Casting News – Actress Gwendoline Christie to Replace Lily Rabe in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay”

Deadline is reporting that Game of Thrones actress, Gwendoline Christie, will be replacing Lily Rabe in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. Lionsgate has confirmed that Christie will be joining the production.

Christie will now be taking over the role of Commander Lyme in the highly anticipated Huger Games finale. Unfortunately, Rabe was forced to drop out due to a scheduling conflict. The actress is involved with a production of Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare in the Park.

Gwendoline Christie
Image via Deadline

Commander Lyme is one of the leaders of District 13 and originally was from District 2. Lyme is a powerful character as she also was a winner of a previously unknown Huger Games.

What do you think of this casting change? Do you think Christie was the right replacement for the role?

Source: Deadline

Movie Review – “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” a Blazing Roller Coaster

The wait for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is finally over as it officially hits theaters today! Fans will be absolutely thrilled with the end result and will feel that the long 20 months between Hunger Games and this installment was time well spent. Director Francis Lawrence did an amazing job, picking up on things Gary Ross left out. I have no doubt the rest of the franchise is in excellent hands.

* Warning – Possible spoilers ahead. *

We start off back in District 12 a few months after Katniss and Peeta win the 74th Annual Hunger Games in an act of rebellion. In these opening scenes we start to see how having to participate in this competition has effected Katniss as she is dealing with post traumatic stress. Katniss and Peeta are now living in what is called the Victor’s Village, a housing area set up by the Capitol for the Victors.

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Katniss comes home from a trip out to the woods with Gale to discover that President Snow and some of his guards are wanting to speak with her. She is then left alone to speak with the cunning President and he warns that people of the Districts have started to rebel against the Capitol because of her actions. He also warns that if she does not convince him of her love for Peeta then those she loves will be in danger.

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Katniss and Peeta then leave for the Victory Tour in which they go to each District to publicly speak about the games and the fallen tributes. Throughout their journey on the Victory Tour we start to subtly see the rebellion “catching fire” in the Districts.

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The tour ends in the Capitol where Katniss and Peeta attend the Presidential Ball with guide, Effie Trinket. Here we are introduced to Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s character, head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee.

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We then return to District 12 and because of the events of the Victory Tour, the rebellion across Panem is getting worse. This causes President Snow to take drastic measures and he sends heavier armies of “Peacemakers” to all of the Districts for enforcement. In District 12, the ruthless Commander Thread is put in charge and he does not tolerate rebellion. This leads to a gut-wrenching scene between him, Gale, and Katniss.

The next day, President Snow makes a huge announcement about the 75th Hunger Games. He explains that because the 75th Annual Hunger Games is also the 3rd Quarter Quell there has to be something unique about it. Snow then goes on to announce that the tributes for these games will be reaped from the previous victors. This means that Katniss and Peeta end up back in the Hunger Games.

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Back in the Capitol, we are introduced to the unlucky victors who are once again tributes in the games. We also get to see the new training facility, the new tribute living quarters, and Caesar Flickerman’s new stage.

The night before everyone is headed back into the arena, Caesar interviews each tribute, asking them various questions. However, when it is time for Peeta’s interview, he drops “a bomb” that even has the Capitol citizens ready to rebel. This is when we see a display of the tributes coming together as one and holding hands in front of the crowd. Needless to say, this makes President Snow quite unhappy.

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The next morning, the tributes are getting ready to head into the arena. There is an emotional scene as Katniss, Peeta, Effie, and Haymitch are saying their good-byes. Cinna talks with Katniss as she is preparing to go into the arena and before she heads into the elevator, they too say an emotional good-bye. Then we are in the arena and the games begin…

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I do not want to give too much more away, so get thee to a theater if you want to know what happens next!

Francis Lawrence did an absolutely amazing job as director and fans will definitely be happy with the work and attention to detail that he put into this film. It is a stronger and more faithful adaptation to the novel than The Hunger Games. In the first film, Prim’s cat Buttercup was a tuxedo cat, but he was named Buttercup for his fluffy orange fur. In Catching Fire, Buttercup is a fluffy orange tabby. It is the attention to detail like that that will make fans of the book happy.

The performances from all of the actors involved were excellent and stronger from the previous film. Jennifer Lawrence, of course, is an amazing actress and her performance carried the story. Donald Sutherland and Stanley Tucci are also two very strong actors who are always amazing at what they do. However, I felt that their performances in this film were much stronger than in the first one. Sutherland is even more cunning and sinister as President Snow and Tucci is even more over the top and flamboyant as Caesar Flickerman.

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Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth also brought more to the table as the two love interests. Due to their stronger performances and a stronger romantic storyline, the love triangle between Peeta, Katniss, and Gale was much more believable.

Overall, the movie was fast paced and a complete emotional roller coaster. Francis Lawrence did a great job of including funny moments that would make you laugh, emotional moments that would make you teary-eyed, shocking moments that would make you gasp, romantic moments that would make you swoon, and thrilling moments that would leave you on the edge of your seat.

The production design was stunning in every aspect. From the costumes, hair, and makeup details all the way to the props and set pieces. Just gorgeous!

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There were only two major things that I felt could have been handled differently. First off, the arena section of the movie, although very intense, felt a little short and rushed. Secondly, “the bomb” that Peeta drops while being interviewed by Caesar is never really mentioned or dealt with again. It just seemed strange to me that such a major piece of the storyline got dropped off so easily.

