SDCC '13: Lionsgate Panel

Sophia Ritchie ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Writer
After camping out for up to 14 hours in the salty cold of a San Diego night, fans were finally invited into San Diego Comic Con’s infamous Hall H.  A slew of new footage and celebrity panelists kept the audience cheering, but the first big name of the day came during Lionsgate’s 1 o’ clock panel, showcasing the highly anticipated Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
The second in a four-part series based on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games books, Catching Fire welcomed new stars like Jeffrey Wright and Jena Malone along with Hunger Games alumni Lenny Kravitz, Willow Shields, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, and Jennifer Lawrence to the stage at the series’s first ever appearance at Comic Con.
New director Francis Lawrence helmed the impressive panel.  After Hunger Games director Gary Ross left the production, Lawrence was signed not only to direct Catching Fire, but the last two movies as well, Mockingjay 1 and 2.
Malone, who plays feisty new character Johanna Mason, referred to herself, Wright, and Lawrence as the “new kids” on set, “young blood” who needed to be let in on inside jokes but ultimately were welcome with open arms.  Lawrence seemed as comfortable with the rest of the cast as any new director could, speaking with a reassuring confidence about his new turn on the series.
More intimate details of the production included Jennifer Lawrence, who plays famed heroine Katniss Everdeen, revealing a sloppy kiss shared with romantic costar Hutcherson, that included “lots of slobber” and a good amount of snot.
Finally, the new trailer for Catching Fire was shown not once, but twice to the screaming audience.  You can wtach that /here/ (  With it came the first footage of the Quarter Quell, a spoiler-ific event in the book that throws Katniss back into the games.  Fans were treated to their first glimpse at the new arena, and, of course, given a split-second glimpse of favorite characters Johanna Mason and hearthrob Finnick Odair, played by an absent Sam Claflin.
If the raucous cheers and tearful screams and, of course, the second playthrough of the trailer had anything to say about the fate of the series, Hunger Games looks to be sitting pretty atop their new throne as Kings of Hall H and rulers of the YA genre films.

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