The final trailer for the sequel Catching Fire showed off a bigger budget than its predecessor The Hunger Games during its premiere during Game 4 of the World Series Sunday, highlighting the later scenes that take place in a larger and more lush battle arena than that featured in the first film.
Cut to a commercial break-friendly length of a minute and seven seconds, this trailer (watchable below) did not have as much footage as some of the earlier ones, but made up for it with content not previously seen. It also has a new focus on the later part of the film, in which Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Katniss Everdeen, must battle for her life in the arena as part of the eponymous Hunger Games competition.
In advertising the highly anticipated sequel, which opens in theaters next month, the movie studio Lionsgate has mostly followed the same restrained PR strategy they used in publicizing the original film of The Hunger Games in 2012. Like the book it was based on, that earlier film was an unqualified hit, raking in $700 million in the worldwide box office and cementing the fame of rising star Jennifer Lawrence. In previous trailers for this second film, they have put their focus on the first half of the story, the lead up and preparation for the unforgiving battle. But for this last trailer, the previous hidden portions are featured, and for fans of the film, as well as fans of the book who know what’s coming, a large number of new details are confirmed.
The bigger budget for Catching Fire is shown off in this final trailer by shots of a more lush and expansive battlefield, as well as some spectacular and colorful special effects. As established in the bestselling trilogy of novels by Suzanne Collins, the titular Hunger Games are a mass battle to the death between teenagers that is televised to pacify the citizens of dystopian future version of North America, and this promo spotlights Katniss’s fighting in this competition. The first movie’s death match was shot in the forests of North Carolina, but a larger budget for the second film allowed filming in the Hawaiian islands, the better to simulate the large body and unique climate described in the second book.
Donald Sutherland, in a voice over for the trailer as his character, the totalitarian President Snow, expresses the heightened scope and stakes of the second film. “Ms. Everdeen, you fought very hard in the arena, but those were games,” he fumes. “Would you like to be in a real war?”
The quote also refers to another plot element highlighted in the new trailer, the rising possibility of a revolution against Snow by his repressed subjects, to whom Katniss has become a symbol of hope due to the unique circumstances of her victory in the first film. Shots of Katniss’s tour of various districts illustrate her affected on the downtrodden populace.
The film also stars Josh Hutcherson (as Katniss’s fighting partner Peeta), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch), Liam Hemsworth (Gale), Elizabeth Banks (Effie), Lenny Kravitz (Cinna), and Stanley Tucci (Caesar) reprising their roles from the first film. It also introduces Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as new characters Finnick, Johanna, Beetee and Plutarch Heavensbee (respectively).
Shots of ferocious mutated apes, a holodeck-like CGI training area for Katniss, and hovercraft flying over massive cities also show off the bigger budget for Catching Fire in this final trailer.
By: Jeremy Forbing