The Lionsgate publicity team is famously stingy with their Hunger Games trailers. Next month’s sequel Catching Fire has followed the same PR game plan as the original film, with trailers that pointedly focus on the first half of the film with a bare minimum of Arena action. So consider the latest trailer for Catching Fire a minor feast for fans of the book, with a few teasing shots of the Quarter Quell and a more extended peek at Catching Fire’s world-building Victory Tour. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Here’s District 12 everygal and revolutionary cultural figure Katniss Everdeen climbing a tree. As everyone who’s read the book knows – and spoiler I guess if you haven’t yet, weirdo – Katniss finds herself back in the Hunger Games one year after her victory, when President Snow announces that the 75th Annual Games will feature return trips by previous victors. Basically, Survivor All-Stars.
This arena looks decidedly more lush than the forested landscape from the first Hunger Games. This shot hints at one of the new arena’s deeper secrets. (Hint: It begins at midnight.) This shot also hints at the fact that Catching Fire has a larger budget and was able to film in exotic places like Hawaii, as opposed to just exotic places like suburban North Carolina.
Katniss takes aim – literally, metaphorically, arrowifically – in this shot, with President Snow watching her from the control room. Look at that framing! Now see, this is why you freaking hire Francis Lawrence.
But Peeta’s no fool. He knows when he’s been licked, and he knows how he looks when he stands next to Gale, a genetic superman who simultaneously looks 16 and 45. Peeta gives Katniss a locket containing pictures of Gale, plus her sister and mom. And he even made the pictures look all cool and sepia! Thank god Instagram filters survived the apocalypse.
But back to the Arena. The gamespace in the first Hunger Games was a forest with occasional attacks by horrific mutant-dogs: Essentially no different from your typical Boy Scout camp-out. This new Arena has a wide assortment of terrors. Like this fog.
Or a flock of jabberjays, sent to torture the tributes by endlessly repeating the sounds of the tributes’ friends and family screaming. It’s all too much for our Katniss, who covers her ears and screams “You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!”
Hunger Games fans, are you intrigued by this sneak peek at Arena 2.0?