Holy News Day, Batman!

mockingjay-part-1-mockingjay-part-2-movie-release-dateI really mean Batman. I’m sorry, where do I start? For the last few weeks we’ve had a virtual dry-spell of solid, reputable, and interesting news on The Hunger Games franchise front, as well as news pertaining to the beloved cast, that includes new projects etc. Today though, aha, not today! I don’t know what came first, so I’ll just begin with what I became privy to first, and that’s the mounting news that Danny Strong, I so want to add esquire to his name now, and I doubt he’d mind if I did– so, Danny Strong (Esquire), has turned in his screenplay adaptation of Mockingjay, which we all should know by now is only the first half of the novel, at least that’s what I’m assuming. Any who, with the info that Strong (Esquire), has turned in his screenplay, the subsequent news is that the studio liked it enough to contract him to write Part Two. Guys, we have Part Two likely being written right now, which means– stuff. I’m at a loss for words at this point, because my brain is still processing that Part One is finished, and all I want to know, more than who the hell is going to play Annie Cresta, is where did he split the novel!?

In my head one of the perfect places to split the novel in two, when adapted to the screen, has always been when Peeta and Katniss are reunited in the belly of District 13, and we get that confusing as hell moment where he starts to choke her. Perfect cliff-hanger to me, because face it, they don’t have Dobby’s death to break up this story. They do however have the mental death of the Peeta we all know, and love to itty-bitty pieces. We all know the saying “leave them wanting more”, and that is is where my mind goes if they do decide to fade to black after Peeta reaches out, and attempts to squeeze the life out of Katniss. Other moments where the split might feel natural is Chapter 9, or this moment…

“But between the images, we are privy to the real-life action being played out on the set. Peeta’s attempt to continue speaking. The camera knocked down to record the white tiled floor. The scuffle of boots. The impact of the blow that’s inseparable from Peeta’s cry of pain.

And his blood as it splatters the tiles.”

This is literally where Part II: The Assault begins, which in my head makes so much sense to split the story there, it’s almost uncanny. Imagine the impact of seeing the splatter of blood on tiles, and then the scramble, or the look on Katniss’ face realizing Peeta may be dead within minutes, and the static screen, and the mad silent look of horror permeating everyone’s minds and faces.  Cliff-hangers are beautiful things, my friends, this is what I learned from nine seasons of The X-Files. Other people have their opinions, like that the story should be split when Katniss learns that Gale has left District 13 with a squad to rescue Peeta and co. But to me, that moment doesn’t have enough momentum to it, and/or action. Think about it.

Now for the other news to pierce our souls today, or at least mine. Jennifer Lawrence is going to be doing a film with Batman. I mean it, she’s signed on, according to Deadline, to be in David O. Russell’s next project, which boasts a cast that already includes these fine tumblr_m93cgikMd21rrgmn4-1gentlemen: Christian Bale, also known as Batman, Bradley Cooper, and none other than Jeremy Renner. I have to confess, Christian Bale is high on my list of actors who I’d love to be considered for the role of Boggs, and yes– I’m wholly aware of him being only in his late 30s, just like Bradley Cooper– but he’s one of the best actors of his generation, and an Academy Award winner. Also, seriously if you have a problem with Christian Bale taking up residence in the role of Captain Boggs in my head, along with countless others, it’s my head– and it’s a fantastic place to live, I’m telling you. In my wonderful head space though, even if Christian, Bradley, or Jeremy are not cast as Boggs, consolation prize is they will all be in a movie together, and I’ll probably end up buying a copy of it.

I need cake.

Them There Eyes

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5 comments

  1. Oh dear… is David O. Russell going to be JLaw’s ‘Tim Burton’ (as he is to Depp)?

    Regarding the MJ split, I kind of think a good place to end Part I is the end of ch 13 when Katniss realizes Peeta is irretrievable and asks to leave. She ends with, “Send me to Two.”

  2. Thing is, movies are not episodes of TV shows and you can’t end them with the “to be continued” cliffhangers where the audience is left thinking “WTF is going on?” (It’s how the small budget B-movies of the 50s were ending, but the audiences had to wait just a week or so, I don’t know how much, to see the next one, not a year!) A movie should be able to stand on its own. Therefore I think that endings such as “Peeta announces that D13 will be bombed” or “Peeta strangles Katniss” are out of the question.

    The other reason why I think the former is out the question is that there is just not enough happening in Mockingjay up to that point, and way too much happening after that point. An additional reason why ending it with Peeta strangling Katniss and some explanation about his hijacking that would leave a bitter taste if it ended on love angst and Katniss’ despair and would be devoid of any clear message about the war. I think the split should come after the battle for the Nut, Katniss’ speech and D2 joining the rebels: this is a big climactic event that shows Katniss at her most heroic and has her taking an important stand, and the D2 siding with the rebels as a result shows that a successful rebellion is about winning the hearts of people more than blowing them up.

