2013 kicked off with our look back at 2012, the most filled Hunger Games year yet… little did we know what lay in store for us in 2013!
Everyone’s favourite Josh sat down (with Peeta haircut) to chat to everyone’s favourite interviewing Josh. We were barely even done with the holiday season when Entertainment Weekly set the fandom ablaze with their Katniss and Finnick cover; and by releasing a Catching Fire still, and even more stills and a behind the scenes still. The 2013 awards season was in full swing, or Jennifer-Lawrence-won-everything-except-a-BAFTA season, as it is now known. The Hunger Games won six People’s Choice Awards and Jen, Josh and Liam were there to pick them up. Jen also won as Katniss and as Tiffany (in Silver Linings Playbook) at the Critics’ Choice Awards, Philip Seymour Hoffman won for The Master too. Jennifer and Philip also scored nominations for the BAFTAs and the Oscars. Jennifer Lawrence’s great start to the New Year continued by picking up a Golden Globe and a SAG award for Best Actress. Francis Lawrence wasn’t keeping quiet about Catching Fire and fans were commenting like crazy when he spoke with Nina Jacobson about characters that were cut out, about the traumatic psyche of the characters, replacing Gary Ross, and the rotating cornucopia. Catching Fire filming was scheduled to continue in to March, rumours that scenes were being shot in New Jersey were confirmed when Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth were there and Google Maps showed our first glimpse of the Quarter Quell cornucopia from the set in Atlanta. The first official The Hunger Games: Catching Fire poster was revealed by Lionsgate. For the new year, Mockingjay.net got a fancy new re-design and we continued our By-the-Book series. Jennifer Lawrence stole the show hosting Saturday Night Live. Fans also proved that their need to incessantly click a button in the name of The Hunger Games could make great things happen when Catching Fire reached the final and won MTV’s Movie Brawl 2013.
Reports came through that the Catching Fire production was headed back to Hawaii for a few more days. Jennifer Lawrence’s award sweep continued at SBFF and the Independent Spirit Awards though Mockingjay.net knew these all led to her biggest award that was yet to come. The Hunger Games wasn’t left in the cold as ‘Safe and Sound’ picked up a Grammy. Mainstay Productions treated us to a short film about Katniss and her father hunting in the woods. A NECA Catching Fire mockingjay pin was spotted at the International Toy Fair. The script for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 was finished and the Part 2 screenplay was on the way. We were all stunned by the imposing Capitol Victory Tour Posters featuring Katniss and Peeta. Two days later, Jennifer Lawrence won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Our Katniss was no longer an Oscar nominee but now an Oscar winner. Those who worried that Jen would now turn in to a vacuous, faux-humble, Hollywood luvvie like all the rest, were immediatley relieved when watching her press room comments and meeting Jack Nicholson. She hadn’t changed! Tim Palen and his marketing team weren’t done with us yet: Capitol Couture reopened with… a chair? Vice Chairman, Michael Burns called Jennifer Lawrence ‘The Goddess of Lionsgate‘ as the studio’s stock hit a record high after her Oscar win. But she had little time to celebrate as she went back to brunette and Josh was back to blond. It was time to return to Panem.
Luckily this was a much, much, much quieter month than March 2012. The intriguing picture of an empty chair was finally filled as Capitol Couture started releasing Capitol Portraits of our favourite characters including Effie, Caesar, Haymitch, Cinna, Katniss, Beetee (our own exclusive), Johanna, Peeta, Gale, Finnick and Snow. We were all freaking out at these again and again. Trish Summerville spoke of the creation of Katniss’ wedding dress after the release of the portrait. Another peacekeeper picture from the set appeared online. We continued our Movie Night series with the biggest audience we ever had as you joined us in watching The Hunger Games together on the anniversary of its cinematic release. The awards weren’t done with The Hunger Games yet as the film picked up two Kids’ Choice Awards and an Empire Award for Jennifer’s portrayal of Katniss. Speaking of the Empire Awards, Sam Claflin was in attendance and we all became excited as he let slip that he had seen a trailer… maybe. The whiff of a Catching Fire teaser trailer was in the air. And we couldn’t wait.
