We got a nice little tease about Mockingjay this week. Producer Nina Jacobson again went to Twitter to tell us about Tigris!
Tigris make-up and wardrobe test today. WOW. The talent of the artists on our crew floors me.
— nina jacobson (@ninajacobson) February 25, 2014
It’s not a huge surprise that Tigris is in the movie – the cellar of her shop provides a desperately needed hideout for Squad 451 to regroup. There are some heartbreaking Real/Not Real moments between Katniss and Peeta. And it’s also the setting of the controversial Gale/Peeta conversation about Who will Katniss choose?
We’ve seen other small characters get cut out of the movies however, so I understand the caution to not assume anything. The filmmakers could have opted for the squad to hide out in an anonymous place sans exotic shopkeeper and not go to the trouble.
But it’s so much better that they’re keeping her in! Through the character, we get another glimpse at the extremes of the Capitol lifestyle and the enemies that Snow has made throughout the years. It sounds like the set should be something really awesome too.
Tigris’ shop fully dressed even cooler than I imagined. Spectacular collaboration between production design, costume design & set dec.
— nina jacobson (@ninajacobson) February 28, 2014
This leads to the question of “Why didn’t they announce the casting for Tigris?” Well, it’s a pretty small part, and not every part is announced beforehand. Peacekeeper Thread never got a casting announcement, and I’d equate the size of his part to Tigris.
So did they go with a seasoned character actor or do a bit of stunt casting? (Remember a year ago when there was the rumor that Rebel Wilson would have a part in Mockingjay? According to Google a lot of people speculated her for Tigris. I think it’s highly improbable that this rumor ever came of anything, but that’s the type of name I would equate with stunt casting.) Personally, I hope they go the character actor approach because stunt casting will just take me out of the emotion of the scenes. All the other casting decisions have been made seriously, so I have no reason to doubt they’d continue that approach with Tigris. Though it’s likely the makeup/CGI will create a lot of the performance in of itself, you still need someone who can convey past that to the anger, cynicism, and pain of this character in just a few lines.
We probably won’t know anything more until November 2015 so we have lots of time to speculate!
It seems that there has been a weakening in the Capitol’s communication systems of late. The Hunger Games UK twitter account has been suffering lots of security breaches for the past month by some troublesome rebels.
The end result is that we get a frequent switch between messages from the rebellion looking for signs of support (show us your three-finger salutes, Tributes!)
CITIZENS, DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND? The odds are NEVER in our favour! Photograph your salute and send it to us, stand on our side! #HopeReturns
— Catching Fire (@HungerGamesUK) February 2, 2014
Mixed with “official communications” from The Capitol threatening to bring down those awful hackers of the revolution.
A message from the Capitol. We have discovered the source of our ongoing technical problems, and it is currently being dealt with.
— Catching Fire (@HungerGamesUK) February 24, 2014
I’m glad to see that Plutarch and Beetee have been staying busy. And it’s a pretty sweet strategy that they’re employing. Distract the Capitol by repeatedly attacking an outpost. Make them divert more resources protecting the Hunger Games UK account… and then bam, go after the big target @TheHungerGames with its 1 million or so “citizens” awaiting inspiration. And voila Mockingjay propos for all of Panem to see! (Rest assured no one in The Capitol can see this post thanks to Beetee’s technical assistance as well. Don’t worry, we would never undermine the rebellion).
Ok, back to the real world of 2014. I have a lot of doubts that what’s been happening with the UK account has any larger tie-in to the global marketing campaign for Mockingjay Part 1. So probably no propos just yet. But the tweets are a fun little diversion and I appreciate them. And if the account is telling the truth, then soon (DVD release?) the Hunger Games UK account will be “hacked” again and something will be released. Maybe an image compilation showing the many faces of fans who submitted photos. So if you want to take part in this stage of the rebellion, send those salutes with #HopeReturns and let’s see what happens.
Keep working away Beetee. I prefer your hacking to the weapon-making.