    The second movie can then start with the preparation for and the actual mission to Capitol and focus on hijacked Peeta and his slow recovery andthe K/P relationship, as well as also Johanna struggling with her PTSD after torture, and the Finnick/Annie wedding; the action part of the movie would involve the Star Squad mission to Capitol, which will probably take up quite a lot of the movie, and the attack that took the lives of Prim, other medics and Capitol children. The other big moment is, of course, Katniss shooting Coin, and the ending of the movie would need to expand on the book – not only because the last chapter felt rushed, but because it’s a movie where you don’t “tell” but “show” such things such as Katniss’ trial and the machinations of the new government (I think these things should be dealt briefly), Katniss and Peeta growing back together, the rebuilding of D12, their and Haymitch’s life there, where other characters have ended, and the epilogue (all this could take up about 20 minutes or so).

  3. Movies CAN have cliff hangers if they are a series. I think it’s perfect when Peeta strangles Katniss. Then they can show President Snow after in the ending talking about how, “They have him back now, but not the way in which they intended. It’s only a matter of time now…” Ahhh that’d be PERFECT! You know because they say it was too easy to save him because they know they F’d with his mind!

    1. Not that kind of cliffhangers. What goes as a “cliffhanger” in a movie (not counting the B movie series of the 1950s, which worked more as TV shows do today) is, as a rule, an ending that can work on its own and feels like it’s rounding a whole but leaves an open question to be resolved in the next installment. If you’ve seen “Buffy”: its season finales were like endings of a movie in a series, each one of them could work as a series finale (they were planned that way in case the show gets cancelled) despite having open issues to be resolved in the next season. To continue a TV show comparison, what a movie should not end on is the “to be continued” cliffhanger such as one between the first and the second part of a two-episode finale.

      I can’t think of any movie in a series that had this kind of a cliffhanger, a real cliffhanger. For instance, The Empire Strikes Back has a bleak ending with Han being cryogenically frozen, Lando and Chewbacca going to save him, Luke being given an artificial hand and pondering over having learned Vader was his father. Is that a cliffhanger? In the movie sense, I guess you can call it so, but it’s not a genuine “to be continued” cliffhanger we’re talking about here. Ending a movie on Peeta strangling Katniss would be like ending a movie on Lando betraying Han, without having any idea what is going to happen next, or Leia getting caught by Jabba the Hut while trying to save Han – cutting things right in the middle of a story without any explanation.

      1. Agree with Ivana that I can’t think of any movies in a series that ended in a “to be continued…” type of cliffhanger. Not the Lord of the Rings, not Twilight, not Harry Potter. In Twilight, it would as be if BD Part 1 ended just as Bella was going into labor, instead of the ending we did get, which DOES tell the viewer that Bella DID survive that particular crisis.

        In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, while the last scene does show Voldemort seizing the Elder Wand, Harry Potter himself was (though temporarily) safe and sound, having survived his latest confrontation with Death Eaters. In order for it to have been a similar cliffhanger, it should have ended with Bellatrix throwing her knife (won’t go into further details for the HP-naive).

        Also, let me point out that THG movie itself, changed the ending so that it was NOT the same kind of cliffhanger as the book (which did end with “to be continued”). Instead of ending at the scene in which Katniss takes Peeta’s hand “one more time for the audience”, as it is in the book, the movie showed us that audience; both the people of D12 welcoming the two Victors, and the audience of President Snow contemplating what had happened. Now, I realize that the movie ending can be criticized for leaving the state of the Peeta-Katniss relationship very vague and confusing for some moviegoers. But I understand why they went in the direction they did.

        I think this shows that LG does want each movie to stand on it’s own as a complete movie. The THG ending provided a sense of foreboding, but also a sense of at least partial closure. An ending to MJ-1 in which Peeta strangles Katniss would provide the non-book-fan audience with neither foreboding or closure, but total confusion and shock. I also seriously doubt that a PG-13 movie will end with a teenage girl being strangled by her significant other!

        I think another dimension to the movies that many of us tend to forget, is that many people in the theater will NOT have read the books beforehand. It’s easy for us to say, “oh, it should end with Peeta strangling Katniss, that’ll be such a cool, total cliffhanger!”
        But the movies are NOT being created only for us rabid fans who already know what is going to happen. I saw the LoTR movies before I read the books, and I would have been very confused if, for example, the first movie ended DURING the attack on the Fellowship that is Boromir’s last stand, instead of showing Frodo and Sam going off on their own. I think a “Peeta strangles Katniss” ending would be like that.

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