hard enough, you may be able to spot some of the tonal differences:
In all seriousness, Mockingjay—Part 1 is looking better and better the more we see. As the third book in Suzanne Collins’ young adult trilogy (split into two movies), it’s really the weak link. From what we’ve seen thus far, however, the Francis Lawrence-directed film appears to be keying in on the strongest elements of the story, and it looks like they could turn in another solid movie. (I enjoyed the first movie, but it pales in comparison to both the book, and the film adaptation of Catching Fire, the middle chapter of the franchise, which was leaps and bounds beyond its predecessor.)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 opens everywhere on November 21, while Part 2 opens a year later, on November 20, 2015.