It cannot be denied that The Hunger Games movie franchise is a cinematic phenomenon. While the source book series by Suzanne Collins was an international success, the film versions have routinely been box office juggernauts – catapulting star Jennifer Lawrence to iconic status, and opening the floodgates for a wave of Young Adult literary adaptations that shows no sign of abating. Now, having caught our collective breath after the second instalment was released in 2013, the promotional campaign for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is beginning to gather momentum, not least with this new teaser trailer.
Entitled Our Leader The Mockingjay, the minute-long preview gives the concentrated, pared down premise of the piece – the rebellion needs Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) as its leader. There are some great shots, suggesting the continuation of the epic feel of the franchise as a whole, and we catch sight of supporting cast members, including Natalie Dormer (Game Of Thrones), Donald Sutherland and Liam Hemsworth. The music is stirring, the production design is perfect, and there is some great dialogue, courtesy of screenwriters Peter Craig and Danny Strong. Katniss makes her entrance slowly, while people discuss her importance and the role she could play in the forthcoming battle. The impactful moment at the end, however, comes from her first words. As she is revealed, she is seen to be a world away from the Katniss we first met in 2012. A clear testament to the skill of actress Jennifer Lawrence, the lengthy arc of this character is etched on every inch of her face, and audible in every word that falls from her lips.
Excellent though Lawrence continues to be, the thing that will get you watching this teaser trailer again and again is not the heroine’s entrance, but the two older authorities debating her place in the fight. Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore sits opposite the late, great Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman – she as President Alma Coin, and he reprising the role of Plutarch Heavensbee. Like concerned parents mulling over an injured child’s life choices, he argues for Everdeen’s deployment into battle as a leader, while she doubts the heroine’s resilience. Frankly, it is the arresting sight and sound of these two powerhouse performers – their fourth onscreen collaboration – sitting in a room and conversing, that grabs the viewer by the scruff of the neck and refuses to let go.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is directed by Francis Lawrence, and will be released on November 21 2014. The latest teaser trailer can be seen below.