Mockingjay

The Fire Will Burn… Out?

Plutarch: May I speak freely?

Coin: You don’t appear to do anything else.

Plutarch: I’m only talking about salesmanship. The thing with revolutions, they’re a tender flame. They need to be nurtured with a little kindling. And warmth. A bit of oxygen. One sure way to put it out is to smother it.

We all know this exchange from Mockingjay Part 1 and it feels fitting for the state of the Hunger Games fandom. It’s depressing right now, with the desperate back and forth speculation about when a trailer will be released. Yes, 6 months out from release (and 11 months from the end of filming) it’s high time for a teaser trailer to debut. But perhaps even worse than no trailer news is THERE’S NO OTHER NEWS ABOUT PART 2.

Today's "Secret Message" word of the day. Hope it doesn't strain you too much to figure out.

Today’s “Secret Message” word of the day. Hope it doesn’t strain you too much to figure out.

The Hunger Games social media accounts seem to spend most of their energy promoting Willow Shields on Dancing With the Stars, and while we love Willow, can we all agree that this does not count as Mockingjay Part 2 promotion? Sure dress her up in a red fire dress to dance to Atlas. That’s a fun call back to THE PREVIOUS FILMS that makes us smile, but it isn’t really getting us hyped for the upcoming one.

Starting this Wednesday, a graphic has been released daily with a “secret message” for us to uncover, the first three being “THE FIRE WILL” and the fandom seems pretty assured it’s the tagline on the Mockingjay Part 2 logo poster, THE FIRE WILL BURN FOREVER.

But, will it though? Will it “burn” even through this last installment, or will our beloved franchise go out with a whimper? Last year, when we were stuck in the “no news” black hole, we speculated that it was because The Hunger Games franchise had reached “Cash Cow” status for Lionsgate and so they were going even more lean than usual on promotion. We don’t know what they spent on marketing Mockingjay Part 1, but we can all agree that from a fan perspective, it was definitely leaner.  Sure, Part 1 suffered from some “two parter” backlash and an overall weak year at the movies in 2014, but the opening weekend being down more than 20%? That means you didn’t create the same urgency from fans too.

One would think that kind of drop would indeed motivate a stronger push this year, THE FINAL YEAR. GO OUT WITH AN INFERNO! We know now that the trailers for Mockingjay Part 1 were delayed because a lot of the District 8 footage was shot at the tail end of filming in May/June. What’s the reason for the dearth of news this year? We hope it ends soon. Maybe this “secret message” will lead us to some Part 2 goodies and there will be joy again in the fandom. We are completely ready to keep the fire burning, but it’s hard to maintain excitement when we keep waiting… and then there’s nothing to feed it.

In need of some kindling, warmth, and oxygen, STAT.

JJ

Getting Trailer Twitchy

560x829xfirst-poster-692x1024.jpg.pagespeed.ic.88GNMkj7CVWe’re getting closer and closer to the time when we all assume there will be a Mockingjay Part 2 teaser trailer.  (Basically we’re assuming it comes out the week of April 20th and yes we know that’s a dangerous game considering the unpredictability of last year). We’re going to keep the faith and hope it happens anyway.

Of course, in this fandom, the teaser trailer itself must be teased, so by our math this means –

STUFF NEXT WEEK. PLEASE LET THERE BE STUFF NEXT WEEK. WE NEED SOMETHING!

What stuff? Well, since we learned our lesson last year about expecting too much too early we’re not even gonna go there with a wish list. We just hope that a teaser trailer release date is announced next week. Maybe a little gif/quick video tease/still. Oh shit, we started a wish list. Stopping now. Please at least just announce it next week. Yes, that will give us something to look forward to in the days ahead.

But of course, if Lionsgate would be so kind as to relaunch Hunger Games Explorer with some new content, that’d be even sweeter. (Ugh, MUST STOP THE WISH LIST).

In the meantime, we’ll be here, waiting for the cool stuff to go down.

Let’s get the positive vibes going.

JJ

Creating a Fun-Filled Panem, in Dubai?

There were lots of funny pranks pulled throughout the fandom last week in celebration of April Fools, however there was one legit piece of news that was real, but it ALMOST sounded like a joke.  The Hunger Games Theme Park Attraction – It’s happening. In Dubai.

dubaiWhen the news came out on March 31, we knew it wasn’t a joke, because Lionsgate executives have said on multiple occasions that they were exploring opportunities to add the Hunger Games as a theme park attraction. It will be a part of a larger Hollywood theme park, Motiongate Dubai. According to the press release, it will “feature state-of-the-art theme park attractions and a retail facility inspired by … The Hunger Games franchise.” Not much in the way of details beyond that were released, other than it would be located in Dubai and another Lionsgate movie property, Step Up, will also be a part of the attractions when it opens in October 2016.

