Melanie Schmitz
May 16, 2014 11:56 am

On Thursday, fans of The Hunger Games were treated to a sneak peek at Mockingjay, the next installment in the movie franchise … and damn, it looked good. Sure, it’ll be hard to top the magnificence that was Catching Fire, but if the photos and videos that Lionsgate released are any indication, we’re in for a real treat.

Of course, die-hard loyalists of Suzanne Collins’ massively successful series were notably excited to catch a glimpse of Oscar nominated actress Julianne Moore as manipulative and power-hungry Alma Coin, President of District 13. “I was very impressed with the books,” Moore states in an exclusive interview with Lionsgate. “In a larger scope, it really is about ‘what is our political system’—how do we arrive at it? Who are we within it? It was really fascinating to me.”

“I read all the books,” she continues. “I read them all the way through, and I was like, ‘I want to be in this movie!’” Of her character, she muses “She’s very sparingly drawn because you don’t know who she is. She’s only spoken about from Katniss’ point of view. And Katniss immediately distrusts her in the way that sometimes a young person will distrust an older person who’s not familiar with them or is in a position of authority.”

But Moore’s character isn’t the only exciting reveal. New stills offered a preview of the current status of characters Beetee Lantier, Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee (played by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Katniss’ former mentor Haymitch Abernathy—all alive and well and preparing for war.

As for Katniss, when we last left her in Catching Fire, she had just discovered that Peeta had been taken by the Capitol. “You promised me that you would save him over me,” she screamed as she clawed at Haymitch. “You promised me! You’re a liar! You’re a liar!”

One glimpse of the new Mockingjay script and fans find out that Katniss isn’t the only one questioning her rescue. Maybe you should have rescued the boy instead, it reads. No, no—listen to me: there’s no one else who can do this.

One of the most stunning aspects of Catching Fire, and subsequently Mockingjay, is Director Francis Lawrence’s ability to translate what is happening on paper into incredibly moving cinematic moments: Katniss rising up through the glass cylinder to the churning arena, the stark contrast between the plush train interior and the barbed-wire fences of District 11, the delicately shot and heart-wrenching kiss between Peeta and Katniss on the beach. With producer Nina Jacobsen at his side again, Lawrence can do no wrong and these recent promotional shots prove it.

“Francis is a great director and what he’s able to do visually is really exciting,” gushes Moore. “You can see that in Catching Fire. I’m very excited to see what he does with Mockingjay.”

So are we, Julianne. Just think… only 27 weeks to go.

Mark your calendars: Mockingjay, Part 1 opens in theaters everywhere November 21st.

All images courtesy of Lionsgate

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