The simultaneous production shoots for Mockingjay: Part 1 and Part 2 have wrapped in Atlanta, Georgia. Which I just found more difficult than it should be to spell, weird week guys– it made spelling major US city names hard. However, now that production has wrapped doesn’t mean in the slightest that production as a whole has ceased! Nope, fear not fannish people of the world, for production is merely moving eastwards to the great continent of Europe.
If the tweet fits like Cinderella’s glass slipper, the cast, I’m guessing a chunk of the original crew (because many of them are Atlanta-based and they’ll need to hire new crew in Europe), are on their way to the City of Light. This means several things, one being that we may start getting touristy Twit-pics courtesy of our girl Nina Jacobson, and homeboy Josh Hutcherson. Also, if you’re not following either of them on the Twitter, do it soon– Josh occasionally goes crazy about college basketball, and Nina’s probably going to adopt the cat that’s playing Buttercup. Follow the linky links if you’re Twitter inclined. Alright, so what else does moving production to Europe mean? Well, it means that we’re in for even more awesome production value in this franchise, because if there’s one thing that Europe can boast, other than having amazing food most of the time, is its interesting, gorgeous, and interesting locations to shoot films. Paris for one has a bevy of film worthy spots to capture, from the catacombs, to the grand buildings, to the parks. But this is Mockingjay, so I can only guess that the locations their going to utilize are much less grand than say, the Arc de Triomphe, although it would be awesome if they could fit some of that grand, picturesque, and beautiful architecture into the films.
I’m jealous that they get to eat fresh Croissants.
Them There Eyes
The absence of information opens the door to all sorts of rumor and doubt. For months, we lived with the rumor that a Mockingjay Part 1 teaser trailer would premiere at the MTV Movie Awards (mainly just based on Catching Fire’s promotional schedule, but the fact that the movie’s Brazilian film distributor posted this as well didn’t help things).
Just as soon as the MTV Movie Awards were over and… nothing was shown, a new teaser trailer date rumor came to life. It’s going to be played at Cannes! Cannes! Because of a Variety article from January says that Lionsgate will promote Mockingjay at Cannes! And then yesterday a twitter account that reports Cannes Film Festival news caused a huge stir by saying that a Mockingjay teaser trailer was CONFIRMED to be shown at Cannes. What’s that? Something actually might happen soon? The fandom rejoices, even if it’s still a month away. It’s something where there once was NOTHING.
And then like an hour later, all that joy was again taken away. Because I suppose this rumor went wide enough for Lionsgate to take the trouble of denying it. So, as per the Lionsgate NO MOCKINGJAY PART 1 TEASER TRAILER AT CANNES. On a positive note, we know definitively and we don’t have to live with a month of people getting excited for something that won’t happen. But on a negative note, the lack of any news, the rollercoaster of rumor, and the general delay in any promotion when compared to last year is taking its toll on the fandom. Where there was just once impatience and excitement, there is now annoyance and resentment.
One does not invest hundreds of millions of dollars into making a movie without also having a very detailed, scheduled plan to promote it. For whatever reason, Lionsgate has made the start date later this year. Whether it’s other priorities or contractual obligations holding them back we’ll probably never know. I don’t buy the argument that the start was delayed because Francis Lawrence needed more time to work on the teaser trailer. Or at least, that’s a total cop out excuse. Even if a teaser trailer wasn’t ready there are lots of other things that could be done to build excitement for the film – release movie stills or posters, or at the very least run some teasing posts on your social sites. No, there’s some other reason at play here. But as a fan, it’s absolutely no fun.
My bosses like to use baseball analogies a lot in regards to marketing. I’ve been told that if you bat .300 for the season you’re an All Star. If you bat .300 for a career, you make the Hall of Fame. For Mockingjay Part 1, the batting average is zero because Lionsgate won’t step up to the plate and play.
