The Hunger Games has quickly become one of the most recognizable cinematic franchises over the span of only two films. With the third outing, however, fans should expect a bit of a change, as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 doesn’t actually revolve around any games. Instead, it follows Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) on her journey as a revolution’s symbol. It’s darker, more politically driven, and focuses more on propaganda than on the Capitol’s twisted ways of exploiting the games themselves.
While Mockingjay – Part 1 is visually striking at parts, I agree with our very own Sam Woolf, who likens it to a “waiting game” while still admiring how the film sets Part 2 up quite well. While I don’t necessarily think audiences benefit from the decision to split it into two parts, director Francis Lawrence makes sure the stars shine bright and carry us through the inevitable build-up.
At the press day for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which was held last week in NYC, I had the chance to talk to cast members Mahershala Ali and Natalie Dormer, along with Francis Lawrence. The director dished on the political overtones that take over the plot, Mahershala told me whether he’d be killed fighting a Predator or charging the Capitol, and Natalie teases us about the action she’ll probably face come Mockingjay – Part 2.
Check out our exclusive interview in the video above, and be sure to catch The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, in theaters today!