Let me tell you, though, you will not be disappointed in the end result! Just like the ending of the book, the ending of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie will leave you wanting more. Once you have seen the movie, share your thoughts in the comments!

Red Carpet Photos from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” Los Angeles Premiere

The Los Angeles premiere for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was held on Monday, November 18th at the Nokia Theater. All of the main stars were in attendance along with director Francis Lawrence, author and executive producer Suzanne Collins, producer Jon Kilik, costume designer Trish Summerville, and screenwriters Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt.

The official Hunger Games Facebook page recently posted some gorgeous and unique red carpet photos that were taken by photographer Eric Charbonneau. Take a look at the photos and be sure to check back here on Friday for a TrulyLuminary exclusive review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire!

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What do you think of the red carpet fashion choices? Are you going to be seeing Catching Fire when it hits theaters this weekend? What are you most excited to see in the film?

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Source: The Hunger Games Facebook

Movie Images – Fantastic New Stills for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

With the world premiere now less than a week away, Lionsgate is busy sharing some Hunger Games exclusives to get fans ready for the movie. The studio released sixteen (16) new stills from the highly awaited sequel, Catching Fire. 

Many of these images, of course, feature the talented Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. However, there are also some new images of characters such as Johanna Mason (Jena Malone) and Brutus (Bruno Gunn). Through these images, we also get a look at some of the amazing  costume details designer Trish Summerville has put together.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Toby Jones, Jeffery Wright, Amanda Plummer, Alan Ritchson, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, Lynn Cohen, and Meta Golding.

What do you think of these new images and the unique costume design? Will you be seeing Catching Fire when it hits theaters on November 22, 2013?

Source: IndieWire

Movie Exclusive – Fantastic Final Trailer for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” Released

Fox aired the final trailer for the highly awaited sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, tonight during a World Series game. Once again, Lionsgate and director Francis Lawrence have put together an amazing trailer that will no doubt get fans even more excited for the film.

This new trailer shows us more of the strained and tense relationship between Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and President Snow (Donald Sutherland). We also get a closer look at different aspects of the arena and a sneak peek at some of the major events that occur in the arena. For instance, we get our first look at the monkeys, the poisonous fog, and the jabberjays.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire also stars  Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Willow Shields, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Jeffery Wright, Amanda Plummer, Alan Ritchson, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, Lynn Cohen, and Meta Golding.

Watch the action-packed and fantastic new trailer for Catching Fire and share your opinion in the comments below! Are you looking forward to Catching Fire? Do you think this trailer will keep fans excited for the film?

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Source: YouTube

Movie Exclusive – Three New Images from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

Entertainment Weekly released three new images from the film for fans to get excited over while we wait for a special edition of the magazine to hit newsstands. These new images give us a closer look at the Peacekeepers, Johanna Mason (Jena Malone), and the intricate world of Panem. Here is the first of the three stills:

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The magazine also revealed that the next edition of the magazine will be giving us an exclusive look behind-the-scenes at the highly anticipated Hunger Games sequel! It was also revealed that there will be four separate collectable covers for this edition, each cover featuring a different character.

The first cover features Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, the second one features Josh Hutcherson and Peeta, the third one features Liam Hemsworth as Gale, and the fourth and final one features newcomer Sam Claflin as Finnick. This edition will include exclusive interviews with the cast, exciting new stills, and a report from the set.

What do you think of these special collector’s covers? Which cover is your favorite? What do you think of these exclusive new images? Can you believe that there is only 50 more days until Catching Fire finally hits theaters?! Be sure to check back for more exciting exclusives and take a look at the images below!

Source: Entertainment Weekly (Article), Entertainment Weekly (Gallery)

Casting News MegaPost – Five New Cast Members Join “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay”

Over the past week, there have been several casting announcements for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2. These announcements have officially revealed the actors who will be playing Commander Lyme, Commander Paylor, Boggs, Castor, and Pollux.

Actress Lily Rabe will be playing Commander Lyme and actress Patina Miller will be playing Commander Paylor. Commander Lyme is a strong and independent female victor who is the commander of the rebellion in District 2 and Commander Paylor is the female leader of the rebellion for District 8 and she later becomes president of Panem. Rabe is best known for her current work on American Horror Story as Sister Mary Eunice McKee and Miller is known for her work on ABC’s All My Children.

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Actor Mahershala Ali is going to be playing Boggs, who acts as President Coin’s assistant until Katniss agrees to be the Mockingjay. From there, it is his job to help protect Katniss and ensure that she stays alive. Ali has recently worked on the drama House of Cards, and was Tizzy in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

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Wes Chatham and Elden Henson also recently joined the ever-expanding cast as Castor and Pollux, respectively. Castor and Pollux are actually brothers who work together with Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and Messalla (Evan Ross) during the rebellion. The four of them form a film crew that follow Katniss on her journey as the Mockingjay. Chatham was recently in the Oscar-winning film, The Help, and Henson was most recently in the movie Jobs with Ashton Kutcher.

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What do you think of all of this casting news? Are you fans of any of these actors? Are you looking forward to seeing these actors in their roles? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Source: The Hunger Games Facebook and IMDbPro