Last weekend it snowed. Again. So I took that as an excuse to binge all of Season 1 of House of Cards and some of Season 2. It was disturbingly easy to do. One of the fun things about watching House of Cards was that it was my first chance to see Mockingjay’s Boggs, Mahershala Ali, in action. He plays Remy Danton, a DC lobbyist and former press secretary to Kevin Spacey’s frighteningly powerful “moves and countermoves” politician. The role of Remy Danton in no way reminds me of Boggs, but the political gamesmanship brings to mind some aspects of Mockingjay.
Even though Remy is a very different character in a vastly different world, I couldn’t help getting pulled out of the story every now and then and thinking, “HEY, IT’S BOGGS. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE HIM AS BOGGS!” This is not a negative reflection on the performance in any way. I just seem to have this problem a lot when actors in the series work on other projects.
It happened to me recently when watching Woody Harrelson’s character in True Detective have scenes of an adult nature with an actress from the Percy Jackson series. And then someone pointed out to me that the actress resembles Katniss and it got even more uncomfortable (though the added discomfort works in the show’s favor in that case. It’s all pretty messed up). Also, when watching Jennifer Lawrence’s Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook recount how she was having problems with her husband because she wasn’t ready for kids, I just think “Oh, Katniss, I’m sorry. For everything.”
It’s not that these actors don’t do a great job at inhabiting other characters. They do, and I still enjoy the performances and the movies/tv shows on their own. But it does bring to mind why some actors balk at taking roles in big movies or get annoyed when a movie is a surprise hit and their role becomes iconic. You get fans like me who love it so much that it’s always going to linger in their consciousness. Because when I wonder how many years/decades I’m going to associate the Hunger Games actors with their roles so strongly, House of Cards also gives some insight into that question. When I saw Robin Wright my first gut reaction was “BUTTERCUP, YES!” (Robin Wright is seriously so awesome in this show).
Looking forward to thinking “WOW, PEETA IS SURFING” during Paradise Lost.
Dear Hunger Games fans…
Y’all are dramalicious.
Not ALL of you, of course. But some of us like to see things. To create issues what no real issues exist.
Case in point: The Mockingjay/ Divergent marketing “scandal”.
As you may remember, Lionsgate ate merged with Summit Entertainment recently. Given this, many of their marketing efforts are intertwined. Lionsgate owns The Hunger Games and Summit owns Divergent. So far in their partnership, the merge hasn’t blatantly meant any unprecedented delays in marketing, but someone out in the Internet whispered (probably on the cesspool that is tumblr) “There hasn’t been much Mockingjay Part 1 promotion yet because of Divergent’s promotion.” And just like that, complaints and worries took off.
Suddenly, a portion of the internet dissolves into feisty grandmas watching their soap operas:
“That new slut Divergent thinks she’s gonna just come in and steal Mockingjay’s man! To hell with that hooker!”
You gotta calm down there, Chuck.
Yes, at this time last year, we had the new poster reveal and a couple images of Victory Tour promo featuring Katniss and Peeta. Contrary to popular internet belief, we did NOT have the Capitol Portraits yet. Those came in March.
So really, we’re on par for what we had for Catching Fire at this time last year. Yet everyone’s looking to another YA movie to blame for that. HUH?
First off, we forget that Mockingjay Part II is still being filmed and the studio could very well be waiting until the focus is off filming before they worry about promotion for Part 1. It’s going to make a killing at the box office either way. Even so, The Hunger Games and Divergent are still marketed by two different teams, so it’s not as if promotion for one negates the other. Lionsgate and Summit marketing have been known to work together in the past, not cockblock each other. And frankly, there’s no way in hell anything happening in November is going to affect a movie coming out in March. If people want to see Divergent, they’ll go see it regardless of whether or not Mockingjay character portraits show up in the meantime.
Secondly, can’t YA fandoms all just get along? YA fandoms like to get elitist, judge each other, and in this case, blame each other for their problems. Hunger Games fans want more stuff and they’re not getting it, so they look to blame Divergent. There’s already so many people out there trying to discredit and undermine the young adult adaptations out there (including the ones that will forever hate on The Hunger Games, even if it won all the awards) that we should support each other instead of running around hating on each other. Capice?