But baseball isn’t really my thing. I prefer the Frozen analogy here. Mockingjay is young Elsa locked up in her room and we’re Anna and really want to build a snowman.
Stop telling us no. We just want to play.
FANDOM: Some people just don’t get it. Or they get some fandoms, but perhaps not yours. Sometimes it’s just a little faux pas that’s a whole ton of hilarious.
The MTV Movie Awards were pretty uninteresting and uneventful this year despite plenty of Hunger Games WINNING (Jen for Best Female Performance, Josh for Best Male Performance, and Catching Fire for Movie of the Year!) Perhaps the most amusing moment of the night came just after Josh gave his first acceptance speech:
JUST LOOK AT JOSH’S FACE. LOOK AT IT!
Yes, there’s not that much of a difference between The Hunger Games and The Hunter Games. It could have been a slip of the tongue, because we doubt Cameron Diaz lives under a rock THAT big. But it’s not the first time we’ve heard someone say “The Hunter Games”.
There’s a chronic thing among people who just don’t get the series:
They can only manage one of the two words.
Either “Hunger” is replaced with any two syllable word ending in -er, or “Games” is replaced with a kinda sorta rhyming word.
The Hunter Games. The Hunger Dames. The Bunker Games. The Hunger Pains. And these are people genuinely suggesting this is the title. It’s exhausting.
We’re sure you’ve heard some good ones too. Even people who enjoy the series (but aren’t super enthusiastic about it) do this on occasion. It’s like a disease! As fans, we’ve gotten used to this ridiculousness, but perhaps it can be cured.
That’s right: They got a fever and the only cure is more Hunger Games. If we all reach out, maybe we can save them from their embarrassing, grievous misnomers!
Advocating, Annoying… What’s The Difference, Really?
The Girl With The Pearl
Mockingjay Part 1 is a really mysterious movie. Keeping things under wraps big time. Sure, there’s a logo, some cat tweets and a few paparazzi set pics. But it’s all super-hush-hush-deny-everything-this-movie-practically-doesn’t-exist so far. Some other movies’ official twitter accounts go crazy retweeting grainy fan-posted set pics and have their actors tease things on their accounts. These things are not for us, my friends. And so we sit here and stew. I think I may be developing anger issues about it, but let’s not dwell on that.
Once the filming wrapped, the director, Susanne Bier seemed to take quite a while putting it together. She’s won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, so the woman knows how to make films. It seems like her perfectionist streak was a big reason why the film has taken so long to come together. But, in the absence of other information, there are rumors circulating that it hasn’t found a distributor yet because it’s too slow and boring. This is a prime example where keeping quiet for too long hurts you. Have a PR person issue a statement. Give a short interview with the trade press and quash the doubt.
About two weeks ago several stills were released from the film. But there’s still no distributor, and no confirmed release date either. Although there are rumors that it will be releasing somewhere in September of this year.
All so mysterious. I’m very curious about the film, and hope it took so long to come together because the director had a passion to have it made right.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate, your mystery is no longer cute. Promote the movie!
Another day, and also it’s another day without any Mockingjay news to speak of. Or, no legitimate Mockingjay news, because if you know me, you know I’d prefer to not give paparazzi shots, or trumped-up rumors that much credence, or any modicum of my precious time. So, what’s there to discuss today if there’s nothing Mockingjay related happening in our little corner of the world? Um, well how about we pick up where JJ took off yesterday, yep– where she ripped the concept, and the news that the last book in the Divergent series is too, just like Harry Potter, and Twilight, and The Hunger Games– is being split into two films as opposed to one. Let’s pretend we’re living in an alternate universe for a second or two? And in this world The Hunger Games franchise is going just as well as it has been, but instead of splitting the last installment of the book series into two, that they’re keeping it a singular film?