A casting call went out for Madge Cresta. Kidding! After Sam’s accidental trailer talk it was confirmed that the Official Teaser Trailer for Catching Fire would be shown at the MTV Movie Awards and the countdown began. We thanked our lucky stars that X-Men: Days Of Future Past filming was postponed as more reports came through that re-shoots for Catching Fire were still being planned, even as a production start date was settled on for Mockingjay. Rumours persisted that the budget for Catching Fire was twice as much as The Hunger Games. Mockingjay.net made a new addition to the team and welcomed Tiffany to the roster. MTV released a brand new gif and The Hunger Games Explorer was launched. It was soon apparent that The Hunger Games Explorer was our new best friend as it revealed new Catching Fire stills again, and again, and again and again. Oh and one more time! Just before the trailer was released, you all let your sinister side loose with our #CapitolProblems contest, which had all of us in the Mockingjay.net staff room laughing our heads off. An intriguing rumour appeared that Catching Fire was headed to the Cannes Film Festival next month. And then… it was almost time! We couldn’t wait! The first footage from Catching Fire was revealed as the Teaser Trailer (that was no teaser, that was a freaking FULL massive trailer!) hit the web! And we were all freaking the hell out! Even MTV interviewed Mockingjay.net to see what we thought. It was only out a day and we discovered the music from the trailer and everyone got excited that it would be played theatrically before Iron Man 3. Finally, Mockingjay.net fixed its server problems, Jennifer Lawrence was on the cover of TIME Magazine on their most influential issue and the actress also created an Official Facebook page. After more and more reshoot reports, Francis Lawrence confirmed that Catching Fire had now wrapped and he was busy editing the film. April finished with some Catching Fire costume concept art for many different characters.
People weren’t sick of the teaser trailer yet as many of you laughed and loved the Literal Trailer. We launched a scavenger hunt to celebrate Katniss’ birthday and we were inundated with email entries. Catching Fire released an Official instagram and before long were treating us to pictures of the novel and highlighted clues which led to the reveal of a brand new Catching Fire poster of Katniss in an iconic District pose. We had a brain fart and posted a Francis Lawrence interview that we forgot we already posted in January. But our readers were commenting like crazy, so we had no other choice than to leave it up and let the discussion continue! The rumours were true, Catching Fire was at Cannes. We had photocall images, red carpet photos, photos and B-roll footage of the Catching Fire Party from the Croisette, interviews with Francis, Jennifer and Sam; and Francis told the press he was a big fan of Suzanne Collins. The Official synopsis for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 was released and the month ended with Trinkets: a new still of Effie and Peeta and a new issue of Capitol Couture featuring the escort. Catching Fire was soon to be released in paperback and Mockingjay.net and Down With The Capitol explained how you could be a part of the official Scholastic trailer.
News was book-related at the beginning of the quietest month of the year; Suzanne Collins said she planned to write another young adult series, Scholastic released a video of Ms Collins talking about her love of reading and a new trailer was released with fans to promote the Catching Fire paperback release. There were casting calls and crew calls for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. But before we got to the final movie the second one was confirmed to be in attendance at next month’s San Diego Comic Con and a new trailer would be debuted in Hall H. Before the month was out, reports flooded Hollywood that Julianne Moore was currently in negotiations to play District 13′s President Coin.
