That sound you just heard was several thousand "Hunger Games" fans asking what's the best way to get to San Diego in July.
Lionsgate Entertainment announced Wednesday that they'll be hosting a panel at the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con, held July 18 through 21, that will be devoted to two of the studio's upcoming projects, including "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," the eagerly awaited adaptation of the second novel in Suzanne Collins' dystopian series for young adults. Lionsgate is promising that a new "Catching Fire" trailer will be screened, and that "talent" from the movie will be on hand to answer questions.
Lionsgate isn't being specific about who that talent will be, but many are clearly hoping Jennifer Lawrence, who plays heroine Katniss Everdeen, will be on board. Her participation would certainly be a "get," now that she's won an Oscar for "Silver Linings Playbook" and pretty much become the biggest female movie star on the planet since making the first "Hunger Games" picture.
Obviously there are plenty of other scream-worthy stars of "Catching Fire" – Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Clafin, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Phillip Seymour Hoffman ... – but any panel without Lawrence would seem somewhat lacking, right?
Given that past Comic-Con panels featuring the stars of the "Twilight" movies attracted thousands of fans – many of whom camped out for days to catch a glimpse of the stars of the films – expect the same sort of reaction from the similarly devoted followers of "The Hunger Games" franchise.
Along with "Catching Fire," Lionsgate will also be promoting "I, Frankenstein," a screen adaptation of Kevin Grevioux's comic series about a man-made monster that unwittingly becomes involved in a war between two undying clans. "I, Frankenstein" will star Aaron Eckhart (as the monster), Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, and Miranda Otto. The Lionsgate panel will include cast and crew from "I, Frankenstein," as well as a trailer for the film.
Considering that "Catching Fire" isn't due in theaters until November 20, 2013, and "I, Frankenstein" opens January 24, 2014, Lionsgate clearly hopes to generate a loud buzz for these pictures well in advance of the release dates. They're also giving fans a chance to get involved with the panels in advance; Lionsgate is encouraging folks to submit questions using Facebook pages they've set up for "Catching Fire" and "I, Frankenstein".
Dave Karger from Fandango.com will moderate the event on July 20.