What would a single film for Mockingjay be like? That’s where my mind’s at right now. When the news broke years ago that Mockingjay was getting the Harry Potter/ Twilight treatment I disapproved, I said it was about making more money not about the story. However I came around, and now I’m struck thinking what would happen to the story of Mockingjay if it was adapted as one film? The word that comes to
mind first is the word “truncated”. I know how I’ve felt before when seeing favorite novels of mine adapted into film, and seemingly half the story is missing. I’m serious, I can think of two great novels where the film adaptations quite literally left out entire, great, all-encompassing chunks of the story. For Example: East of Eden, the 1955 adaptation directed by Elia Kazan. It’s touted as a masterpiece, as well as being one of the three films James Dean starred in before his untimely death at 25. What’s missing though is the disheartening fact that the film starts the story’s original narrative in the last third of the story. Yep, they started the film at the back end of the story, and did they backtrack and fill in the gaps? Not really, nope. Second example I can think of I’m actually happy to state that I’m happy with: The Cider House Rules (1999), is a gem of a book to film adaptation, not only because the film stays true to the novel it’s based on, but because the essence of it, even though entire sequences, years even of the story are cut– but, because it worked. Why I think it worked though is this: The screenplay was adapted and written by John Irving, the man who wrote the novel The Cider House Rules. Aye there’s the rub.
Truncated is the word we’re still fixated on, got it? East of Eden and Cider House Rules are perfect examples in my opinion, of films adapted from great novels that used the editing process to both enhance, and well– alter a story to the unfortunate point of dilution. Mockingjay if it was made into a singular film adaptation I feel in my heart of hearts would suffer the poor treatment of East of Eden, edited to the point of scant recognition. What would be taken away though? First, and the most sad– Buttercup. I believe Buttercup would be cut out of the story almost completely. And judging from all the tweeting the executive producer, Nina Jacobson has been doing featuring the cat portraying Buttercup– his being cut would leave us as a fandom with even less to grasp onto during this news drought. Second: Say good-bye to possibly another one of Katniss’ friends being omitted! Who would it be though? Delly’s probably cut anyway, and Madge is a ghost, or Taylor Swift, that leaves someone from the Capitol! Flavius? Octavia? Venia? Well, Venia may have been cut anyway, and I don’t think we’re going to cry into our cereal over that, are we? Are we?! Hm, what else? Welp, I think realistically the world building would go out the window? I mean sure, there would be some– but it would be very loose, and not wide and expansive. I basically think we’d get the same amount of world building that we got in The Hunger Games, and then go on our merry disgruntled way wishing there was just, well… more. Thank god we’re getting two films, all’s I’m saying.
Now, someone pitch East of Eden to HBO so we can get a mini series out of that masterpiece of a novel, and cast someone hot like Timothy Olyphant as Adam Trask!
Them There Eyes
When it was announced that Mockingjay would be split into 2 movies, it was a met with controversy. No one was really surprised – the precedent had been set with Harry Potter and Twilight. For big movie franchises, it gives the opportunity for all involved to make more money. It can be a very good business decision. And for fans, when it’s done well, it’s great too. More of the stuff that you love.
As I remember it, people who were against Mockingjay being split into two complained that 1) it was a blatant money grab and 2) Mockingjay is too dark of a book to run for two movies. And, yes, a big complaint of Mockingjay is that you’re stuck in Katniss’s head the entire time, and Katniss is in a very dark place. Because she’s mentally ill, it can be a tough read emotionally. But the story itself is solid. The world building is solid. The brilliant thing about a movie adaptation is that the perspective can be broadened. In the movie adaptations of Mockingjay we’ll be able to see beyond what Katniss sees, to the decisions made behind closed doors in 13, the other districts, and the Capitol. We get to go deeper into this world, so all of this is exciting. And after Catching Fire, we’re confident that Francis Lawrence will be able to execute this in spades. Lionsgate gets a big thumbs up on the making of Mockingjay 1 and 2. Party till it’s November 2015!