Stop Being Jealous When Another Pretty Girl Gets Attention, Wannabe Prom Queens,
The Girl With The Pearl
Suzanne Collins has been quoted saying that one of her initial inspirations for The Hunger Games, was an innocuous, and very common time wasting moment in her life in the early 2000s, when she was caught channel surfing on her TV. She switched back and forth, and noticed a strange, and disconcerting, as well as disturbing trend. On one channel she’d see Iraq War footage, guns blazing, coffins being wheeled out of giant planes onto airport runways, and sometimes battle footage– and sandwiched between the stark reality of war she saw reality TV programs where people played head games in uncomfortable tropical conditions to win a lot of money, a complete disconnect from the blood, and the smoke, and the death of reality. And that’s when it came to her, what if reality TV went so far that instead of the game being make-believe like it is on series’ like Survivor, what if it was real?
Years later the trilogy is complete, and now the last installment of it is being put to film. Mockingjay is becoming a reality though, but not in the way we’d all like to think whilst sitting back in our comfortable homes. Today three major socially changing events are continuing to unfold. Kiev, Ukraine is burning, and shaking in protest to their pro-Russian government leaders. The internet, print news, radio news, and broadcast news are buzzing with the flames, and the angry, desperate faces and voices of the opposition. West of Ukraine an ongoing civil war has been raging in the country of Syria. People are starving, people are dying in their homes, and on the street as they forage for what ever they can find, and there’s no end in sight, even as leaders on opposing sides of the conflict are having so-called “peace talks”, in Geneva, Switzerland– thousands of miles removed from the mess back home. The talks aren’t working though, at least that’s what I keep hearing over and over again, and the people of Syria are still desperate, starving, and dying. To the east of both Ukraine and Syria is Thailand in Southeast Asia, people continue to take to the streets protesting their government calling their electoral system a sham– police officers are dragging every day, normal citizens away– and tourists still meander the streets of the capitol city of Bangkok. Suzanne Collins published Mockingjay in 2010, but the inspiration could be what’s plastering our TVs, Internet news feeds, and our broadcast news programs right now. We don’t need to wait and see how well Mockingjay is put to film, to see how well the scenes of Katniss and Squad 451 storming the streets of The Capitol– we just have to pay attention to what’s happening to our fellow human beings right now.
Them There Eyes
I learned a few things last week. One of them is that Producer Nina Jacobson is on Twitter. And she tweeted a couple things about Mockingjay! Rejoice, Mockingjay news deprived fans!
Well, one of the things she tweeted (in reply to a fan) was that there would be no Mockingjay reveals “for a little while.”
@ZaynsTweety nothing to see from MJ for a little while. CF is still in theaters
— nina jacobson (@ninajacobson) January 17, 2014
I’ll let you all interpret how many weeks “a little while” means. I’m hoping it’s less than the fingers in a three finger salute, but I’m always greedy for news. Let’s move on to the more fun detail she revealed… the Crazy Cat Scene!
Buttercup’s big moment today. Shooting crazy cat scene from #mockingay
— nina jacobson (@ninajacobson) January 16, 2014
Now, we know Nina Jacobson is a Buttercup fan. She and Suzanne Collins pushed for a recasting of the cat in Catching Fire to a more canon-compliant color, after all. So it’s very appropriate that she would choose to reveal this bit of filming.
What’s the relevance of the Crazy Cat Scene? Well, it takes place while District 13 is being attacked and everyone is hunkered down waiting things out. Katniss tells us,
I created this by accident a few years ago, during a winter blackout. You simple wiggle a flashlight beam around on the floor, and Buttercup tries to catch it. I’m petty enough to enjoy it because I think it makes him look stupid. Inexplicably, everyone here thinks he’s clever and delightful.
Oh Katniss, your disdain for that cat will never stop amusing me. But other than some cute comic relief, why would this scene make it to the film? Because of the connection Katniss makes between this game and her situation with Snow and Peeta. She continues,
Crazy Cat becomes a metaphor for my situation. I am Buttercup. Peeta, the thing I want so badly to secure, is the light… [T]he one thing that sends Buttercup into a tailspin is when I leave the light on but put it hopelessly out of his reach, high on the wall, beyond even his jumping skills. He paces below the wall, wails, and can’t be comforted or distracted. He’s useless until I shut the light off. (That’s what Snow is trying to do to me now, only I don’t know what form his game takes.)
