Sequel CATCHING FIRE Officially Titled THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

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In a somewhat unsurprising move, Summit Entertainment announced today that the Hunger Games follow-up has now officially been titled The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  The pic is based on author Suzanne Collins’ second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire.  Brand recognition is everything when it comes to tentpoles, and audiences are consistently treated as though they’re unable to put two-and-two together when the exact same cast returns in a new movie with a different title.  Nevertheless, Summit added The Twilight Saga moniker to all the Twilight films, so the move was almost inevitable.  Hit the jump for more.

the-hunger-games-catching-fireAfter Gary Ross declined to return given the extremely short prep time before filming begins, Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) was tapped to direct Catching FireLittle Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3 scribe Michael Arndt was recently brought in to do a rewrite on Simon Beaufoy’s (Slumdog Millionaire) adaptation of the Collins novel, with production set to begin in August.  Catching Fire is certainly the most cinematic of Collins’ books, but it also suffers from some character and story issues that only become more problematic in the closing chapter, Mockingjay (likely to be split into two films).  I’m eager to see how far Lawrence is willing to adapt Catching Fire rather than just simply translating the book to screen, and I’m also interested to see how much of Ross’ visual style from The Hunger Games he’ll retain.

Though we don’t yet know what changes to the source material have been made, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland are most certainly returning for the follow-up.  It would also be safe to assume that Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, and Stanely Tucci will return as well, though their characters are less integral to the story so I wouldn’t be shocked if any of their roles are diminished or nixed entirely.  Then there’s the question of the major new characters the have yet to be cast, though I assume we’ll be hearing word on that front shortly.  Read a synopsis for Catching Fire below.  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will open on November 22nd, 2013.

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. [Amazon]

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  • will

    They really think the audience is that stupid? There is one instance of avoiding brand recognition, and that is when The Dark Knight didn’t put “Batman” in its title. Granted, now Rises has turned TDK into a brand name lol.

    • JPA

      Here in Brazil The Dark Knight and TKDR have “Batman” in the title. Yeah,it’s stupid. But what the hell,there are people stupid enough to not realize that’s a Batman movie without “Batman” in the title. Here at least.

      • AnaB

        They’re gonna name it “Jogos Vorazes: Em Chamas”… considering we have some of the worst movie title translations ever, it’s not that bad this time…

        Yeah, over here there are people stupid enough to not know the movie is a sequel… but that is not ALL of us viewers! By doing this, studios are calling us all stupid and that is a total disrespect!
        And they keep warping these titles and treating us like morons just to assure they’re gonna get their money in the end… I hate that!

  • larry

    wow i din’t see that coming

  • jetblac

    I think they should call it, “I’m Hungry Too.”

  • O.R.

    I don’t think that’s such an unnecessary move. While some of us do know that Catching Fire means The Hunger Games, there are also casual moviegoers who don’t usually care about reading movie news updates or even reading, and most only usually decide to see a movie until they’re at the box office. Adding The Hunger Games to the actual movie title guarantees that every moviegoer will identify the movie they’re seeing on the poster in front of them with the movie they already saw and enjoyed about kids killing each other in the future for whatever reason.

    And, Adam, I really don’t think Kravitz’s role in Catching Fire is anything short of necessary in the way events develop in the story. It is a short role, yes, but I don’t think Lionsgate would consider “nixing” it at all.

  • AnaB

    They had to go and screw it up, didn’t they?! Unbelievable…

  • Masshuu il Thulcandra

    As long as they don’t start adding roman numerals I, II, III, IV or numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, I am O.K. with it.

  • Agent Bishie

    No guys! This is a GOOD thing. When the DVDs come out, we’re no longer plagued by the question “maintain the alphabetized shelf, or put sequels with the originals?”

    …Or maybe this is just my OCD.

    • Titus

      Lol! I actually understand this dilemma. I actually do both things. “The Dark Knight” follows “Batman Begins,” but I put the Jack Ryan movies throughout my collection wherever they fall in the alphabet.

      As far as the sequel, I’m not thrilled by the title change, but hopefully “The Hunger Games” part of it will be able to recede to motif-status on posters and Blu-ray covers. It can act as more of a tag-line of sorts, allowing the sequel book titles to stand on their own, kind of like how the Twilight sequels have done.

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  • Albert

    Elizabeth Banks and Lenny Kravitz both play a really really important part in the books, and therefore in the movie too so it’s almost impossible for their characters to be left out in the sequel. You should read the books, so you would have a better picture of their characters

  • Lila

    Take it with a grain of salt people. Error #1: The rights to The Hunger Games trilogy aren’t owned by Summit Entertainment. They’re owned by Lionsgate. Error #2: Suzanne Collins (the author of the trilogy for those of you who don’t know) also wrote the screenplay for The Hunger Games films and has said that she will contribute in the writing of the screenplays for the screen adaptations of Catching Fire and Mockingjay, so there will likely not be cut characters and missing actors. Error #3: It’s not officially been titled ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’. Here’s the IMDB page- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1951264/.

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  • Shannon

    oh c’mon lord of the rings had their name on all three films. it’s not that bad now that catching fire got their film title.

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