But what happens after November 2015? Today came the announcement that the Divergent movie franchise would be following this same pattern of splitting the final book into 2 movies. The pattern continues, and the collective snark about this decision is strong. I know we’re not a Divergent site, but the movies are being made by a Lionsgate company and as Hunger Games fans, we are the bullseye target market for these films. ALSO WE ARE GETTING NO MOCKINGJAY NEWS TO TALK ABOUT, SO -
I just had to laugh, because no, it’s not exactly a blatant cash grab. It’s a very risky attempt at a cash grab. The decision to split HP, Twilight, and THG came after these movies became mega-successes so it was clear the extra movie would make huge money. I don’t think that assumption can be made here yet. And the odds are even more against if because it’s doubtful that this particular book can support two solid movies or 4 hours of collective screen time.
Allegiant is a very divisive book. The most passionate of fans love Allegiant, but beyond that group, Allegiant is negatively viewed and not just because of the ending. For me, everything I had liked about the first 2 books came crashing down with Allegiant. I was uncertain about seeing the Allegiant movie at all because I felt so burned by the book. But 2 movies? It’s adding insult to injury.
The negative perception of the book isn’t news to Summit/Lionsgate, so for the sake of their stock price, they better have one hell of a plan to make this work. Best case scenario – maybe some of the elements that are criticized – the uneven characterization, the world building, the plot – can be improved with a good screenwriter and director to create enjoyable and entertaining movies. The movies also won’t be burdened by chapter by chapter POV switching between Tris and Tobias. However, that’s a dicey situation, because if you change the story, your core fans who love the book are going to be angry and may not support it (or just go see it once, which is damning for the profitability of these movies). And you can’t draw in those who read the book and didn’t like it unless there’s been big changes. Major doubts on this decision. Massively huge doubts.
Good luck to all involved, because it was always going to be a challenge to adapt Allegiant, and now you’ve given yourself twice the job.
OMG OMG OMG YOU GUYS! DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING! IT’S BIG! IT’S EXCITING! IT’S TOTALLY NOT CONFIRMED OR EVEN HINTED AT BUT WHATEVS!
“THE REBELLION” IS TOTALLY GOING TO HACK THE MTV MOVIE AWARDS WITH NEW MOCKINGJAY STUFF!
At least that’s what the Internet speculates. Who cares if the sources aren’t at all reliable? It’s on the Internet! If it’s on the Internet, it’s totally true!!!1!11!
Okay, maybe that last statement isn’t totally true… but I’m writing this on the Internet, so I’m not really sure what to believe. It’s like a puzzle covered in an enigma swathed in mystery wrapped in bacon. Anyway…
It would definitely be cool to use the “hacking” angle to promote Mockingjay in all its glory. Do we think it will actually happen? Probably not this time. See, when MTV has something special, even if it’s “secret”, they tend to promote the hell outta that bitch through copious hint-dropping and rumors about appearances. Remember Beyonce’s “secret” VMA performance a couple years ago? Was it really secret to anyone?
But the thing is, these hints aren’t coming from MTV. They’re mores coming from hopeful Hunger Games conspiracy theorist fans on social media. That’s not to say they’re never right, but there’s usually something else to back it up.
So before you go placing all bets on Sunday, remember that there’s still quite a ways ’til November and there’s still filming going on. We imagine Francis Lawrence would kinda sorta REALLY want to oversee the production of the first trailer (we want that too!) and he’s a liiiiiittle too busy for that at the moment.
It’s not that The Hunger Games promotion won’t be handled quite extensively by MTV. We’re sure it will. Commercials? Definitely. Sneak peeks that we’ll have to sit through some horrible MTV original show to see? Certainly. The Mockingjay special with cast interviews? Inevitable. Just not right now.
We’re not gonna sit in front of our televisions this Sunday, MTV. It’s nothing personal. You’ll get our ratings some other day.
