Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies, since I’ve always found them to be endlessly fascinating.
This weekend at Comic-con saw the release of a new trailer for Catching Fire, the upcoming sequel to last year’s The Hunger Games. I covered the first trailer back in April, but watch the new one and then read on for my thoughts:
We get a lot of new footage in this trailer, mixed in with some things we’ve seen before, so let’s take it from the top.
Our first glimpse of Katniss is of her entering the Victors Village, which in District 12 is a pretty lonesome place. As winners of the 74th Hunger Games, she and Peeta both get luxury houses in this special area of the District, putting an end to their families’ poverty. We see Katniss and her sister, Prim, talking about how things have changed, with Katniss still wanting to protect her family. Prim observes that since the last hunger games, she now sees hope in the world.
Poor Peeta. He’s upset that after falling in love with Katniss during the previous games and learning that she doesn’t love him back, they now have to pretend to be in love for the cameras. The love they showed in the arena is what saved them, and they’re in danger if they let the act drop.
We see more signs of rebellion as we hear some dialogue from the first trailer from President Snow. The mockingjay symbol is everywhere on the victors’ tour, and the flag burning and spray painted messages have started to spread. Against these images we hear the rebel emerge in Katniss’s friend, Gale, who says that the people want to fight, before kissing Katniss. Of course, nothing is a secret in Panem, and we get our first glimpse of the menacing confrontation between Snow and Katniss. Snow knows the state of things in the world, and he understands the power of Katniss as a symbol, and he threatens her with the possibility of war and the certainty of harm coming to her family. She knows his power and responds with, “What do I need to do?”
Now we get into the plot a bit, with an explanation from Snow that the 75th Hunger Games will be made up of returning, former champions. This means that Katniss, as the only female champion from District 12, will be forced to compete. The moment where she is chosen from a pool where she is the only option is a powerful one, and I love the look shared between Katniss, with tears on her face, and the normally bubbly Effie Trinket.
The action returns to the Capitol, where it seems clear that the budget for this film has increased following the success of the previous one. The sets and effects all look much more impressive this time around. The training center has some cool new holographic targets for the tributes to practice against. It’s here that we get our first looks at some new characters, including Sam Claflin as Finnick and Jena Malone as Johanna, both previous winners who will play major roles in the story. We also get glimpses of other tributes, including one who has her teeth filed to points!
Before the first glimpse of the new arena is revealed, we get a series of quick shots showing the leadup to the Games. Included in these shots is a series showing Katniss on stage with her white dress burning away to reveal a dark dress with wings. This is a huge moment from the book, and will immediately be familiar to anyone who has read it, but I won’t spoil its significance for those of you who haven’t.
And finally we get a view of the new arena, with the tributes standing on platforms surrounded by water. Where the last film was shot in North Carolina, Catching Fire’s arena was filmed in Hawaii. We’ve yet to see how any of the action will play out in this arena, but I would expect the next major trailer to show us a bit more. Much like with the trailers for The Hunger Games, anything shown from the arena is a bit of a spoiler, so it makes sense to combine the action teased to what happens before the Games.
That’s the trailer, but can we talk for a second about how awesome this poster is? It’s got a gritty vibe that feels like something from the 70s. It has the hint of mockingjay wings in the clouds. It’s got a great tagline, taken straight from the book: “The sun persists in rising, so I make myself stand.” This poster gets an A+.
What do you think? Are you excited for Catching Fire? Have you read the book? What do you think of the new additions to the cast? Is anyone else bothered by the fact that the title is officially The Hunger Games: Catching Fire? Why can’t they just use the book title and trust people to figure out that this is a sequel? Let me know in the comments!