Maybe this realization on my part is all Snow needs. Thinking that Peeta was in his possession and being tortured for the rebel information was bad. But thinking that he’s being tortured specifically to incapacitate me is unendurable. And it’s under the weight of this revelation that I truly begin to break.
This is all Katniss’s internal monologue, so I’m curious as to how they will adapt it to the screen. My first thought is that it would be a discussion with Haymitch, or maybe Prim since we know she would be there for the game. I hope it’s Haymitch though, because it seems more in line with his mentor role. Or maybe it’s just a scene with Katniss and Buttercup alone, with Katniss muttering this to him. It would be a nice mirroring of her yelling at the cat upon her return to District 12 at the end of Mockingjay (if they decide to keep that in of course).
Such fun things to speculate about.
Here’s hoping Nina gives us a few more of these teases in the future!
Something really exciting happened at the Screen Actors Guild last night!
No, it wasn’t Jennifer Lawrence coining the term “Armpit Vagina” (aka that cease under your armpit that forms when you wear a tube top that’s too tight). Last night, it was all about the hair. Ooooooh yeah!
The Hunger Games’ hair and makeup may have seen their last legitimate chance at an Academy Award pass when Catching Fire wasn’t nominated, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few gems for them to focus on in Mockingjay. Besides the few unintentionally hilarious fans who have suggested that Mockingjay can’t be filmed because Jennifer Lawrence cut her hair (*gigglesnort*), we all know they’ll be working on the Katniss wig situation throughout filming. We have faith in these guys to avoid a disaster like the third Twilight movie, where Kristen Stewart’s wig was practically connected to her eyebrows at certain points in the film.
But that not even the hair and makeup we’re talking about! The prep team and Plutarch Heavensbee’s band of Capitol defectors will still be sticking to their Capitol style roots while down in District 13. We know this for a FACT, because Natalie Dormer, our Cressida, rocked this on the red carpet:
The half shaved head is a trend we usually avoid like the plague (it’s like you started to shave then chickened out), but we’ll make an exception because OMG IT’S FOR MOCKINGJAY!
Dormer gets all the posts for being clearly dedicated to the outrageous side of this role. We bet there’s more than the shaving on set, too! Perhaps some funky colors like Effie? Or an outlandish hairdo on that one side? OR BOTH?
The hair and makeup will only have a few people to have consistent, crazy hair and makeup so they best have a ton of fun with it! Here’s a few ideas for those characters:
Now rock that shit as if we didn’t first notice this hairstyle trend on the likes of Willow Smith, Natalie!
Mockingjay Be Trendy LIKE WHOA,
The Girl With The Pearl
Mockingjay was published August 10th, 2010, that’s almost four years this coming August. Unfortunately since that August in 2010, Suzanne Collins the authoress of The Hunger Games Trilogy has not published anything of any great note. True, she wrote the copy for the picture book Year of the Jungle, based upon— erm I’m just going to admit now, I haven’t read it. What can I say, I only re-read picture books
that were part of my childhood, and true to form I have a stack of Angelina Ballerina books, and a bunch of Babar books in French no less, as staples in my collection. And no, French is not something I regularly read. All of this is beside the point, which is this– Suzanne Collins, really, really, really, really needs to publish something new of substantial length, and of social note… like right now. It doesn’t even have to top The Hunger Games, because I think we all know rationally that that’s something that’s almost impossible to do, so hopefully Ms. Collins knows that her best bet is to go a totally different direction where it comes to narrative style, subject matter, protagonists, and might I also add um, well, targeted demographics? Yep, I think Ms. Collins should take the leap and write straight up fiction, not Young Adult, not children’s lit, like Year of the Jungle, but fiction with no specific demographic, because believe it or not– if you’re 12 years old you can go to the fiction section of the public library and read those books too. You may not be able to check all of them out, but you sure as hell can read them! How do I know this? Um, I did it, and I’m okay– swear to god.