If We’re Wrong, That’s What DVRs Are For,
The Girl With The Pearl
The fanfare, and the whispers, and screams over the new X-Men film are starting to assault us here in Pop-Culture-World. And I gotta confess, I’m kind of jealous of Jennifer Lawrence. Her first X-Men film was released in
May of 2011, a good year or so before The Hunger Games, and truth be told– I don’t remember a whole bunch about it, except that three actors I’d been keen on for a good while, or a good long while were in it. And those three actors are James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Nicholas Hoult.
If you’ve been a regular reader here at Victor’s Village, you’ll know that I’m a fan of the 2007 film Atonement, one of James McAvoy’s first projects after his awards nominated work in The Last King of Scotland, both films I highly recommend by the way– not only for James’ work however, okay maybe a lot for James’ work. And then there’s Michael Fassbender, or “Fassy”, as some people call him. Man, oh man, is that a actor who’s not afraid to look like a totally disgusting, abhorrent, example of a human being. There’s just something about Fassbender, I think it’s a lack of ego– or maybe the biggest ego you’ll ever come across in history. I say this because not that many people have the guts to play a sex addict, and have the character work, the story, or anything about the project be glamorous. Or maybe it’s playing a slave holding, alcoholic, angry, abusive, rapist? Oh, and then he played an
android. I don’t know, all I know is is that Fassbender is going to win big awards in the future once those awards giving out people get over the fact that he has a giant man-hood, and they do not. Yep, I went there. Nicholas Hoult, what can I say about Nicholas Hoult? I know! He will always be the little, sensitive boy in About A Boy opposite Hugh Grant, and then there’s Tony. Tony Stonem, one of the main characters from the first generation of the ground breaking, British drama called Skins. Nicholas, or Nick as I believe his friends and family call him, showed a remarkable amount of range in the 19 episodes he was privileged enough to portray Tony Stonem, a cocksure, arrogant, arsehole at first glance– later a numb tongued, insecure, memory addled recluse. The character’s Nick has chosen to play aren’t typical, if I do say so myself. He could have very easily gone from About A Boy to doing more sweet and unassuming work, but instead he aged up and chose to grace us with his presence as Tony. Now the world knows him as Beast though, and Jack the Giant Slayer– but mostly Beast. He’s got several other projects in the works, and I’m crossing my fingers toes and eyes that one or more of those projects will show the world that he’s more than just a Brit who can do a decent North American accent who looks good in blue hair, fur…? Is it fur?
To add to the jealousy factor, the X-Men: Days of Future Past cast list is rounded out by none other than everyone’s favorite New York tourist/ Star Fleet Captain, everyone’s favorite Aussie, everyone’s favorite Canadian FBI agent, everyone’s favorite little serial killer/ Ryan Murphy’s muse, and everyone’s favorite, and sexiest little person ever.
Our love is strong for Jen, but if I was in a room with all of those people and her– I’d have a nervous breakdown.
Them There Eyes
Help me. I’ve gotten sucked in to the MTV Awards voting thing and I kind of hate myself for it. I mean, they blatantly left Katniss out of the Best Hero category AND THEN made up a “Favorite Character” social vote category and put her up against that other dystopian series heroine. You don’t need even half a brain to see right through what they’re doing. They’re using the fervor of two fandoms to build buzz for their show and destroy everyone’s social feeds for two weeks. AND I HATE THEM FOR IT.
Yet even seething in hatred about it, I still made a new voting-only twitter account and tweeted the hell out of #votekatniss during the past few days. I know I shouldn’t care, but I want the magical internet pony for Katniss. So I do it, and hate MTV even more for using my love for this fictional character to build up their dumb ass awards show. [And how this will inevitably happen for the next two years as well. I hate when the media manipulates my love for things for their financial gain. Bastards.]
