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In just 12 days, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will make its way into theaters, bringing Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and the dystopian world of Panem back into the lives of moviegoers.
The sequel sees Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) dealing with the repercussions from their unorthodox win of the deadly games, including the unrest they’ve ignited in Panem. Then, they’ll have to return to the games for the Quarter Quell, facing off against even more dangerous tributes.
As THR reported, the budget for Catching Fire — an adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘ second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy — was north of $130 million, a significant increase from the first film’s $78 million tally. That included an estimated $10 million to expand the visual effects for the sequel.
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Directed by Francis Lawrence, Catching Fire will expand the Panem universe that moviegoers were introduced to in the first film, along with bringing in several new colorful characters and an even more terrifying setting for the Games.
The Hollywood Reporter has collected five highlights from Collins’ novel to look forward to in the upcoming film:
1. The World of Panem
Panem, a dystopian North America, was introduced in the first film, which focused heavily on Katniss’ home of District 12. In Catching Fire, Katniss and Peeta are forced to go on a Victory Tour, which brings them to all of the other districts. Each of the districts in the book has a different industrial focus (ranging from electronics to fishing and transportation), and moviegoers will get to visit these as Katniss and Peeta make their tour.
2. The Games
The 75th Hunger Games is set in a bigger and deadlier-than-ever location. To create the overgrown jungle arena, Francis Lawrence shot much of the Games scenes in Hawaii. There is also a major water element to Quarter Quell’s games. In the novel, Katniss describes her first look at the Games landscape: “Slowly I raise my eyes and take in the water spreading out in every direction. I can only form one clear thought. This is no place for a girl on fire.”
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3. Finnick Odair and the New Tributes
The casting of District 4 victor Finnick Odair had been a hot topic of speculation in the media for months before Sam Claflin was finally chosen. Moviegoers should be especially excited to see many of the new victor tributes come to life onscreen. The famous scene in the book where Finnick offers Katniss a sugar cube will make it into the movie, as trailers have shown. Other colorful tributes who will make their debut include Enobaria, with her sharpened teeth, and Johanna Mason, who won her previous games by pretending to be weak and then killing viciously.
4. The Fashion
The colorful clothing of The Capitol was on full display in the first film, but there will be even more memorable outfits in the sequel. Elizabeth Banks, who plays the eccentric Effie, told THR that one of her favorite outfits is a stunning red number that looks like it was made out of dozens of fans. And moviegoers will get to see Katniss’ amazing white gown [from designer Tex Saverio in Jakarta] that transforms as she twirls.
5. The Monkeys
Of the many dangerous aspects of the Games as described in the book, one of the most deadly would be the terrifying monkeys that attack the tributes. Lawrence enlisted Guy Williams at WETA Digital, known for his work on Avatar, X-Men: First Class and The Avengers, to help bring these primates to life. Williams studied real monkeys before designing a super-species that is likely to terrify and thrill audiences.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22.
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