SAN DIEGO — Now that you’ve had time to watch the new “Catching Fire” trailer again (and again…and again) without hyperventilating, it’s time to take a closer look at all of the brand-new footage revealed when it debuted at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday.
While the film’s first trailer focused on Hunger Games victor Katniss Everdeen’s new position as a beacon of hope for the citizens of Panem oppressed by the Capitol, the second one is much more explicit about the civil unrest in the country. The first movie was about Katniss fighting for her life in the Games, but this one highlights Katniss fighting for Panem and against the Capitol. “Remember who the real enemy is,” Katniss’ mentor, Haymitch, tells her toward the end of the footage.
Instead of simply alluding to the Quarter Quell — the special version of the Hunger Games that will bring back Katniss and Peeta to compete against victors from other districts — the new trailer shows President Snow explaining the twist. The Capitol is trying to quell a rebellion, but it’s clear now (even if you haven’t read the book) that this movie is about much more than another Hunger Games.
Here are a few more key scenes from the trailer that have us especially excited about the Nov. 22 release.
Meet Finnick Odair
The first footage of Katniss’ biggest ally in the Quarter Quell arena was probably the most anticipated reveal. Unfortunately, all we saw was Finnick’s sly smile before the tribute parade. Fortunately, he was shirtless. Now that we’ve seen Sam Claflin’s toned torso, will the fervor that he’s not beefy or hot enough die down? Dude is strikingly attractive and physically imposing. What more do you want? We also saw several more returning tributes, whom Haymitch reminds Katniss are “experienced killers” and not just scared teenagers. That Katniss has some stiff competition is especially evident in the montage of the tributes all training in their high-tech facility.
Effie Trinket Empathizes
For the most part, the other Capitol residents don’t notice or care about what’s going on in the country around them. They’re blissfully unaware of President Snow’s political machinations surrounding the Games — and his quest to quiet the rebellion brewing underneath their noses. District 12 liaison Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) has clearly grown fond of the young competitors she ushered through the process the year before, and her worried, emotional look to Katniss when she realizes her victor will have to face death once again is telling: the Capitol employees tasked with carrying out Snow’s wishes can’t ignore what’s going on, and soon the rest of the idyllic city will realize the threat to their cushy way of life.
Although book readers know how the love triangle turns out, the new trailer played up the romantic tension between, on the one hand, Katniss and her old friend Gale and, on the other, Katniss and her new, complicated relationship with Peeta. There’s the shot of Katniss and Gale sharing an emotional kiss that we saw before, but another scene shows Peeta confronting Katniss about how her mixed signals are crushing him. “I can’t go on acting for the cameras and just ignoring each other in real life,” he says. Hey, even if we know what happens, it’s fun to have a little romantic tension in the air, especially when the rest of the subject matter is so serious.
“Since the last Games something is different,” Prim tells her sister as they discuss the Obama-style hope Katniss has inspired in Panem. “I think these Games are going to be different,” says Haymitch later. Can you feel it? Change is in the air, and Katniss is the catalyst.
“They will kill us,” Katniss says of the creepy armored soldiers President Snow sends to the outer districts to keep an eye on the discord rising there. Before, we saw them holding back crowds during Katniss’ victory tour and whipping Gale for illegally hunting. Now, we see them raid the Hob, the District 12 black market where Katniss made her money (and fed her family), raising their weapons, and being generally menacing. It’s a scary time in Panem.