We’ve been very wary of this theme park idea all along and nothing about the announcement has changed our perspective on it. The Hunger Games costume exhibitions and the upcoming touring Exhibition starting this summer in New York have focused on showing how the books have been turned into movies. They’re basically extensions of the behind the scenes goodies of a Blu-ray, and we like that. The word “theme park attraction” invites broader world-building that could be problematic if not handled with care. So what are they going to do? Will this be some amped up version of the Samsung-sponsored Comic Con event last year, complete with Capitol Gallery and a Capitolized Peeta’s Bakery? District 12 themed rides? An arena?????

Ok, we need to stop thinking of the possibilities cause this is just getting dark and we’re probably just thinking of the worst possible scenarios. After all, remember this passage from The Hunger Games when Katniss is about to enter the arena?

Arenas

They wouldn’t do that, right? No. No, they couldn’t. THEY WOULD NOT DO THAT. True, these books/movies are just stories, so if they created an arena attraction no one would have truly died there. But it would definitely be creepy and way too “Capitol” for us to fathom.

Even if they don’t make the “attraction” an arena, placed in the context of the super-wealth of Dubai, there’s a lot of ways for this to be way too Capitol for our tastes. But then again, us three American women of Victor’s Village are clearly not the intended visitors for this attraction. I spent a week in Dubai in 2011, and while it was a fascinating experience, I’m certainly not taking that long of a journey again simply to go to a theme park when there are plenty of other places still to visit in the big, beautiful world. The Hunger Games attractions will draw in people who live closer to the geographic area, people who were planning to visit Dubai anyway for the larger theme park experience, or people visiting to gawk at the fabulous buildings and ski slope inside a mall.

We just hope they keep the story’s themes top of mind when putting this all together, otherwise it’s going to be really awkward and gross.

We really don’t want this to get awkward and gross.

JJ

Those MTV Movie Award Shenanigans

It’s that time of the year again, when the people at MTV try to annoy the crap out of fandoms by having social voting for those magical internet ponies (you might just call them awards). You can vote for various ponies on their website. But every year they do some kind of social vote award too. Last year they made the “Best Hero” category something you voted for just on their website (and Katniss was left out of that in lieu of more traditional male action hero types). We remember being really annoyed about that. The fandom even started a petition about it, which was nice, but ultimately ineffective.

Like Gale, we're sitting this one out.

Like Gale, we’re sitting this one out.

But yes, last year their “social vote” category was “Best Character” and the two main contenders were beloved YA heroines. It wrecked havoc on our social feeds for over a week, and if you followed the voting on the day of the awards, the huge voting comeback for the character with the actress actually attending the awards was quite amazing. Pretty much unbelievable actually. MTV even overtly helped that along by keeping voting open long after their own communicated deadline. So in the end, all the time the fandom spent clogging every timeline was for naught. And we learned not to bother and spend our time doing more enjoyable things.

This year, here we go again. Although MTV has made the social vote category for “Best Hero” and actually including our dear Katniss Everdeen this time. Gee, thanks a lot for including her this time. How generous of you. Also included are the two other big YA book to movie characters, whose fandoms really love to vote for the internet ponies. And also Bilbo Baggins and Starlord, whose fandoms seem less inclined to care.

We get the purpose of these shows – they’re one big ad for movies and MTV. And MTV wants to award the actors and actresses who are willing to attend to promote movies and MTV. If you want to devote yourself to voting, go for it. We love Katniss too, so we can’t blame anyone for wanting to sing her praises everywhere. But please, don’t take the results too hard and realize that there are other agendas at play in all these games.

Jen Can't Eat The Award

Katniss won’t hold it against you – she doesn’t have any use for golden popcorn either.

JJ

Commence (The Final, Final?) Blond Josh Watch

The fandom had a quick, yet fun, freakout this weekend because of a picture from the In Dubious Battle set (where Josh is currently filming).

In dubious battle set

fake blond joshDon’t see it? Look beyond all the people in costume towards the person in the plaid shirt.

Is Josh Hutcherson blond again?!?! Epilogue time!!!

Well, no, more like blond Josh doppelganger, unfortunately. But thanks for freaking us out, guy we don’t know.

Now, it doesn’t make sense for Josh, who’s been seen in period attire and his natural brown hair on Friday to just suddenly pop up in the middle of set platinum blond. I mean, I suppose the set hairstylists could be trusted to do a first round of the Peeta blond before sending him off to film any of that final epilogue-y goodness. But I think we all know it’s too soon for that. Jen is also still in the middle of filming Joy as well.

So even if we’re crazy impatient, it is not quite time yet. We need to be a bit more into deep spring. That meadow needs more time to be in full growth.

You can’t blame the fandom for having a momentary freakout though. Josh is known to favor the “plaid + sunglasses” casual uniform. Observe the Google Image search results.

josh plaid

This was a good drill though. Get ready for the final blond Josh meltdown. Cause while it won’t be this week, it’s coming.

Unless it doesn’t and he just wears a wig or something ;(

JJ

May The Force Be Ever In Francis Lawrence’s Favor

Today we’re talking about a big, unconfirmed rumor that could be a load of bunk, BUT WE LOVE THIS RUMOR SO MUCH THAT WE DON’T CARE.