July was all about one event: San Diego Comic Con and Mockingjay.net was there. Before that though, there was a hint of a new still which was eventually seen in a larger version. A new mockingjay pin for Catching Fire was hopefully winging its way to Comic Con and finally the lineup for the convention’s Hall H panel was announced. Just when we were gearing up to head to San Diego, out of nowhere new Quarter Quell posters appeared of Johanna, Cashmere and Gloss, Finnick and Mags, Beetee and Wiress, Brutus and Enobaria, and Katniss and Peeta. The hi-res versions weren’t far behind. Capitol Couture released a gif of Caesar Flickerman in all his toothy glory. It was time to countdown to another trailer as Mockingjay.net enjoyed the first couple of days at Comic Con (Day 1, Day 2). The new trailer was finally here and Francis Lawrence, Willow Shields, Lenny Kravitz, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence sat down for their Hall H panel. Needless to say, Day 3 was a very good day at Comic Con. And we also had a myriad of new interviews with the cast from the convention (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) but our highlight was when Jennifer Lawrence freaked out at meeting Jeff Bridges. Fangirling and nerding the heck out is a must in San Diego this time of year. Before it was time to leave it behind, three of us (Tiffany, Erin, Tash) summed up our Comic Con thoughts. A new still of Finnick with a sugar cube was released and it was time to submit questions for a Catching Fire Moviefone Unscripted. The movie release was moving ever closer.
Francis Lawrence estimated that about an hour of screentime would be spent in the 75th Arena and Liam Hemsworth confirmed that Mockingjay would begin filming next month. A new Katniss still hit the web and three major adaptation changes were revealed. Announcement after announcement came: Coldplay were to be featured on the Catching Fire soundtrack and the movie would have its World Premiere in London. Announcements for a Paris and Berlin premiere soon followed. Johanna was the focus of a new Capitol Couture article and we wondered if things were turning a bit too Capitol. The posters weren’t finished yet as the Victor’s Banner showed Katniss and Peeta with the promise of a new tribute added to the landscape every day! Soon we had Johanna, Mags, Gloss, Wiress, Cashmere, Brutus, Enobaria, Beetee and Finnick (with a trident!). The first Mockingjay casting news was hitting Hollywood, Natalie Dormer had jumped on board as Cressida. It was hinted that more casting news was on the way as Stef Dawson was cast as Annie and Evan Ross became Messala. New stills from the calendar appeared and August ended with the MPAA giving The Hunger Games: Catching Fire a PG-13 rating.
With the release of Catching Fire just two months away, news really started to heat up. Stef Dawson shared a picture of herself once she realized she had the role of Annie Cresta. Then E! News-gate struck the fandom. We were promised brand new footage and we got zilch! Devastation. Thankfully all you wonderful people took to whatever social network you had to complain and you actually got E! News to apologize to fans. There were new character portraits and news from Georgia that Mockingjay pre-production was underway and that they were prepping to film in Griffin. The Hunger Games Explorer gave us a treat and started the #TickTock countdown which promised news each week leading up to the release. Coldplay released ‘Atlas’, their soundtrack song. Rumours surfaced that another Coldplay song would play during the film and that Ellie Goulding might appear on the soundtrack. Christina Aguilera was officially confirmed to perform a song called ‘We Remain.’ A host of new character images showed almost every main character, we asked which was your favourite and told you our own thoughts. Year Of The Jungle the brand new book by Suzanne Collins hit bookstores and kindles and the author talked about her childhood. It was #TickTock11 and Mockingjay.net had two tickets to give away to the LA Premiere. Catching Fire had an alleged running time of 137 minutes. A flurry of Mockingjay castings started, beginning with the biggest: the rumours were true and Julianne Moore had been cast as President Coin. Also announced to join The Hunger Games‘ incredible cast list was Lily Rabe as Lyme, Patina Miller as Paylor, Mahershala Ali as Boggs, Elden Henson as Pollux, Wes Chatham as Castor, Omid Abtahi as Homes and Kim and Misty Ormiston as Leeg 1 and Leeg 2. Catching Fire was predicted to make $1 billion, new stills popped up again and again, #TickTock10 announced further premieres in Madrid and Rome and Francis panicked some with his promise of more love story. Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence headed to Atlanta to begin Mockingjay filming, soon pictures appeared including Julianne Moore with grey hair. #TickTock9 brought us the entire tracklisting for the companion soundtrack, a preview of Aguilera’s song and of ‘Gale Song’ by The Lumineers. But an illness had started to spread over select parts of the fandom, an illness that caused hyperbole, lack of sources, all caps and rampant irrationality – yes, “Peeta Paranoia” had infected a vocal few. So Mockingjay.net jumped to assuage these fears and showed that marketing being Gale-centric was nothing but a baseless accusation by presenting a flippant and funny infographic. And all of you took it in the hilarious and calming spirit in which it was meant… oh… Well, a lot of you understood its purpose, anyway! Our long dormant Jabberjays podcast was awaken with a rebirth and we also added Jared and Hannah to our team. September ended with a fiery final poster of Katniss taking aim.
