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
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
OMG MOCKINGJAY PHOTO!
Okay, it’s not official, but it’s still pretty freaking stellar.
Laura Simpson, aka Jennifer Lawrence’s BFFL who went to the Oscars to support Jen and spent a decent chunk of it at the bar with Jen’s dad (for which we already love her), posted up a photo of herself and Josh Hutcherson on the Mockingjay set.
PEETA! He’s back! …And he got the shizz beat outta him!
Observe the black eye, the burned and bruised chest, and the locket! Oh, the locket! Of course, this is not DURING actual filming because Josh is in a gym sweatshirt, but a scene was either being prepped or just finished.
What does it meeeeean?!
Most likely, we’re talking District 13 scenes, post-hijacking. Josh is wearing THE LOCKET. You know the one! The Capitol wouldn’t be letting Peeta hold onto that. He’s got himself a partially-healed shiner too. Unless Peeta gets roughed up by Katniss or Gale or maybe even Boggs in a newly added scene (though we doubt it, because that’s just asking for THE ATTACK OF THE FANGIRLSSSS), he’s still sporting that injury from the Capitol. He’s also got extensive scarring on his chest from Capitol torture, right? This could be batshit crazy hijacked Peeta!
… At least, that’s the popular theory. BUT WE HAVE ANOTHER!
Remember when Nina Jacobson told us Buttercup was back on set? JJ thought it was time for “She’s dead, you stupid cat!” and thus the ending scenes to be filmed. We think she’s totally right! Peeta just proves it.
The shattered remnants of Star Squad 451 reach the Capitol Square. They’ve been put through hell and are likely bruised and bloodied. When the bomb detonates, both Katniss and Peeta are burned extensively. Assuming we skip over or even speed up the imprisonment and trial of Katniss Everdeen and ship her back to District 12, she’d be there in a few weeks, shortly followed by Peeta. Remember when he gets back?
“He looks well. Thin and covered with burn scars like me, but his eyes have lost that clouded, tortured look.”
Peeta, with treacherous burn scars across his body. Peeta, possibly still sporting a black eye from the battle in the Capitol. Peeta, wearing the locket that ties him to Katniss, still caring about her no matter what they’ve both done during the war. Peeta, planting evening primroses.
Aaaaaand of course, we could be totally wrong. This could be anywhere, at any time. But a fangirl can dream!
We’re Just Assuming Peeta Is Not In Total Distress Because His Hair Is Still PERFECT,
The Girl With The Pearl
This is my third post about something Nina Jacobson has tweeted, which makes me feel guilty. As if I’m not branching out enough with my sources. Except, she’s pretty much the ONLY source of any Mockingjay movie news in the past few months. So I’ll give myself a pass here. We’ve got to take any small scrap of info and cherish it.
Back to the tweet in question – it was about the cat again. She tweeted about Buttercup earlier this year and said they were filming the Crazy Cat scene. Today we get another pic of the furball looking like he feels absolutely no pressure from being a part of a multi-billion dollar movie franchise.
Resting between takes pic.twitter.com/Ez26gOyR1D
— nina jacobson (@ninajacobson) March 21, 2014
Now that it’s late March, and filming in Atlanta has only a month left to go, I’m going to assume that they are filming is end of Mockingjay District 12 scenes.
END OF MOCKINGJAY DISTRICT 12 SCENES.
You know, after Peeta plants the primroses which spurs Katniss out of her semi-catatonic state and she goes hunting and she comes back home exhausted and Buttercup is somehow there? And then she yells at him that Prim is gone and has a breakdown. And then I had to stop reading so I wouldn’t have a breakdown.
Returning to the book, Katniss and Buttercup kind of become pals because they both loved Prim. Oh, my heart. [Note: I just spent the last minute with my head in my hands trying to collect myself after typing those few sentences.]
Suzanne Collins wraps up Mockingjay in a quick, efficient way. But it’s some of my favorite writing of the whole series. For some fans, it’s way too efficient (more details please!) but it’s kept fan fiction writers busy for years, so that’s a plus.
I feel nervous knowing these scenes are filming now. Catching Fire has given me enormous faith in the entire production, but I still have trust issues, ok? The end of Mockingjay District 12 scenes are everything to me. And I bet they are to you too.
Buttercup, don’t mess this up ;)
OMG GUYS! STUFF TO SPECULATE ABOUT! WE’RE TOTES GONNA DO THAT NOW!