I’m trying to make peace with it and embrace the stupidity. So beyond the whole #votekatniss craziness, I’ve decided that the award I most want Catching Fire to win is…
BEST SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE
It’s just Oh, So Capitol of MTV. MTV can try to class up their show by nominating Oscar winners like 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club, but it’s very off-brand of them to do so. The show made a name for itself by having silly categories like Best Shirtless Performance, Best Kiss, and Best WTF moment. No one’s tuning in for another Oscars so it amuses the hell out of me that they’re trying to mix both together and pretend it works. And with the silly categories, just the fact that they call it a shirtless PERFORMANCE feels like they’re trying to class that up somehow too? Hilarious.
Back to the all-important BEST SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE category, Sam Claflin has some stiff competition among the likes of Chris Hemsworth (the amazingly gratuitous Thor-thinking-deep- thoughts-while-washing- up scene. If it sounds like I’m mocking it please know I’m mocking it with deep love and admiration.), Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston, and Zac Efron. Good job at not wearing shirts while acting, all of you.
Damn it though, Catching Fire/Sam needs to take this one home. Why?
- Vindication for Sam after all the crap he got when he was cast that he wasn’t “hot enough” for the role. Bam, go away haters. The guy pulled it off. Give the man some inedible popcorn to go with his chicken and asparagus.
- Because that scene is actually really iconic in the series. As much as I love seeing Thor pensively bathe, it can’t come close to sugarcubes.
- The unabashed mirroring of our world with the Capitol. Just as the Capitol paraded Finnick Odair as a shallow piece of meat, so does MTV.
Suck it, MTV. I can’t wait until next Monday when this is over.
We’ve always applauded Lionsgate for creating video games for the series that were NOT entirely based in violence. Though not particularly full of depth, The Hunger Games Adventures, Girl on Fire, and Panem Run do a great job sticking to the franchise’s message that violence should never, ever be glorified. They entertain fans without being blood-soaked and death-filled.
So naturally, some other idiots had the brilliant idea that they should create a video game, not so cleverly titled THE SURVIVAL GAMES, that very purposely capitalizes on and glorifies the violence of the arena. They claim gamers have “cried out” for a Hunger Games based experience.
NO. NOPE. NUH UH. STOP THE RECORD RIGHT THERE.
For some reason we’re doubting it’s really Hunger Games fans calling for this experience. One of the main themes of the series practically screams “DON’T GLORIFY DEATH AND VIOLENCE! THAT IS FUCKING HORRIBLE!” Hence the use and abuse of victors, the seemingly endless string of tragedies, the PTSD, etc. More like a bunch of slaughter-happy fools who don’t understand a thing about the series other than “they go in there and kill each other until there’s only one left” cried out for it. We guess you can still be a fan under those circumstances… a really pitiful, ignorant fan, but a fan nonetheless? Right? …Right?!
The hilarity of it all is that though the creators claim they’ll be distancing themselves from The Hunger Games in many ways, they’re using roughly a million key concepts. For example…
- Players cannot leave their start point until a countdown has finished.
- Players start unarmed be can get weapons from a structure known as “The Trove”… which is absolutely, positively, in no way the same exact thing as the Cornucopia.
- Players are encouraged to form alliances, even though they’re oh so unpredictable! “Still, when all is said and done, there can only be one victor!” says the website. Yup, still the victor.
- Players will encounter hostile wildlife and random storms that could easily kill them.
- No guns allowed because they take away from the excitement of battle.
It may be a good thing that these guys aren’t anywhere near their goal for game creation, because we’ve seen various projects of a harmless and far less troublesome nature that hint at The Hunger Games shut down by Lionsgate legal in roughly ten seconds.
To the alleged gamers, “crying out” for this: Yeahhhhh… thanks but HELL TO THE NO. Go play one of the million other video games out there, plenty of which will satisfy your need for violence (if that’s your thing) AND have an original concept at the same time! Crazy how that happens 98% percent of the time! The Hunger Games is NOT about the awesome power of violence, so get your fix elsewhere and don’t try to butcher this franchise, k?
Add This To The List Of Things That Make Me RAGE,
The Girl With The Pearl