So now it’s 2013 and we have this thing now where we do teaser trailers for the actual trailers for movies, which is what happened with the hype around the upcoming sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire. About a month ago, there was a 15-second teaser for this trailer, and its appearance last night at the MTV Movie Awards. This is a ridiculous marketing strategy why are we doing this, but if you’re into the Hunger Games series, these are very exciting times.
In this trailer, we get the first look at the brewing revolution in Panem, for which Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has become a symbol of hope and defiance. Things start to get real (really real) and the government, led by the evil President Snow and his new right-hand man, Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman!) starts going after previous winners. As per the name, lots of things do, in fact, catch fire. For more, watch the trailer below.
The Internet is echoing with the anticipatory squeals from devotees of the Hunger Games fandom at the announcement that the second installment in the film trilogy, Catching Fire, finally has its Finnick. After rumors that the likes of Robert Pattinson, Taylor Kitsch, Armie Hammer and a whole host of other attractive twentysomething actors would play the Quarter Quell representative from District 4, the role has gone to 26-year-old English actor Sam Claflin. If you recognize the name or the face, you’ve most likely seen him as William, Snow White’s childhood pal and son of the deposed Duke in Snow White and the Huntsman, or in that fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie that apparently happened, or in British TV drama White Heat.
Joining Claflin in Catching Fire are new director Francis Lawrence (taking over for Gary Ross, and no relation to Jennifer Lawrence), Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Capitol lackey Plutarch Heavensbee and Donnie Darko’s Jena Malone as Johanna Mason, another tribute joining Katniss, Peeta and Finnick in the Quarter Quell, which is essentially the previous games on steroids featuring winners from previous years.
This has probably been your final Catching Fire cast update. Back to you, Sofia.
The sequel to the explosive film adaptation of The Hunger Games now has a director (I Am Legend‘s Francis Lawrence) and key principals including Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci and, of course, Lenny Kravitz as Capitol stylist Cinna. But as Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark prepare for the Quarter Quell, a more intense version of the games featuring winners from previous years, fans are already anxious over who will join them in this dangerous competition.
Two notable names have been added to the cast within the past week: Jena Malone (Donnie Darko, Saved!) as Johanna Mason, a previous winner from District 7 who gets by with her wit and sarcasm and forms an allegiance with the star-crossed lovers of District 12. And today, as IMDb confirms, Philip Seymour Hoffman will join the cast as Plutarch Heavensbee, the Head Gamemaker of the Quarter Quell and successor to the deposed, weird-bearded Seneca Crane. Let the speculation over Hoffman’s Capitol-appropriate facial hair begin.
Perhaps the biggest casting-related speculation has been related to who will play the role of Finnick Odair, the buff, trident-wielding previous champion from District 4 who forms an alliance with Katniss, Peeta and co. during the brutal Quarter Quell. Names that have buzzed about include Robert Pattinson, Taylor Kitsch, Trevor Donovan and Hunter Parrish, but no one has been confirmed for the role.
This has been your Catching Fire cast update. Back to you, Sofía.
Has Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring compromised the still-pending case it’s based on? Coppola has taken the LAPD detective who cracked the case on as a technical adviser, and the defense is concerned that his financial involvement is of issue to their case. “Clearly, it presents a conflict of interest if someone’s investigation becomes oriented toward creating a story or entertainment," the attorney explains. "It’s certainly going to taint the investigation’s motives and make them look unprofessional.” [LAT]
A group of coders claiming to be a part of the hacktivist group Anonymous have built a social music platform called Anontune that streams songs from elsewhere on the internet, so that you can make playlists and share favorites and so that they can keep above the law. [CNN]
Justin Bieber bought himself a pretty new bike. [TMZ]
Lionsgate is narrowing in on a director for Catching Fire, with only Moneyball director Bennett Miller and I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence left on the line. Enthusiasm for Hunger Games has yet to dwindle, of course, but it’s time to get working! [Deadline]
Thanks to a very generous 7-figure donation, the Brooklyn Museum will be adding a first permanent curator of feminist art to their collection. [ArtsBeat]
The future is here and it has run its course. Alexis Madrigal argues in The Atlantic that, after five years of "social-local-mobile" dreaming, it’s time to start imagining what comes after Facebook. [Atlantic]
Whether it’s APC and their perfectly worn jeans or Juicy Couture’s rainbow of sweatsuits, breaking up with your clothing brand can be tough to do. [NYT]
Twiglight author Stephenie Meyer’s book-to-film production company, Fickle Fish Films, has optioned its second film, Down a Dark Hall, a young-adult thriller about a peculiar boarding school by Lois Duncan of I Know What You Did Last Summer fame. [Variety]
Summer comes early for film buffs and open sky aficionados, as New York’s Rooftop Films’ summer film series opens May 11th with an opening bill that this year includes Sundance favorites like China Heavyweight and SXSW favorites like Gayby . More information and tickets for opening weekend events are available on the Rooftop Films website. [IndieWire]
As of right now, Jennifer Lawrence is the It Girl of two franchises: The Hunger Games and X-Men: First Class, both of which would like to start filming sequels later this year. That might have created a conflict in her shooting schedule but the potential problem has been resolved: The Hollywood Reporter reports that Fox will begin production on the sequel to First Class in January, allowing Lionsgate to schedule a late summer shoot for Catching Fire, the second Hunger Games book. That will allow Lawrence to star in both without the awkwardness of cross-studio bickering, though Lionsgate isn’t totally happy. THR also notes that they would’ve liked to "hold" all of its actors for seven months during the Catching Fire shoot, presumably to make sure every detail goes right.
Lionsgate’s anal retentiveness makes a certain kind of sense: Regardless of how popular the X-Men may be, they’re still in a comfortable second place to the world-consuming Hunger Games franchise. Both series are intended to be a trilogy, meaning Lawrence’s schedule will be packed for the next few years.
Previously, First Class director Matthew Vaughn had tossed around a few ideas for further integrating mutants into American history, such as revealing that Magneto controlled the "magic bullet" that killed President John Kennedy, or directly referencing landmark moments like the Vietnam War or the Civil rights movement. It may be a little on the nose, but you can’t deny it’s a more impressively ambitious take than "mutants punch each other and things go boom." Not that boom can’t be done well on its own, but still.