We haven’t heard a whole lot of news updates coming out of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire shoot going on in Atlanta — the few pictures we’ve seen do look appropriately awesome, though — but it must be going well. Well enough that Lionsgate has opted not to go the Twilight/Harry Potter route of having a different director for almost each installment. Deadline reports today that Catching Fire helmer Francis Lawrence will be directing the adaptation of Mockingjay, the third book in Suzanne Collins‘ dystopian trilogy. As had been previously announced, that third book will be divided into two movies, slated for release in November 2014 and 2015. That’s quite the vote of confidence, and it’s making us all the more excited for a peek at Catching Fire.
[Photos: Scholastic, Getty Images]
Related: Catching Fire Director Francis Lawrence: 5 Signs He’ll Do Right By Hunger Games Sequel
Bradley Cooper wants a role in the Hunger Games trilogy, Bradley Cooper gets a role in the Hunger Games trilogy. That’s how we feel about it anyway. “I have now seen Hunger Games. That is a brutal movie. Are you kidding me?…Oh, my God!” the Silver Linings Playbook actor gushed at the Hollywood Awards last night, raving about his “bad ass” costar Jennifer Lawrence‘s fine work as Katniss. Joked Cooper, “You know, I’ve put myself on tape for four of the roles. I haven’t heard back yet.” Oh, you might be joking Bradley, but HG casting is no joke to us. Whether you actually submit for a role or Jennifer just tells Francis Lawrence or whatever director they’re using for the final film to hire you, we demand to see you in Mockingjay Part 1 and/or Part 2 immediately. Or in 2014, which ever comes first. Catching Fire is already shooting, but as far as we know, there are a few roles in the last two movies that are yet uncast:
Dear god! All the young adults that read the Hunger Games series’ final book Mockingjay….will be regular, old adults when the final movie comes out! Is there any fate worse than this? How could the universe be so cruel? We’re kidding, of course, but dang, the Mockingjay release dates do seem to stretch out into the infinite span of time. Deadline reports that having split the series’ final book into two films Harry Potter-style, Mockingjay Part 1 will debut November 21, 2014. Okay, sure. Seems reasonable. Mockingjay Part 2, however, doesn’t hit theaters until November 20, 2015. All we’re saying is that the world had better end in 2012 like the Mayans predicted, or we are going to straight up die of yearning between those two Novembers.
Luckily we still have Catching Fire due out November 22, 2013 to sustain us, featuring the illustrious Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone and…well, whoever is going to play Finnick. Weeds actor Hunter Parrish, Armie Hammer, and Garrett Hedlund are allegedly still in the running for the tribute/pseudo-gigolo with a heart of gold, with Hedlund in the lead. Taylor Kitsch maintains that he’s not up for the Catching Fire role, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up snagging it anyway. Just like we wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve totally forgotten the plot to Mockingjay before it’s a officially a movie. Haha, just kidding. We will never forget the Mockingjay.
[Photo: Getty Images]
We already think Josh Hutcherson did a great job as Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games, but the kid’s got a lot of work ahead of him still. Catching Fire and Mockingjay are no walk in the park for the baker’s boy. So we’re very glad MTV and Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale took it upon themselves to help him keep his acting chops in shape by targeting him in last night’s episode of Punk’d. Hutch thought he was going out for coffee and lunch with two of his friends, but the friend in the driver’s seat realized their car was being followed and soon they found themselves being interrogated in an LAPD station. Through it all, Josh kept his cool in a way that would make Haymitch proud, even if he may have been freaking out on the inside. Here’s how we think this whole experience can help him enter the arena once more. (Warning: Spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read books two and three.)
1. Josh calmly identifies himself to the 911 operator (Lucy Hale), and doesn’t even mention the fact that the mysterious voice coming from a radio in the car has poked fun of his “dirty, one-size-too-small tank top.” Peeta is also used to being under surveillance and knows not to lose his cool in front of the cameras.
To our 2011 selves who may have maybe for a minute doubted that Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence would make the right Peeta and Katniss in The Hunger Games, I present exhibit A: the actors’ latest interview with MTV News. The two are absolutely hilarious together, teasing and complimenting each other in a way that suggests they formed a real bond in the arena. Our favorite moment is when they’re asked what they’re looking forward to in the sequels, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Major spoilers and video after the jump.