/‘Catching Fire’ expected to hit the mark

‘Catching Fire’ expected to hit the mark

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00CATCHING-FIRE_KATNISS-CLIFF-POSTER

Writer explains why the next Hunger Games shouldn’t disappoint

 

Madison Griggs

Staff Writer

 

Everyone is talking about it — the girl on fire is returning to the big screen for the second adventure in the popular trilogy, “The Hunger Games.” The question on everyone’s minds as the premiere approaches — will it do the book justice?

This question always seems to strike fear into the avid reader’s heart when rumors of a movie version of their favorite story come around. Compared to others, the fans of “The Hunger Games” aren’t too terribly stressed; most agree that the first movie didn’t venture too far off the beaten path, and expect the second to give the same consideration. “It features a functioning creative imagination and lots of honest-to-goodness acting by its star, Jennifer Lawrence, who brings her usual toughness and emotional transparency to the archer-heroine Katniss,” said Amy Bioncolli from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Critics have only good things to say about the trilogy star, Jennifer Lawrence—they don’t believe her recent Oscar win (for her part in “Silver Lining’s Playbook) has changed her a bit. Though she is sporting a new haircut, the Kentucky native is still expected to give a great performance as heroine Katniss, and more of the down-to-earth and friendly interviews she’s famous for.

No matter how true directors stay to the novels when creating these movie versions, there is always complaint that too much is left out. This was true of “The Hunger Games” and is sure to be true of “Catching Fire”, though I’m confident they will get the most important parts and do them justice.

Gary Ross, also known for “East of Eden”, “Seabiscuit” and other note-worthy films, directed “The Hunger Games” last year. However the baton has been passed to director Francis Lawrence, who is also said to be directing “Mocking Jay” parts one and two at this very moment. He has also directed “Water for Elephants” and “I Am Legend” among others, and is best known for his music videos for stars like Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez. “As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule,” said Ross about bowing out of The Hunger Games sequel.

Along with a new director, the series also gains some new cast members for the sequel. Some important new additions to the story include Finnick, Beetee, Wiress, and Johanna. All of them play an important part in the sequel and therefore were casted very carefully. Though the running was rumored to be very close, Sam Claflin, known for his roles in “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” will play the charming Finnick Odair from District 4, and Jena Malone from “The Messenger” will tackle the role of Johanna Mason from District 7. Some older actors had to be brought in as well, to play some elderly but very important game-players—Lynn Cohen, Miranda’s nanny in “Sex and the City”, is to play 80-year old Mags.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” comes out Friday, Nov. 22, and though the expectations for this sequel are high, I don’t think Lawrence—Francis nor Jennifer—will disappoint.