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The trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching FIre that dropped during the MTV Movie Awards last night was far more thrilling than you'd ever expect from something promoted by the MTV Movie Awards. Instead of raving on about it for an entire paragraph, why don't we just watch it?
Fans may be a bit disappointed by the limited scope of the trailer, which only shows us everything that happens up until Katniss and Peeta re-enter the arena (it's also up for debate whether the film is considering that reveal a spoiler, though given how much they're likely to promote the character of Finnick, I doubt it). But in this exceedingly well-cut and surprisingly emotional tease, I think there were 5 strong clues about what we can expect from the entirety of Catching Fire. Let's dig in.
SPOILERS FOLLOW FOR CATCHING FIRE THE BOOK
1. We're getting even more of Snow behind the scenes. This was probably easy to predict given his expanded role in The Hunger Games, which diverged from the book by giving us a perspective other than Katniss's, and showing more of the orchestrations that make The Hunger Games not just a terrifying ordeal, but a televised spectacle. None of Snow's dialogue in this trailer comes from the book, but it all lines up with what we come to know about his goals-- and confirms much of Katniss's paranoia that he is out to kill her. Oh, he most definitely is.
2. We're getting way more of Plutarch Heavensbee. Plutarch's role in Catching Fire is truly pretty minimal, as he has a brief and puzzling encounter with Katniss at the Capitol ball and then re-appears at the end as the secret mastermind behind the rebellion and her escape from the arena. It was a really satisfying reveal in the book, but imagine how much more interesting it might be in the film, watching Plutarch plot next to President Snow for the entire film, only to reveal his true colors in the very end (this is something I assumed would be impossible after seeing The Hunger Games, and I'm happy to have been wrong). Of course, given that Philip Seymour Hoffman was cast in the part we probably should have expected an expanded presence-- but the focus put on him in this trailer, and how excellently he sounds cold and calculating, makes me even more excited for what we'll see from him. 3. They are really embracing the darkness. Despite their young-adult origins, the Hunger Games books get increasingly darker as the series goes on, and this teaser indicates that director Francis Lawrence is not shying away from the seriously grotesque stuff that happens in Catching FIre. The old man being executed for defying the Capitol in District 10, Gale's whipping at the hands of the Peacekeepers-- they're even upping the ante by having Katniss not just step in to save him, but having a gun shoved in her face. And that's only the terrifying stuff that happens before the arena. Brace yourselves for some intensity, everyone.
4. We're finally getting the Capitol spectacle we wanted. The Hunger Games was made on a relatively meager budget for a big blockbuster, which meant they couldn't execute some big action scenes (let's just forget the bad CGI on the wolf-mutts at the end) or the opulence of The Capitol. But with a bigger budget this time around, they're clearly putting it to good use in the scenes in the Capitol-- even those quick glimpses promised the insane costumes and opulent settings that Suzanne Collins has described in her books. I cannot wait to see the kind of ridiculousness that Effie Trinket wears this time.
5. Jennifer Lawrence is getting even more remarkable in this role. OK, fine, everyone knows by now that Jennifer Lawrence is amazing, especially since she's got an Oscar to prove it. But even this brief teaser showed so many signs of how Lawrence's performance is deepening this time around, able to handle Katniss's discomfort and sorrow at the District 11 victory ceremony, her defiance in the face of Haymitch, and her steely resolve when she stands up for Gale at the end. I was one of the many who wasn't sure Lawrence was right for the role when she was cast, but it's been a relief to see how great she's been-- and that she only seems to be getting better.