*cough* Sorry. We get really excited about the little things during slow news periods. But you probably want to know what we’re talking about soooo moving on…
We all know that Catrett Locke Casting is responsible for all Hunger Games extras casting. It’s supposed to be semi-secret, but at this point everyone’s figured out who to email for their shot at roughly two seconds of on-screen immortalization (which my friend Max managed AGAIN in Catching Fire and I am super jealous, but that is another post). Even CLC’s calls are essentially like “Yeah, we’re fucking awesome because we’re working on Mockingjay! Try your luck, suckaaaaahs!”
Just recently, they put up a new call for a few things. The first is obviously Peacekeepers, as the advertise for tall, very muscular who like to “keep the peace.” See last sentence of previous paragraph.
The next is a little more confusing. They’re looking for a blonde haired, blue eyed woman. Which is to say a bleached haired, blue eyed woman, because no adult blonde is really THAT blonde. Will you take a dirty blonde haired, gray/green eyed short chick, CLC? If so, I’M YOUR GIRL. But what is this for, again? Why do we need a random blonde woman? Why are her blondness and blueness important? We cannot compute! The production is probably in need of District 13 extras and some fleeing Capitol citizens, but that wouldn’t require a specific look. Chances are you’re looking for someone with striking features, but do they really have to be those features? Will we even know why said look was chosen when the movie comes out? So many questions!
Then there’s our “council members” call. They’re either Capitol or District 13 council, though we’re guessing District 13 since the call specifically states that anyone applying should be pale. They ask that everyone be Caucasian as well, which we don’t love. But it makes us wonder if the film is trying to give this council a creepy Aryan sort of feel.
The last call also asks for “character faces”, which kills us every time. They try to make it sound like a compliment. Let’s just be honest! Say the company wants people who look a little offbeat, so they’ll stick out in a crowd. It’s like when we used to watch America’s Next Top Model way back in the day and Tyra Banks told contestants “You have such an interesting face! Such big eyes and such awkward angles!” Uhhhh… what?
We knew there would be some additions with Mockingjay being split in two, so at least this is gives us a better idea. Now create an extra role we would be good for, dammit!
CLC Probably Has Us On A Special Super Secret Blacklist,
The Girl With The Pearl
It’s been another week of no Mockingjay news. My patience is really wearing thin and I want to delay becoming too whiny about it. So in the interest of improving my mood, and the composure of all my fellow suffering Hunger Games fans, here are some suggestions for how to kill time during this news drought.
1) Watch Catching Fire… with a laser focus. Watch it one time just focusing on Jennifer’s performance. And then praise the heavens that we got her as Katniss. Then do it again for other actor. Watch once just focusing on costume design, or on the score, or the editing. You’ll get an added appreciation for the movie. And at 2.5 hours a pop, that’s a nice chunk of time.
2) Watch Catching Fire… with a drink. So many drinking game options. Drink every time someone says Peeta. Drink every time the Mockingjay symbol appears or the word is said. Just maybe keep them to small sips (and be of legal age of course).
3) Re-read Mockingjay. We’re probably due for another read through. I appreciate Mockingjay more with every reading. And you can be the hero of knowing all the places Cressida is mentioned in the book. Every minute detail of District 13. Think of new theories of how they are adapting it to the screen. Where are they cutting the two movies? You have the luxury of time to consider all these things with another reading of the book.
4) Watch things that the Mockingjay team have worked on. Have you seen Game Change yet? It’s a political drama based on the 2008 US election written by MJ screenplay writer Danny Strong and stars Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson. Freaky. Or you could watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer (tv show), Gilmore Girls, or Mad Men and see Danny Strong acting. More freaky, and three of my favorite tv shows of all time.
5) Read some fan fiction. There’s a lot of Hunger Games fan fiction out there. And yeah, it’s not all primo stuff, but there are some talented writers in the fandom. Canon, AU, whatever you want, it’s probably there for the reading.
6) Write some fan fiction. Even with the huge amount of HG fic, can you believe that there doesn’t seem to be anything set in the Scandal Universe? Which is a shame because, come on! You could set it up as Katniss=Olivia, Gale= Fitz, Peeta=Jake, Haymitch=Cyrus, Coin=Sally, Snow= Olivia’s dad. There is so much potential for trippy fun here. (I should explain that I consider Olivia/Jake endgame. I know, how scandalous, but I want it because Scott Foley is everything).
7) Read through the archives of Victor’s Village. There’s loads of stuff here. Years of stuff to reminisce about. Or at least enough to give you a chuckle or two while we CONTINUE. TO. WAIT.
