The official runtime of the movie will be 123 minutes (just over 2 hours). The movie will be dedicated to the loving memory of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Read some of our favourite quotes from the cast and crew below.
“She felt almost like an entirely different character because she is so stripped down and feeling so empty. It’s something that truly does happen to people after traumatic events like she’s been through. Katniss still has the same core, but she’s in a completely different place inside and out. She goes into the propos feeling like a pawn, like the Mockingjay is just a symbol she’s not connected to or passionate about,” Lawrence says. “The whole idea of the propos is to get people fired up, to band together – so Katniss faking at being something that she’s not doesn’t work. It’s only when she sees the human cost in District 8 that a true spark is ignited. The more she sees, the more it becomes a personal fight for her.”
Returning in the role of Peeta Mellark is Josh Hutcherson, who knew this film would be different. “Where Peeta goes as a character is really dark and really intense,” he says. “It’s actually what I was most looking forward to as an actor from reading the books.” Hutcherson notes that when Katniss first sees Peeta on TV, she has no way of knowing what is going on with him, which only leaves her feeling even more unanchored and unhinged. “Now that she knows he’s alive, but seeing the state he’s in, and she hears what he is saying - she doesn’t know if he’s a good guy anymore or if he’s completely turned and now believes the words he’s saying in support of the Capitol.”
Gale “has reached the tipping point.” Hemsworth explains: “He’s had enough as far as The Capitol’s abuse goes, so he’s not scared to stand up to it. He feels ready to go to war, in spite of the costs, to try to take down The Capitol.” Gale becomes a driving force behind Katniss consenting to appear in the propos films for District 13. “He knows that they have to spread the word that the Mockingjay is alive and that only she can bring people together to stand up to The Capitol,” Hemsworth explains.
“Haymitch’s thing before was always to emotionally detach himself from the people he was mentoring,” explains Harrelson. “He truly sees how much he loves Katniss and Peeta, and he realizes they’ve become a kind of family to him, in a very real sense.” Haymitch feels a need to continue to drive Katniss to what he sees as her destiny, no matter how difficult it is to watch her in her anguished state of mind. He is the one who suggests putting her into real peril in the propos videos, knowing the degree to which she can inspire others by her authentic reactions to the world. “He knows exactly how to let the world see Katniss at her best,” Harrelson explains.
“What amazed me about what Suzanne Collins did with the books is that she wrote a story that has so many substantive things to say about who we are as human beings, how we relate to one another and what standing up for what’s right means,” says Moore. “I was intrigued by Coin because I was very interested in her evolution as a leader.”
Banks was as surprised as anyone to return as Effie. “I was just so flattered that people enjoy this character as much as they do,” she says. The actress was thrilled by the chance to take Effie into unexpected territory, carving glamour out of the stark, grey-shaded conformity of District 13. “Effie is a true fish out of water in District 13, without her Capitol comforts,” Banks muses. “But of course, she needs to feel fabulous wherever she is, so she applies her style to District 13 and has a little fun with it.” It’s an act of courage for Effie. “In her own way, Effie rebels against the stringency of District 13 by showing her individuality. That’s important to her and an important theme for the movie, because it goes to show that the people in The Capitol are not all evil. Effie might disdain District 13, but she is also grateful to be there rather than feeling the wrath of President Snow.”
Wright explains where Beetee is now that he is recovering from the Games in District 13. “You really get to see Beetee in action working in his laboratory designing systems and weapons and trying to hack into The Capitol’s communications,” says the actor. “He has a very critical role in the advancement of the rebellion.” Although, Beetee has his own reservations. “He has a lot of outrage at the conditions in the Districts but, like Katniss, he also is struggling not to become the very thing he is fighting against,” says Wright.
“Katniss never wanted a war, with all its suffering, and yet that is what her character appears to have started,” explains Sutherland. “Snow understands the effect that will have on her, just as he knows that he can get to her emotions through Peeta.” Sutherland sees Snow as playing a game with Katniss, although one with very real consequences for the entirety of Panem. The Golden Globe® Award-winning star observes. “He loves being able to play a shifting chess game with that rare opponent who is truly his match. He doesn’t want her to succeed, of course, but he so enjoys her spirit, he enjoys the game.”
“Emotionally, Katniss is like a foreigner in a strange land as this story begins. This is the time when she realizes she can’t stand by and do nothing. There has been too much deception and the people Katniss loves are in danger. She will do whatever it takes to keep them safe.” The director continues: “The stakes have always been high in The Hunger Games but now the entire world opens up. The Games themselves are gone, but threat of oppression now permeates all of Panem. This chapter gave us a chance to reveal entirely new locations with amazing action sequences. It’s a gigantic movie.”
In thinking about Katniss and reflecting on one of her favorite scenes, producer Nina Jacobson notes: “When Katniss goes to District 8 and says, ‘If we burn, you burn with us,’ for the first time she sees the impact that she has on people. Those moments – where Katniss owns what and who she is – really give me the chills. It’s a very tense and powerful story and the emotions on screen are surprisingly deep,” concludes the producer. “It takes you to places you will not expect to be taken. It’s provocative, thoughtful and up to the last minutes of the film, the way it unfolds is shocking.”
“There’s really nothing in this movie that you’ve seen before of Panem,” notes producer Jon Kilik. “You’re immersed into District 13 – the one place no one outside has seen, the place no one except The Capitol even knew still existed. It’s a whole new journey for the audience. We’ve been through jungles and plagues in the Games but now to be living miles underground, things are even more intense and it puts an even greater pressure on the characters."
'Yellow Flicker Beat' and 'The Hanging Tree' will be played during the end credits, and there may be a little surprise at the very end...
Click here to download the full production notes document. It's a very interesting read!