We weren't expecting much from the "teaser" for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but we were wrong. Lionsgate released a full blown trailer at last night's MTV Movie Awards—"more than a 'teaser'" indeed—that put the revolutionary spirit of the second book, and, blessedly, some of its most adult moments, on full display.
Those who have read the Hunger Games books know that the second volume takes a key turn from smart parable about the nature of totalitarianism and reality TV, to direct confrontation of the nature of rebellion. And we see all of that in this trailer, which shows what the fate of an old man in District 11 (poor, fated Rue's district) as well as Gale's brutal beating. All of that is paralleled with Donald Sutherland's evil President Snow in conversation with Philip Seymour Hoffman's gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee, who, remarkably, has no weird facial hair.
Tonally, it's all right. It's sad, it's dark, it's creepy. (Even though we still have Elizabeth Banks in Effie Trinket's elaborate garb telling Peet and Katniss to smile when they obviously could not want to do that any less.) It seems like new director Francis Lawrence has got this down.
And it's only in the final moments of the trailer that the concept of the Quarter Quell, in which former victors compete in the Hunger Games, gets its big reveal. So, alas, no Finnick or Johanna Mason in this one. Next time. At least we now know that The Hunger Games won't be holding out on us—or holding anything back.