Production on “The Hunger Games” sequel “Catching Fire” began this week in Atlanta, and like most ravenous fans, we have plenty of hopes, dreams and fears regarding the Francis Lawrence-directed dystopian drama.
Woody Harrelson, who plays District 12 mentor Haymitch Abernathy, happily allayed many of our apprehensions, telling MTV News at the Toronto International Film Festival that the script is “strong” and that Lawrence is going to do “great.” Well, phew! Thanks, Woody. Now that our anxiety is squelched, we can focus on the positives, like, which scenes we’re most excited to see translated to the big screen.
As such, this week’s Hobnobbing is a collaboration among the members of the Movies team in which we divulge which “Catching Fire” moment we’re hungering for. Read on for our thoughts and leave your own in the comments! (SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T READ SUZANNE COLLINS’ NOVEL)
President Snow Knows About the Kiss
The scene I can’t wait to see: the one from early in the book in which Katniss finds herself face-to-face with the evil President Snow. He alerts her to the fact that her Hunger Games performance has sparked rebellion in the Districts … and then also lets fly with the news that he’s been spying on her and Gale during their sexual tension-filled reunion back in District 12. Not because it’s a particularly important moment — the revelation that the Prez is a creepy peeping Tom is more unintentionally hilarious than anything else — but I can’t be the only one dying to see if Donald Sutherland can deliver his line (“I know about the kiss!”) with a straight face. —Kat Rosenfield, writer
Victory Tour Stop in District 11
There are so many awesome scenes in this book! I had a really tough time selecting just one to write about. However, I settled on the scene that still makes eyes well up to this day: Katniss and Peeta’s Victory Tour stop in District 11. Try to tell me you weren’t moved to tears when the entire district saluted Katniss with the District 12 gesture, and I will not believe you. I still get teary-eyed just thinking about it. And yes, there was a hint to the scene in “The Hunger Games,” but I’m hoping that Francis Lawrence includes the full-scale version in “Catching Fire.” After all, it does start to set the tone for rumblings of rebellion… —Kara Warner, senior writer
Haymitch’s Hunger Games
Haymitch Abernathy is a mean, take-no-guff-from-you-young-whippersnappers-even-if-you’re-about-to-die drunk. He’s also, under Woody Harrelson’s scene-stealing control, totally loveable and the best part of “The Hunger Games.” In that film, we hear all about Haymitch’s former exploits as a 16-year-old champ of the kill-or-be-killed tourney. But it’s hard to square that badass warrior with the blotto bozo attempting to mentor his District 12 charges. “Catching Fire” fills in the blanks, and I can’t wait. As Katniss and Peeta train for the 75th Games, they watch footage of Haymitch’s tactical wizardry on his way to victory. It’s a short scene, yet one on which the man’s entire character arc depends. Plus I wonder who will play young Haymitch. Is Aaron Paul too old? Probably. What about Jamie Campbell Bower? Or — oh, please — Woody going in for a “Benjamin Button”-style makeover. —Eric Ditzian, Movies managing editor
I’m a Finnick fan. Sure, he looks good armed with nothing more than a trident and a bathing suit, but there’s more than meets the eye to that one beyond appearances. You really get your first glimpse at what makes Finnick tick, the kind of person he is and the types of values he holds, when Mags sacrifices her life not just so would-be rebellion figureheads Katniss and Peeta can survive the Quarter Quell, but so her dear friend Finnick can live, too. It’s not just a wonderfully poetic death for an old soul; it’s a moment of profound sadness for a guy who, up until that point, was little more than a walking, talking pair of pecs. I’m very curious to see how Sam Claflin and Lynn Cohen bring that scene to life. It won’t be easy, but it’ll (hopefully) be great. —Josh Wigler, Splash Page editor
The Ticking Arena
It probably isn’t a spoiler anymore, but Katniss heads back to the Hunger Games in “Catching Fire.” Except this time, since the Games are for the Quarter Quell, the stakes are even higher. The arena that Plutarch Heavensbee (played by the fantastic Philip Seymour Hoffman) creates puts Seneca Crane’s to shame, and the drama is only heightened when — surprise! — we find out the arena is actually a giant clock. The setting is much more fantastical than the one in “The Hunger Games,” so I can’t wait to see how director Francis Lawrence brings it to life. —Terri Schwartz, writer
A Chink in the Armor
Much like Terri, I’m keen to see the vicious Quarter Quell in all its gory glory. But the moment I’m anticipating most is the arena’s destruction at the hands of Katniss and a single, well-placed arrow. Early in the Games, our heroine realizes that the jungle is surrounded by an electrified force field — with one small imperfection in its surface leaving it vulnerable. Katniss files the flaw away in her mind, but uses it to her advantage in a particularly dire moment of the Games. Recalling Haymitch’s words, “Remember who the real enemy is,” Katniss points her arrow not at a fellow tribute but at the “chink in the armor,” taking down the arena in a manner that only the Girl on Fire could. —Amy Wilkinson, Hollywood Crush editor
Which scene are you most excited to see? Sound off in the comments below and tweet me @amymwilk with your thoughts and suggestions for future columns!
Earlier “Hunger Games” columns
» Fall Movie Preview: ‘Hunger Games’ Edition
» ‘Hunger Games’ DVD Viewing Party: Foxface Has Tips!
» ‘Catching Fire’: Finnick Is Just One Casting Mystery
» ‘Catching Fire’ Casting: Who Is Mags?
» ‘Catching Fire’ Casting Rumors: What About Sam Claflin?