Entertainment Weekly released a Catching Fire special issue with four different covers, new stills including Mags and Finnick and 10 pages of Hunger Games goodness. As we got a featurette on the IMAX scenes in the arena, news from the Mockingjay set flooded in. Photos of Jennifer and Liam as Katniss and Gale; photos of dilapidated buildings in Thomaston, Georgia; Liam was spotted again and then smoke filled the skyline during more shooting in Thomaston. Mockingjay.net added Natalie, Cory and Luan to our staff and mulled over melodies to find the perfect soundtrack to the novels. More stills arrived, Francis Lawrence talked about the love triangle, #TickTock7 showed a montage of the tributes training and a picture of Prim holding an orange Buttercup brought the fandom to cheers. The first TV spot was released, a minute long and with ‘Atlas’ playing, fans went crazy with the new footage and we provided screencaps. It wasn’t long before a second TV Spot arrived and Catching Fire was on the cover of Cineplex and Sci Fi Now. Mockingjay.net was giving away soundtracks and posters as a snippet of ‘Silhouettes‘ by Of Monsters and Men was available. Catching Fire was approved for release in China and we were all excited that a final trailer was going to debut on Fox during the World Series. Stills galore were still coming in including Snow’s party and Finnick from Capitol Couture and US Weekly, People and Variety had loads of new images to share and sent the fandom excitement meter up to 11. Which then exploded once the final trailer was released and we were stunned. We could barely take a breath when another TV spot was released with even more footage. Francis Lawrence revealed Berlin and Paris were chosen for filming scenes in the Capitol streets in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Suzanne Collins opened up about Lionsgate’s marketing campaign and we helped to #IgniteTheFight by donating to Feeding America and World Food Progamme (WFP) to help our real world Districts in the name of Katniss. The tracklisting for James Newton Howard’s score was released and the fandom was ablaze as each track gave clues as to which scenes had made the cut and the structure of the whole film. #TickTock4 told us that 24 cities across America would host special advance screenings for fans. Mockingjay.net kept the contests coming as we gave away mockingjay pins to our Canadian fans, we had two sets of two tickets to the World Premiere in London and as the month drew to a close and Halloween was upon us, you all completely wowed us with so many incredible costume and pumpkin competition entries.
And so it was time. November 2013 was here. Soon we would all see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in cinemas across the world. The estimates starting rolling in with a possible $175 million opening at the box office. The cast went on a Victory Tour across American malls to meet fans including Philadephia, Miami, Minneapolis and Houston. Mockingjay.net and others exclusively interviewed Sam Claflin and Jena Malone and Francis Lawrence told the LA Times that he wasn’t out to reinvent the book but to stay as true as possible. We got our first combined cast interview for Catching Fire as Jennifer, Josh, Sam and Jena played a game with Yahoo! A ‘We Remain’ TV spot hit the Subway Facbook page and the first clip was shown on Jay Leno featuring Katniss and Gale. It was #GlobalFanDay and we all hadn’t been this glued to every social network going since… well, ever! Francis, Jennifer, Josh and Liam hosted a Google+ Hangout; Josh and Liam answered your questions in a Twitter takeover; Jennifer and Francis took over Tumblr in an interview with Yahoo!; and Jennifer, Josh, Liam and Francis chatted on Facebook and released a brand new clip of Haymitch, Katniss and Peeta. Mockingjay.net spoke exclusively to the designer of the training costumes, we visited the District 12 filming locations of the first film and gave our final thoughts and ended our Catching Fire By-the-book series. Mockingjay.net also saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in a press screening in London and were tight-lipped until our review could hit the web several days later. German Catching Fire TV spots kept apperaing online and a preview of Imagine Dragons’ song was available. Startling and shudder-worthy news appeared as Lionsgate had been approached for a Hunger Games theme park. A 30 minute Catching Fire special appeared on E-Talk and then we were gearing up for the premiere by releasing our final pre-movie podcast.