8) Umm. Help me out. If you have other ideas please bring ‘em on.
Sure, you could also spend the time enjoying other interests, but nah, that’s stupid.
Are you starving? ‘Cause I’m starving! Yes, for legit Mockingjay: Part 1 news! Sorry if you thought I meant I was starving for food, and yes I know making jokes about starving for food isn’t in the best taste, but come on! We’ve never toted our selves at the most PC of blogs, have we? The answer to that question would be a succinct, and a definite “nope!” So where was I? Oh yes… WHERE’S THE BLOODY MOCKINGJAY: PART 1 news we’re bloody well starving for?! Um, no where to be seen or heard from that’s where.
Let’s put things into a bit of perspective, shall we? Some of the most secretive, and anticipated films of the decade have been releasing information on their productions almost every other week for the last several weeks. I’m talking about Star Wars: Episode VII, which you have to agree is one of the most talked upped sequels in history. Well, casting news for that one is happening all the time. And then there’s Captain America’s third installment, we now know that it’ll be released the same day as the Batman/ Superman film that every other person and their dad is up in arms about the casting of Ben Affleck in (I don’t care, I like Ben). But the
Mockingjay films that have been in production for months, we’ve got zilch legit news, unless you count Danny Strong saying in an interview that he’s under a gag order not to speak about his working on the screenplays, or the cellphone footage of Liam Hemsworth participating in filming a super secret black ops looking Peeta rescue scene in a hotel atrium in Atlanta? Yep, that’s about all we’ve got! Not satisfying, huh? Uh uh.
There’s nothing to do but bide our time, and theories abound that we won’t have to wait too long for something substantial to reach us poor, unfortunate fans. MTV awards shows as we know by now is the place where all the teaser trailers for The Hunger Games franchise have had their debuts. And one is coming up pretty fast. Yep, the one where Katniss Everdeen has been snubbed in the hero category, because we’ve all stuck in a world where those with lady parts are not considered hero worthy for silly cable television awards shows. Anywho, the awards ceremony is on the 13th of April, meaning we’ve got a little under a month to go. So I say sit tight fellow fans! We’ll get our teaser trailer, and then have fun over analyzing that for about six weeks, and we’ll be sated for a time!
Them There Eyes
Who wants to visit the Mockingjay set? Sorry, that was a dumb question. Of course you want to visit the Mockingjay set, unless you are one of those severely spoiler-phobic people who doesn’t want to know any details about the film until you actually see it (in which case, you’ll probably want to stay away from 75% of the posts on this site, cause obsessing over every detail is kind of what we do.)
But rejoice, because now for the low-low price of a $10 charitable donation you can enter to win a trip to the Mockingjay set and tour with producer Jon Kilik. There are several donation levels that get you varying entries in the contest and before you complain to me that you don’t have any money, there is a free entry option if you read the fine print. And it’s an even sweeter prize when you consider air travel and hotel are included from virtually anywhere in the world – there are some exclusions, so again, read the fine print.
According to the prize administrator’s website,
Jon will personally show you around, introduce you to some of the cast members who are working that day, watch behind the scenes and have lunch with you on set.
You know those DVD features we all went nuts for? It’s a chance to get some of that IN PERSON. *Commence heavy breathing* Ok, I need to calm down.
Entries are weighted based on the amount of charitable contribution in a kind of reverse-tesserae scenario. So it’s true, if you don’t donate much, the odds aren’t in your favor. But hey, Prim only had her name in once. It can happen. And if you don’t win the trip, well, you just made a charitable donation. You’re a winner in the Generosity Olympics. You can feel good about that.
If you’ve got more cash to throw around, you can enter an auction to win a non-speaking extra role in Mockingjay though at a current bid of $8,500, that’s quite a financial commitment for most of us. Though even if I were super-rich I don’t think I would do this one because I would be afraid that my mere presence in the movie would screw it up somehow. I don’t need that kind of guilt hanging over me.
Beyond how awesome it would be to actually win this set visit or be in the actual movie, the contest reveals some clues about production. The Charitybuzz site with the walk-on role auction says that shooting will continue in Atlanta until April 18, so presumably filming will shift to Europe after that. Travel dates for the set visit with Jon Kilik are either April 14, 15, or 16. You know that MTV Movie Awards shindig that’s happening on April 13? Well, these dates still leave it open that some of the cast may be attending if you consider that April 14 is a travel day, not a set visit day.
So if you’re inclined, go ahead and enter/bid. And may the odds…. you know the rest.