Knowing Ms. Collins proclivity for creating odd worlds, I’d be open to her reaching into the amazing stores of her brain, and inventing a new world for readers to traipse about, and possibly cry over once the novel, or novel series finishes out. I never read The Underland Chronicles, I’ve also never really had a desire too, but like I said above– she’s gotta go another direction! No looking back! No talking animals, no impossible teenage girls to guide the reader, just new, all new all the time! Hell, write a novel from the point of view of a 40 something year old woman, who’s a successful novelist, who’s trying to traverse a new life that she never saw happening, but it did– and now fame is just un-normal normalcy, where people ask for your autograph at the supermarket, or the pharmacy when you’re buying laxatives, or lube, or both! Write the saying, “write what you know.” That’s what Suzanne Collins knows, and you better believe that her story is amazing in and of its self.
New novel penned by Suzanne Collins coming… whenever it happens! Next week?
Them There Eyes
We told you those annual nostalgia lists might find their way here! With only a day left in 2013, we thought long and hard about the embarrassment of fandom riches that has been 2013 and compiled our top moments! Prepare to get all sentimental!
Note that this is a general fandom list, because our personal list would include things like “Suddenly becoming mute when facing the actors” and “Walking like drunk idiots at the Catching Fire after party thanks to the devil’s shoes”. Not nearly as fun, now is it? We decided not to include actor moments here either, given that there’s too many good ones to whittle it down!
First Catching Fire Trailer - We didn’t know what to expect when we heard about a Catching Fire first look at the MTV Movie Awards back in April. The Hunger Games teaser was a :23 look at one scene, after all. But it was a FULL TRAILER that really set the tone. It. was. glorious.
Julianne Moore Cast As Alma Coin - All the Mockingjay casting news has been good news, but none more thrilling than the announcement of Julianne Moore portraying President Alma Coin. She’s got the chops that will make Coin a sharp, ambiguous character. Plus, every recognized actor cast proves this is more than some teen franchise.
Peeta Gets Manned Up - Remember the big, controversial Josh Hutcherson quote in Entertainment Weekly and the fandom flip out that followed? We knew it meant that Peeta would get a bit of a do-over that put him more in line with Book!Peeta, but some others went into a panic mode. Now that we’ve all seen the movie, this is why we always tell you NOT to panic!
Global Fan Day - Press junkets and late night talk shows are fine and dandy, but on November 6, Lionsgate opened the questions up to fans via the social networks. Yes, there were still some uber fangirl “OMG I TOTES LUV U UR SO HAWT!” questions out there embarrassing us, but there was also a rarely afforded time for intelligent, fun celebrity-fan interaction.
Final Mockingjay Scene Announced - Who else freaked out when Francis casually mentioned that Jennifer Lawrence had already filmed the final scene in Mockingjay? Also, when he said that scene featured Katniss serenely hunting in the woods! Is it an extension of the book epilogue or did they cut the book epilogue all together? WE MUST KNOW!
Catching Fire Fan Camp - Three days of Hunger Games fans playing games, partying, red carpeting, watching movies, and getting visits from the people involved in the film? MAGICAL.
Catching Fire Premiere And Screenings - So many great quotes from the stars come during premieres, plus it’s basically a giant fandom lovefest! But Lionsgate also did a great thing this year in realizing that not all fans can make it to the premiere and holding 24 simultaneous red carpet livestreams and premieres in cities across the US!
Catching Fire Crushes Box Office Records - This franchise don’t mess around! Winning the single weekend box office was expected, but we also broke records for the highest grossing film in November– a popular, blockbuster-packed movie month– and had one of the highest grossing opening weekends of all time. As in EVER.
Francis Lawrence AMA Reddit - It takes a lot to make a movie, but it takes some serious guts to go on Reddit a couple days after the movie’s release and hold an “Ask Me Anything” session. Plenty of questions were along the lines of “I didn’t agree with something you did. Why did you do it?” Francis was beyond graceful and gave great answers that let us know he really thought this series through and tried everything (Many excluded book scenes were filmed but later cut for time or because they didn’t translate effectively.) It gave us a whole new respect for him!
