Hunger Games: Expect Mockingjay to be bleaker

Christopher Morris
4 December 2013
Hunger Games: Expect Mockingjay to be bleaker
An early scene from 'Mockingjay'

COMMENT | While the second 'Hunger Games' movie remains very much alive and kicking, in fact 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' is still expected to double its current takings, filming has already begun in earnest on the third 'Hunger Games' movie. 'Mockingjay' has been in production for nearly a couple of months now, with the third movie in the 'Hunger Games' quadrilogy mooted to be released in November, 2014.

It's interesting to consider then at this point in time what to expect from the first 'Mockingjay' movie. As opposed to the first two movies in the 'Hunger Games' quadriolgy, 'Mockingjay' will not precisely follow the template laid down by 'Hunger Games' writer Suzanne Collins, as while both the original 'Hunger Games' movie, and 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' have been very closely linked to their accompanying texts, the third book in the series is to be split into two parts.

This poses a variety of issues for the makers of the third 'Hunger Games' movie, most notably where to end the third movie. Having a climactic ending is obviously a fundamental part of cinema, yet in this case there is no obvious blueprint for director Francis Lawrence to follow.

Another issue, though, is the fact that 'Mockingjay' is probably the 'toughest' book in the series. There is a fundamental bleakness to a lot of the events of 'Mockingjay' and it would seem to be inevitable that the third movie in the series will have to particularly reflect this, as any triumphalism will surely be reserved for the fourth and climactic movie of the series, 'Mockingjay: Part II'.

Thus, we can expect a much bleaker movie when the first part of 'Mockingjay' is released a year from now. The very fact that so much of the movie will take place in the secret underground city of District 13 will give the film a clandestine and sinister undertone that hasn't entirely been shared by the early movies in the series, even though the subject matter has always been a little macabre.

And this notion has been confirmed recently by Christian Cordella, a costume illustrator who worked on the first 'Hunger Games' movie. Cordella has stated that the look of the third movie in the 'Hunger Games' series will be far more downbeat, with less of the flamboyant dresses that we've seen in the first two movies.

This will hardly come as a surprise to people who read the books, but while there are many surprises to come from the first part of 'Mockingjay', it certainly won't come as a surprise for it to be a more desolate tale.

Christopher Morris watches too many sci-fi films, has a fanatical interest in Philip K. Dick's work, and is a regular contributor to Yahoo on television, cinema, video games, technology and politics.

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