Hunger Games featurette looks behind the scenes

Lionsgate has released a clip featuring behind the scenes Hunger Games footage in the form of two featurettes. Warning: lots of spoilers within, especially if you haven’t read the book.

The first takes a look most closely at Katniss’ stunts and training. It also includes one of ET’s annoyingly dumb hosts blathering on, unfortunately.

The second, also from ET, but without host voice over, gives each of the principal actors time to talk about how much they loved the books and their film roles.

There are a few revelations here about the film which we hadn’t seen in earlier trailers. However, it does seem that the gamesmakers themselves will be a greater part of the story than they were in the book. Since the novel is told from Katniss’ point of view, once she’s in the arena, she’s only ever guessing at the motivations of the gamesmakers, and the workings of the arena.

We’ve got some scenes here showing how the audience will get a look behind the curtain at the control center for the arena, and watch the gamesmakers make some of their decisions in controlling the fighting and entertainment. 

Also, something that Wes Bently said struck me as interesting, as he called the arena “virtual.” Perhaps I missed it, but I got the impression from the book that the tributes were fighting in a real location which was terraformed differently each year. If studio changed it to a holodeck, well, it would certainly be interesting to know why they made that particular alteration, especially when so much of the film looks like they strived for as much source accuracy as possible.

In addition to those featurettes, we’ve got this new clip from the film which shows Josh Hucherson as Peeta, a role I’ve been a bit worried about since Hucherson’s terrible performance in Journey 2, although that movie made even Michael Caine look like an untalented hack, so perhaps I should give him the benefit of the doubt.

The most recent synopsis released for the film is thus:

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.

Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Also, here’s the trailer for reference:

Due to early ticket sales, The Hunger Games is already a successful picture, and the author of the books has come out in direct support of the adaptation, now that she’s seen it in its entirety. It’s shaping up to be a pretty big win for Lionsgate, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they soon confirm an adaptation of the second book.

The Hunger Games, which stars Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, and Josh Hucherson, hits theaters on March 23, 2012.

True, this clip doesn’t instill much confidence, but if Hucherson’s lackluster performance is the only darkspot on the film, it’s still looking good.