SAN DIEGO — Which was the more entertaining revelation to come from the “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” panel at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend: the very blunt story Jennifer Lawrence told involving a slobbery kiss with Josh Hucherson during filming, or the footage of a bare-chested Sam Claflin as fan favorite character Finnick Odair in the brand-new trailer?
Both got plenty of traction at the movie’s SDCC debut. But in addition to confirmations that the Oscar hasn’t changed our beloved, candid J Law one bit and that Claflin looks mighty fine sans shirt, plenty more news about the second movie in the “Hunger Games” series came out of San Diego. Here are the essential takeaways.
You’ve probably already watched it one or six times, but the brand-new trailer showed us Finnick and the other veteran tributes, a split-second view of the arena, the Victor’s Village, the Capitol, and plenty of Panem’s civil unrest.
Finnick, you guys. Finnick! Be honest: How long did you pause the trailer to check out Sam Claflin (and his torso)? Though Claflin didn’t make it to San Diego, his castmates and director did called him a “sex god.” Also impressive: the well-spoken Jeffrey Wright, who seemed as intelligent as his character, Beetee, during the panel. And although Jena Malone didn’t get to talk much onstage, she was very enthusiastic about her role in the series when speaking with MTV News’ Josh Horowitz beforehand.
The stereotype that Con attendees are all smelly, basement-dwelling fanboys still persists, but an informal visual survey of the convention center will show you a much more equal gender balance. During the “Catching Fire” panel, though, the audience representatives in the fan question line were overwhelmingly female. (That Jennifer Lawrence is the ultimate smart, funny role model might have something to do with it.) If organizers want to help girls feel less marginalized in the genre world, they’d do well to bring “The Hunger Games” back for round two next year.
Josh Hutcherson has eaten Jennifer Lawrence’s snot.
That is all.
Cover your eyes for a minute if you haven’t read the books and want to remain unspoiled: Josh Hutcherson wasn’t worried about the form-fitting suits he and his fellow tributes wear in the Quarter Quell arena so much as the fact that he’d have to film his first-ever death scene, followed by his first-ever resurrection scene. “That was scary, but we made it happen,” he told MTV News.
It’s never too early to talk about a sequel, especially since director Francis Lawrence is already deep into the planning stages for the “Mockingjay” movies. Here’s what he said about the final two movies: “The stories are great; the source material is great; there’s room for some more casting opportunities, which is fantastic so I’m excited about that.” You hear that? It sounds like it’s time to dust off those dream cast lists…