‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’: New Stills Feature a Contemplative Katniss
It's only been a little over a year since the release of the original "Hunger Games," but star Jennifer Lawrence actually looks considerably older in the new pics from "Catching Fire." Maybe it's because we now see her more as "a woman" due to her Oscar-winning turn in "Silver Linings Playbook" than as the teenage heroine of a YA adaptation, but more likely it's because that Katniss herself has grown in leaps and bounds since co-winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games … and is about to embark on an even more deadly and taxing challenge.
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" got off to something of a rocky start when original "Hunger Games" director Gary Ross announced that he wouldn't be returning to direct the sequel. Ross was soon replaced with Francis Lawrence ("Constantine," "I Am Legend"), with Lionsgate releasing a slew of fan-pleasing casting announcements soon thereafter, including Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, Jena Malone as Johanna Mason, Jeffrey Wright as Beetee, Amanda Plummer as Wiress and, most notably, "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Snow White and the Huntsman" heartthrob Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair.
The novel by Suzanne Collins, published in 2009, is considered by many fans to be the "Empire Strikes Back" of the series with its multi-tiered narrative, rich character development and much darker and more mature tone. In many ways, "Catching Fire" is a much more anticipated film than the original "Hunger Games" as fans wait to see if the filmmakers can pull off what's a much more difficult and nuanced story than that of its predecessor.