Back in August at the MTV Video Music Awards, Katniss Everdeen was all by herself , a reluctant warrior ducking fireballs with bow and arrow in hand. As of Monday morning (November 14), Katniss is no longer alone. The world of “The Hunger Games” has exploded with the debut on “Good Morning America” of the first full trailer from the upcoming adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling YA series.
The arc of the new footage comprises essentially the first 11 chapters of the book, from Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) time spent hunting in District 12 with Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) to her decision to replace her younger sister as a Hunger Games tribute to Katniss’ training in the Capitol and finally the very beginning of the gladiatorial competition. Taken together, the trailer presents just less than half of the overall story.
And what a half it is. We get our first trailer looks at characters like escort Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) in wacky magenta makeup, games maker Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) and his rather creative facial hair, mentor Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) with his long blond locks, President Snow (Donald Sutherland), and stylist Cinna, looking, well, a lot like the guy playing him, Lenny Kravitz.
The action begins in the rolling woods of District 12, one of the improvised sections of Panem, the nation that rose out of the ashes of North America. As Katniss and Gale discuss a fantasy of escaping their lives under the brutal reign of the Capitol, you might be thinking the story takes place in the past. But then, in flies one of the Capitol’s airships. Trouble has arrived. It’s time for the Reaping, that annual lottery designed to select two young people from each district for a last-person-standing death match to be broadcast across Panem.
The Reaping has a chilling visual motif to it, all washed-out colors and grim-faced potential Tributes. Yet in this lifeless square comes a shot of lightning: Katniss won’t let her sister be sucked into the Hunger Games. She volunteers to take her place, and thus begins a new life for her and fellow Tribute Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). They’re whisked away, at which point we catch our first glimpse of the shining Capitol, the Rocky Mountains looming mightily in the background. We see Katniss’ makeover, her training and then the very beginning of the Games, as the Tributes race toward the Cornucopia for supplies.
What happens from there? Well, it’s not too long before Katniss is all by herself, a reluctant warrior ducking fireballs with bow and arrow in hand.