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This week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly is home to several new images from Lionsgate’s mega franchise sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and we have every one of them right here along with word on three characters from the books who won’t be in the film.
Per EW, Bonnie and Twill — the District 8 runaways Katniss stumbles upon in the woods who first alert her to both the rebellion she inadvertently sparked and the existence of District 13 — won’t be seen in Catching Fire. Nor will Darius, District 12′s youngest peacekeeper, who intervenes during Gale’s whipping and is then sentenced to the life of an Avox.
“It’s as agonizing for us to lose things from the book as it is for a fan,” says producer Nina Jacobson. “I want every single thing in there. But you know what? If you have to give up something in order to give more time to Katniss and Gale or to Effie as she starts to feel a conscience, you make the sacrifices in order to serve the characters and themes that are more essential.”
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Willow Shields, Toby Jones, Paula Malcomson, and Woody Harrelson return in their roles from the first film. New to the Games are Jeffrey Wright, Sam Claflin, Alan Ritchson, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, Patrick St. Esprit, Jena Malone, Lynn Cohen, Bruno Gunn, Meta Golding, E. Roger Mitchell, Maria Howell, Amanda Plummer, Philip Seymour Hoffman, James Logan, Ivette Li-Sanchez, Justin Hix, Megan Hayes, John Casino, Elena Sanchez, Daniel Bernhardt, Marian Green, Jackson Spidell, and Tiffany Waxler.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is directed by Francis Lawrence and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the second in a trilogy that has sold more than 50 million books in print and digital in the U.S. alone. The film’s release date is November 22, 2013.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins as Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow (Donald Sutherland) prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.
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