Will Mockingjay Part 1 Promo Keep Peeta’s “Secret?”

During our Mockingjay Trailer Reaction Post, I was surprised that my fellow VV ladies thought that the Mockingjay Part 1 promotion might try to keep Peeta’s hijacking a secret. I had never imagined that they would actually try to pull it off, because look at that sentence before – I just spoiled the secret! It’s so hard to live spoiler-free and when we’re talking major book adaptations, it’s even more difficult.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t try. I’m intrigued by this now.

peeta capitolSo in this scenario, what we continue to see is white-suited Capitol PR Peeta throughout the next two months. Any Peeta stills or new footage in tv clips are of this polished Peeta. This is certainly achievable, but this is the one thing that Lionsgate can control.

In interviews, they can control some of the things being asked but I can’t imagine they could keep the hijacked Peeta questions completely at bay. It’s too damn tempting. The media may hold off from overtly spoiling the surprise and instead ask softball questions like, “Peeta’s character goes to a very dark place in this movie. Did you find that challenging?” Still though, I think direct hijacking questions will happen. I think the hijacking will come up in movie reviews. So keeping Peeta’s storyline completely a secret to those non-book readers? I’m skeptical it will work unless you’re a very “unplugged” type of person who basically shows up to movies after seeing the trailer or tv spots and nothing else.

So why go to the trouble? Well, even though it’s hard for me to imagine that kind of lifestyle, there are a lot of unplugged type of moviegoers who just show up without much pre-knowledge.  I work with lots of them and they were BLOWN THE EFF AWAY by the Catching Fire surprises.

And for the rest of us, even if we know what will happen, I imagine seeing tortured/hijacked Peeta for the first time in the movie itself (with no stills, no video tease to prepare you, nothing) would be all the more jarring.  The NFL learned in the past few weeks that the public responds differently to knowing about something terrible versus actually seeing it happen. Image and sound add an extra element of powerful realness to horrible things.

If hijacked Peeta is kept officially under wraps until showtime, then we also wonder if they’re ending it at the strangling scene. Again, I’ve always thought no way. It’s too traumatizing to be left for a year on that, right? I figured they would end it with her going to District 2, or in District 2. Would they actually dare to end this movie with Peeta strangling Katniss? WOULD THEY REALLY DO THIS? Well,they weren’t afraid to end Catching Fire on “there is no District 12,” so they aren’t afraid of big cliffhangers.

I’m scared and excited and don’t know what else I’m feeling but it’s a lot of things. 

JJ

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7 comments

  1. i think they will try to keep it a secret about as much as they kept the arena a secret in the first movie, that is: not entirely. i believe they will keep hijacked!peeta out of trailers and any official promo, limiting his involvement to “the capitol’s poster boy” without showing what ELSE the capitol is doing to him. but i don’t think they will, say, actively forbid the actors from mentioning the hijacking.

    like you said, they’ll probably field those questions with “peeta goes to a really dark place”-type responses, but that’s just about the same as when media people would say that rue becomes a very emotional part of katniss’ life in the first movie, or that katniss and peeta become romantically involved in a sense during the games. just little bits that make people speculate as to what is not shown in the trailers. i don’t think they’ll touch the strangling, though– getting THAT specific is outright spoiling your audience and i don’t think that’s something they would do.

  2. after see the trailer,i am actually worry about another thing,is it possible mj1 stop at the reuinon time when both of two strecth out their arms before peeta hands reach katness?

  3. I think it will be a case where they’ll try to hold it off as much as possible but by the last couple weeks, they’ll pretty much just say “ah, screw it!”. Though others say, the strangling will be kept under wraps.
    While it’s a different fandom, it’s like the unreveal that the Winter Soldier is Bucky Barnes.

    I actually think the strangling would be an appropriate place to leave off. If anything, it could be a good juxtaposition with the end of Catching Fire.
    Where CF ended with an interplay of direct view of Katniss’ face going through an interplay of emotion, MJ-1 can end with a direct view of Peeta’s face locked in an expression of hijacked determination.

    1. The Winter Soldier comparison is a good one. Everyone knew the Bucky connection, but they didn’t reveal too much visually before opening.

      If they end it on the strangling it will create a lot (more) buzz opening weekend because it is such an extreme way to end the movie. But they risk irritating and creating bad word of mouth from the moviegoers who are skeptical about the “1 book 2 movies” finale structure further.

      I trust Francis & Co but it just seems too abrupt and shocking to close the movie on that. I don’t think it would make me personally like the film less, but if they do this they better not wait 9 months for us to see Katniss in any type of promotion again. I don’t need a round 2 of #TheMockingjayLives. WE KNOW SHE LIVES THERE IS A BOOK AND JENNIFER LAWRENCE HAS TOP BILLING IN THE MOVIE.

      1. Despite considering a strangling ending a poignant possibility with good cinematic potential, the concern you raise is more than a bit valid.

        I seriously do hope that Lionsgate’s marketing team is a bit more on the ball about Part II.
        Or is that that a bit too much wishful thinking?

  4. Couldn’t they reveal that he’s getting tortured, just not the hijacking? That’s what i’ve been assuming. If so, they can talk about the “dark place” and Josh can say how challenging it was, and non-readers will think they refer to effects of torture in general.
    After all, whether they end it on the strangling scene or not, the hijacking will be a very very small part of this movie, revealed only at the end. Why spoil it?
    Btw I’m 99,5% sure they won’t end it on the strangling, if for no other reason that they would want the tragedy of it all to dawn on people. I think they would want “Peeta might never be the same!” rather than “He might kill Katniss!” because everyone knows Katniss doesn’t die anyway. Also, it would be almost like ending in the middle of an action scene. No. They’ll want to wrap it up a little more than that.

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