‘Mockingjay’ Film Could Prove More Satisfying Than Book

After weeks of brief teasers and promotional posts, the highly anticipated first official trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1 is finally here. The new full-length clip gives fans their first real look at Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) leading a dangerous rebellion against the dominating Capitol.

As fans know, Mockingjay is the last, and arguably the darkest, book in the bestselling trilogy by Suzanne Collins. An angry and confused Katniss is still dealing with the emotional aftermath of two rounds in the violent Games and the loss of her home District 12, when she is recruited into the rebellion to lead a huge portion of society into a full-fledged war. At the same time, a tortured and brainwashed Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) remains in the Capitol’s hold, used as a weapon against the rebels and Katniss in particular.

The book’s screen adaptation is being split into two films, though it hasn’t been revealed exactly how. The two-part format initially worried many fans, as the novel has already been criticized for being too slow and repetitive. Earlier this summer though, director Francis Lawrence seemed to appease fan fears by promising that there would be “some battles” and plenty of action in the first of the two-film ending—and it looks like he kept his word. As can been seen in this explosive first trailer, Panem is becoming increasingly ravaged in the war between the rebels and the Capitol, with several of the districts caught in the crossfire. Meanwhile, Katniss, residing in the previously hidden District 13, agrees to become the Mockingjay only if certain conditions are met— the most important of which is to save Peeta as soon as possible.

The trailer gives fleeting glimpses at a few new characters, like Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and the president of District 13, Alma Coin (Julianne Moore). Several familiar faces make brief appearances as well, including a worried Finnick (Sam Claflin), a still mothering Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), and a protective and loyal Gale (Liam Hemsworth), the latter of whom fights alongside Katniss during much of the revolution and will play a much larger in both Mockingjay films than in the previous two movies.

As for Peeta, fans of the growing romance between him and Katniss may have to get used to seeing the two of them separated, as they spend far less time together in the first half of the third book and likely won’t be reunited for very long until Mockingjay-Part 2.

Mockingjay is widely considered the least popular book and the most often contested of the series, so Lawrence has his work cut out for him bringing the story to screen in two separate films. The movie also has a lot to live up to, given that his last installment in the franchise, 2013’s Catching Fire, was both a critical and a commercial successful, earning over $864 million worldwide and becoming the fifth highest grossing movie of the year. (The first film, The Hunger Games, was directed by Gary Ross and grossed over $691 million.) Even before this clip, Mockingjay seemed poised to top both of the first two films in earnings and to once again become one of the highest grossing movies of the year. Now, from the looks of the trailer, it seems the film will not only live up to those expectations, but also may even prove to be more satisfying than the novel itself.

Mockingjay-Part 1 hits theaters on November 21.

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