Back on the Run!

Last we saw our District 12 heroine, Katniss Everdeen, she had just outlived 22 of her fellow tributes and outfoxed the Gamesmakers and President Snow into allowing both her and pal Peeta Mellark to emerge from the Hunger Games alive. But her greatest feat came later on, when it became clear that Katniss had hit a pop-culture bulls-eye. After premiering March 2012, The Hunger Games went on to become a smash hit—spawning countless collectibles, causing a dramatic surge in the popularity of archery and ultimately raking in more than $400 million nationwide. Ultimately the film became the 14th highest-grossing movie in the history of American cinema, completely eclipsing a certain franchise of sparkly vampire movies in the process.

Now the time has come for Katniss to reenter the arena and shake things up again, but this go-round the stakes are even higher. “In the first story, she was a hesitant hero and didn’t really want to be a part of it; she was just trying to save her own family,” says star Jennifer Lawrence pondering the new twists that Catching Fire will bring. “In this movie there are more people she has to save now; there’s a bigger responsibility and there’s a bigger struggle with that because that wasn’t really what she signed up for.”

This time Katniss has the fate of all of Panem riding on her performance in the 75th Hunger Games (a.k.a. the 3rd Quarter Quell). “The other Districts are really starting to rebel, and people are starting to look at her as the symbol of the rebellion,” says director Francis Lawrence (no relation to Jennifer) of the brewing anti-Capitol backlash that’s woven through the film. “It all starts to blow up in this movie.”

If leading a national revolution weren’t stressful enough, Katniss also has her oh-so-complicated love life to deal with. Is her bond with Peeta more than just a Games-induced show-mance? Is Gale a better match for her? Will she forever alienate one by choosing the other? “One of the things I love so much about Catching Fire is you get to see the relationships really evolve,” says Josh Hutcherson. “There’s a scene when Katniss and Peeta have a heartfelt moment where Katniss finally tells Peeta that she has real feelings for him. That’s the kind of stuff I can’t wait for people to see because that’s real emotion.”

Things don’t go quite as well for the guy back in the District 12 coal mines, Gale Hawthorne. “For Katniss and Gale, it’s more confusing now than ever,” says Liam Hemsworth of his character’s rocky relationship with his hunting buddy. “He’s a little bit unsure where they stand, and he has to watch one of his closest friends go off into these games again; it’s lighting that fire inside Gale, where he is ready to explode.”

With romantic tensions elevated and citizen resentment boiling, Katniss heads back into the arena – for a special victor-vs.-victor death match – with one major goal: Keep Peeta alive! That’s no easy task, considering they’ll be competing against such fierce tributes as Enobaria, who’s known for ripping out a past competitor’s throat with her teeth; Brutus, a vicious career tribute; and Johanna Mason, who Katniss describes as having a “wicked ability to murder.”

And then there’s the seemingly perfect man of mystery Finnick to contend (and flirt!) with, not to mention the perilous arena itself, which comes booby-trapped with everything from poisonous fog to rabid monkeys.

Catching Fire is definitely bigger on a lot of levels,” says Jennifer Lawrence. And expectations for the movie are also skyrocketing. “There’s definitely pressure,” admits Hutcherson. “People liked the movie so much the first time, you want to make something that holds up to their expectations. But it’s exciting. It’s nice to be able to talk about something that you know you’re going to be proud of.”

Crackdown on DISTRICT 12


NEW MAN IN CHARGE The Capitol installs a more vicious head Peacekeeper, Romulus Thread, who burns down the Hob, electrifies the fence surrounding the District and brutally punishes all lawbreakers.

PRESIDENT SNOW PLAYS HARDBALL Paying an unexpected visit to Katniss’s Victor’s Village home, Snow tells Katniss that her Hunger Games trickery has roused a rebellious fervor and threatens to kill everyone she loves unless she helps squash it.

GALE’S FLOGGING When Gale is caught trying to sell a turkey he illegally hunted, Romulus brutally whips him in the town square, injuring Katnis — who tries to stop the beating – in the process.

High Drama

The reaping is a tense scene for Peeta and Katniss – it marks the beginning of their return to the Games and also kicks the revolution into high gear. But for Effie it was all about fashion. “That butterfly dress is Alexander McQueen,” says Elizabeth Banks. “Every one of those butterflies is actually a feather hand-painted to look like a butterfly. It was incredible, but unfortunately I could not sit in it.”


It’s not easy being the TV host of the Hunger Games. “We wanted it to look like he’s had lots of plastic surgery,” says Stanley Tucci, who plays Caesar Flickerman. “So they take this surgical tape and tape your head – they pull everything back and up and then hide it under the wig. After about 12 hours in it you get kind of a headache.”

Gown Crazy

If you want juicy details about Katniss’s wedding dress, who better to ask than her stylist Cinna? “Although the dress looks stunning, it was really hard for Jennifer to maneuver in,” says Lenny Kravitz, who plays Cinna. “It was enormous. The circumference of that dress was huge; she was, like, stuck in it, and it was a pain in her butt to move around. It took four people to escort her on and off set because she could barely walk.”

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