We've got to hand it to Lionsgate. They have done an impressive job of building anticipation for today's Mockingjay trailer release. From earlier released propaganda videos featuring President Snow and Peeta to the Capitol Couture online magazine featuring absolutely everything Hunger Games, the studio seems to know exactly what fans want: more Hunger Games.
Which is why we can't stop watching the trailer. Knowing that this is likely the last big reveal we'll get before the movie opens in November has us obsessing over every little detail.
And we've got to admit, there are some very exciting details in this trailer.
Not only do we finally get a peek into District 13 in all its understated glory, but we get to witness the fantastic "Katniss shot down a fighter plane with an exploding arrow" moment that left us cheering out loud as we read the book, as well as powerful images from the battle front as the rebels take on Capitol soldiers.
But the trailer also delivers a few surprise deviations from the book, and we've got to admit, we're pretty excited about them.
In the book, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Snow (Donald Sutherland) don't get to play catch-up via Skype. Katniss spends a great deal of time brooding over revenge, demanding to be the one who kills the utterly too composed dictator, but the two don't actually connect. The closest she gets to communication with Snow in the series is the uber-creepy white rose we see her take from a vase in Victor Village in what remains of bombed-out District 12. From the looks of this moment in the trailer, Katniss and Snow chat over a monitor in one of District 13's control rooms. And their conversation is super chilly... just the way we like it.
We're not sure where this fight takes place in the film, but one thing's certain: we're getting a sneak peek at an event that does not happen in the book. We're guessing that this scene is the re-imagined battle for the Capitol's main military base in District 2. In the book, the base is inside a mountain dubbed "The Nut," but visually speaking, a bursting dam is way more impressive than a crumbling mountain. It's also a powerful metaphor for what is happening in Panem as the people rise up against the Capitol, breaking free of its totalitarian oppression.
Anyone who read the series knows that Effie Trinket is practically MIA in book three, not making an appearance until the very end of the book when she shows up as a vacant-eyed victim of Capitol torture. It never sat well with us that such a dynamic character was relegated to the story's sidelines, and it looks like Lionsgate agrees. I mean, sure, Effie will be wildly out of place in District 13, but the loveable Capitolite has become such a key member of the Hunger Games cast at this point that making Mockingjay without Elizabeth Banks' lovably sympathetic Trinket would leave a gaping hole in the film. And we've got to hand it to Banks — even as a washed-out version of her former self, District 13 Effie still sparkles.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 hits theaters Nov. 21 and also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Jena Malone, Julianne Moore, Stanley Tucci and Jeffrey Wright.
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