First Look At Mockingjay Filming - A few pictures from the Mockingjay set have popped up, but nothing compares to actual fan filmed footage of Gale and Boggs busting into the Capitol set, confirming that the next movies will provide us with a deeper look into things happening outside Katniss’ POV and more action!
Looking back on this list, we know there’s still tons to look forward to in 2014.
Happy New Year!
The Girl With The Pearl
Ever see something simple and innocent that your mind melds into a ridiculous idea?
That’s what happened earlier this week when Them There Eyes wrote about Mockingjay screenwriter Danny Strong writing a screen adaptation of the musical Guys and Dolls, I saw “Mockingjay” and “musical” and wondered.. What would THAT be like?
ICYMI, there is a legit Hunger Games musical out there that played during Victory Tour (though sadly, it was never staged in front of an audience). It was of a serious storytelling nature, but let’s face facts: If we did a musical, it would not be serious. It would be a parody, ridiculous and borderline nonsensical.
In that spirit, we introduced the track list for MOCKINGJAY: THE MUSICAL!
“I Just Have These Feelings, OKAY?!” – Katniss Everdeen
Angsty and angry, Katniss is getting all of her feelings about recent events out in the open. And to hell with anyone who doesn’t like it!
“Down in District 13″ – President Coin and the District 13 Residents
In which President Coin lets that District 12 refugees know how things roll in District 13. Talks of the pox and Coin’s shout of “I AM THE LAW!” included.
“F*#% Sober” – Haymitch Abernathy
The chronicles of Haymitch trying anything and everything to not be sober once District 13 takes away his alcohol. Antics ensue!
“Propo Panache” – Group Ensemble
Both in District 13 and The Capitol, propos shoot back and forth across the airwaves. District 8! Katniss! Finnick’s big admission! Peeta under duress! Beetee’s hacking! It’s all here.
“This is the Bomb (Shelter)” – Primrose Everdeen
While staying safe from attacks above, Prim tells Katniss all about her love for the District 13 life and dreams of becoming a doctor. There’s a crazy cat breakdown, naturally!
“How Tight Are My Pants? (The Capitol Rescue)” – Gale Hawthorne, Boggs
Inspired by the only bit of filming we’ve seen so far, Gale and Boggs kick ass in the Capitol while singing a badass duet about how the right clothes make or break a rescue mission.
“Hijacked!” – Peeta Mellark
Seeing it for Katniss POV is shocking, but we’ve gonna let Peeta get everyone up to speed on his hijacking and explain his state of mind. Because he thinks he’s right, dammit!
“A Kick in The Nut” – Katniss Everdeen, Gale Hawthorne, Lyme
Taking down District 2′s defenses isn’t as easy as in seems! As the plan unfolds, these three characters sing about what its destruction means for Panem and for them personally. Who’s doubting what now?!
“Real or Not Real?” – Peeta Mellark and Star Squad 451
The Star Squad is in the Capitol and soon, Peeta is with them! Time to chronicle his slow climb back to sanity, complete with Katniss’ discomfort, guessing games, the “You’re a painter, you’re a baker” spell and general distrust all around!
“WELL THIS WAS UNEXPECTED.” – Star Squad 451 Ensemble
Pods, mutts, sewers, and faux fur panties are the focal point of this long, zany tune from the moment the first pod goes off all the way to Capitol Square. Because you can’t focus too hard on the crying moments in a parody.
“Arrows of Fury” – Katniss Everdeen, Gale Hawthorne, President Snow
It’s time to confront Gale, confront Snow, and REALLY confront Coin as Katniss tries to come to terms with Prim’s death and finally unleashes those feelings out on the world.
“(Prim)Roses” – Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark
This song starts during Katniss’ isolation in the Capitol, follows her into District 12, and finally hits its crescendo when she finally reunites with mostly cured Peeta. The two then recap their tale and decide that shit can’t possibly get any worse. Time to lead a semi-positive life, maybe?
This Is Why We’re Not Playwrights,
The Girl With The Pearl