According to StarWarsTime.com (which appears to be a Star Wars fansite), Francis Lawrence “is being sought to write and direct” Star Wars Episode IX. The site doesn’t list the source, so as we say, it could be completely untrue, but it got our pulses racing at the possibilities.

Francis Lawrence on Mockingjay set

Why? Because we LOVE what Francis Lawrence did with Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 1. He respects source material, hires great people, and seems to have great working relationships with his cast and crew.  He knows how to world build yet doesn’t over-use CGI. It also doesn’t hurt that he deals with the demands of crazy fans well too. That’s a pretty important quality if you’re taking on Star Wars.

Even if he doesn’t end up taking on this job, we’re excited to see what Francis does next. Well, I guess that’s technically Mockingjay Part 2, SO WE’RE ACTUALLY REALLY INSANELY EXCITED ABOUT THAT. But we’ll be in line to see whatever comes after that too.

Go get, ’em F-Lawless

JJ

Mockingjay Part 2 Logo Win

After much fandom flailing, Lionsgate released that Mockingjay Part 2 teaser that’s running in front of Insurgent in theaters!

And no surprise, it’s a logo reveal.

However, this is a good logo reveal!

Yes, because we managed our expectations, we were able to enjoy this quite a bit! As far as logo reveals go, this is one of the better ones out there. It could have been silent besides some sound effects or a little hum of the score in the background, not offering much for the fans to enjoy. Sure, the visual is cool, but it was cool when we all saw it at the end of Mockingjay Part 1 too. We needed more and we got something.

The title, “Remember”, actually seems relevant now. It wasn’t just a reference to one quote, but rather a boatload of nostalgia stuffed into 44 seconds. As it cycles through popular quotes from the previous films, you’re able to think back on them pretty fondly but you’re also able to anticipate a new Mockingjay Part 2 quote that’s probably coming. AND IT DOES!

“Tonight, turn your weapons to the Capitol!”

It’s probably not the most exciting line from the whole movie, we admit. But it does fit in with the theme for these quotes, which seems to be the way the Panem audiences (and to a point, real audiences) are seeing this story play out. Also, it gets you a little riled up because Katniss is clearly riled up as she says it. We hoped for a more famous book quote, but it’ll do.

Annnnnnd we now know the next teaser is coming with Age of Adaline and The Avengers: Age of Ultron, so now is the time for the fandom to feel good!

Tonight, turn your fandom feels to the Internet!
The Girl With The Pearl

Guess the Mockingjay Part 2 Teaser Tag!

A Mockingjay Part 2 logo teaser is coming this week with Insurgent (and of course online) so we’ll get to see that final transformation at last. Or again, if you stayed through the end credits of Mockingjay Part 1 to see it. Some are hoping for more than just that. WHO KNOWS, but we’re doubtful that it’s anything more than the logo shifting.

But there is one new thing that may come of it – A TAGLINE. You know, MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR for The Hunger Games. EVERY REVOLUTION BEGINS WITH A SPARK for Catching Fire. FIRE BURNS BRIGHTER IN THE DARKNESS for Mockingjay Part 1.

thg posters.jpg

The common thread with all of these is BOOK QUOTES in some form or fashion, so it’s highly likely to continue here. But what could it be? Let’s play with some possibilities.

“There are much worse games to play.” Non-readers will find this chilling out of context. Readers will find it bittersweet understanding that it’s the last line of the book.

Violent. Distrustful. Manipulative. Deadly.” Katniss is not giving much of a sales pitch here, but oh so dark. We like dark.

A need for revenge can burn long and hot.” From the Tigris scene, it’s got the whole fire aspect going for it.

You’ve got to get through it to get to the end of it.” Greasy Sae (not gonna happen but HAHAHA)

What are your ideas?

If you’re right, you win all the glory of knowing you think like someone at Lionsgate. YAY YOU!

JJ

It’s STARTING. Mockingjay Part 2 Logo Teaser Time!

We were wondering when we would finally get a Mockingjay Part 2 logo teaser poster, and it looks like it’s SOON. As in next week. A short Mockingjay Part 2 logo teaser reveal is slated to run with Insurgent, which opens March 20. That teaser will likely be very similar to the logo animation that ran at the very end of Mockingjay Part 1 and no footage, but still, it means THE PROMOTION IS STARTING.

mj2 teaser poster

By next week, we may actually have a REAL Mockingjay Part 2 poster to share.

With the logo teaser debuting, it means that the first official poster for MJ2 will likely be revealed next week too. Maybe a tagline along with it. And we’re grateful, because while the fan versions are good, we just want the real thing at this point!

We’re taking the timing of this reveal as a good sign of things to come, in greater frequency. Last year, there was nothing Mockingjay Part 1 before Divergent, and promotion didn’t really start until May. With this logo debut now, a teaser trailer with actual footage in late April seems to be a smart thing to do timing-wise. WINK WINK LIONSGATE.

Keeping those fingers crossed.

JJ