All the cast had arrived in London and sat down for the press conference and then it was time for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to make it’s World Premiere. We had many, many pictures from the event and a snippet from the livestream of Jennifer removing the crowd barrier to speak properly to a fan. We also saw Jennifer and Josh having a Mentos war, which is more entertaining than it sounds. Mockingjay.net was there too and interviewed the cast on the red carpet and got a dynamite sound bite from Jennifer Lawrence. Finally the embargo was over and Ciara was free to talk about the film, the first Mockingjay.net review was up! Premieres then spread each day across Europe in Berlin, Madrid, Oslo, Rome and Paris. And, of course, Mockingjay.net was there in Berlin and Paris. On the other side of the world, Mockingjay.net attended the CF Fan Camp in Los Angeles to meet and chat with the cast and on the second day got a hug from Sam Claflin! And he was so lovely and amazing he then tweeted us later to thank us for our support! That was a happy day in the staff room. It was time for the premiere cycle to hit Los Angeles and Mockingjay.net was at the after party. And was then introduced to Suzanne freaking Collins by Jeffrey Wright! Who said she had visited the site… and the Mockingjay.net staff room imploded in fangirl/fanboy heaven! (Most definitely our highlight of the year!) A special charity screening was also hosted in Knoxville, Tennessee with Francis Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth. Mockingjay.net was there too and interviewed Francis and scored a scoop for our readers: we found out the director’s voice is in the movie.
We got many super hi-res stills, clip after clip after clip (1,2,3,4,5,6) and more TV spots than you could handle (1,2,3,4,5). We found the secrets of why Buttercup was recast and Francis Lawrence explained the simple frame cuts to achieve the PG-13 rating. Catching Fire opened in Brazil to big box office and we created a place for you to leave your reactions. Mockingjay.net reviews continued with Carla and Crystal‘s thoughts. The press junket interviews covered every base from insightful (1,2) to hilarious (1,2,3) and there was never a dull moment which is quite an achievement considering just how many interviews there were. Hundreds, and we mean hundreds, yet every one was entertaining. Highlights included Moviefone Unscripted with Jennifer, Josh, Sam and Jena and Fandango playing a game to see how well Jen and Josh knew each other. At this point, it was a blessing to have Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson in the same room together. We couldn’t find a single comment that suggested people were fed up with the wonderful Joshifer double-act (1,2,3). Josh and Liam also talked about who they think Katniss should choose between Peeta and Gale. However the best interviews of release month had to go to Suzanne Collins and Francis Lawrence’s discussions with TIME which were long and chock full of wonderful insights that any Hunger Games fan would devour (1,2,3,4,5). Parodies rolled in from Sesame Street and satire from The Onion. Mockingjay.net didn’t scrimp on the competitions either, with release week giveaways, free t-shirts and nail decals.
Catching Fire wasn’t even in cinemas yet and the cast were already discussing Mockingjay. Jennifer Lawrence said she cried when she read the script and lamented that Josh wasn’t with her on set. She also described a scene she filmed and Francis mentioned that both films would be shorter. The production would continue shooting for six more months in Atlanta and Europe.
A final still of Peeta and Katniss was released. Then on November 22nd the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ second in the series was released worldwide and burned through box office records again and again (1,2,3,4,5,6). A new game called Panem Run was announced and released. Mockingjay.net went to the Blacksparrow costume auction and visited the set of President Snow’s mansion at The Swan House. The film was just out and we were already wondering if you had noticed the 20 subtle moments we saw and discussed in the staff room.
November, or the most exhausting month I can recall to memory, ended with Francis Lawrence saying that once again he was being true to the book while making Mockingjay. He took 2 hours out of his busy schedule to talk (and answer a few of our questions) on Reddit and set <a href="http://mockingjay.net/2013/11/29/mockingjay-set-photos-district-rubble-ruin/" target="_bla