Jennifer Lawrence in Katniss Everdeen Couture for Hunger Games: Catching Fire | Vanity Fair
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Hunger Games
Stashed in: Jennifer Lawrence
The Hunger Games films may have begun as Suzanne Collins’s hugely popular trilogy of books aimed at young adults, but with a new director and a star who scored the best-actress statuette at this year’s Oscars, the second installment of this blockbuster franchise is all grown up.
“One of the big overarching themes for all the books is this idea of the consequences of war, and one of the unfortunate consequences of war is post-traumatic stress,” explains Francis Lawrence, who directed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, out this November. (His previous films include I Am Legend andWater for Elephants.) In the new movie, not only have young leads Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson aged nearly two years, but also their characters, Katniss and Peeta, have returned to their home district haunted by what they’ve seen and done. “That’s one of the first things you see in the movie,” the director adds. “They’re changed people because of having been in the Games.”
The Games is the annual event that unites the 12 districts of the fictional nation of Panem. Twenty-four teens are chosen to battle to the death using a variety of weapons in a gruesome display meant to cow the populace. Only, when it became their turn to kill or be killed in the earlier film, Katniss and Peeta broke the rules—and for the first time there were two victors. This act of defiance sparked a rebellion in the districts, and in Catching Fire, Peeta and Katniss must struggle with their roles as unwilling icons—not to mention taking another round in the arena against other previous champions.
Those new foes include Jena Malone, Amanda Plummer, Jeffrey Wright, Lynn Cohen, and a sensuous and tricky Sam Claflin. They expand an enviable ensemble that already featured Donald Sutherland as the nefarious president of Panem, Elizabeth Banks as Katniss and Peeta’s increasingly self-aware chaperone, and Liam Hemsworth as a young miner who competes with Peeta for the affections of our heroine. The director—no relation to his star—describes the group as “the sort of fantastic actors that you empathize with, that you feel a warmth for.” That is, until they start trying to kill one another.