‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ First Look; Aaron Taylor-Johnson to Battle ‘Godzilla’

The first official images from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire were released on Thursday, showing characters such as Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss and Plutarch Heavensbee, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. In addition to revealing the new pics, producer Nina Jacobson revealed why fan-favorite characters Bonnie, Twill, and Darius will not appear in the sequel.

“I want every single thing in there,” Jacobson said. “But… If you have to give up something in order to give more time to Katniss and Gale or to Effie as she starts to feel a conscience, you make the sacrifices in order to serve the characters and themes that are more essential.” Catching Fire arrives in theaters November 22. [EW]

Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla recently drafted Frank Darabontfor a rewrite, and now the film is searching for a star.

Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson has reportedly been offered the leading role in the film, and that the actor will most likely sign-on once Darabont completes his rewrite. Johnson can currently be seen in the Oscar-nominated drama Anna Karenina. [Variety]

Bridesmaids’ director Paul Feig recently decided to stay rooted in the business of making more R-rated comedies. In light of the recent successes of Ted and The Hangover series, 20th Century Fox has signed the director to a first-look deal, allowing Feig to write and direct adult-themed comedies under his Feigco banner. Feig recently made buddy cop comedy The Heat for Fox, which is set for release April 5. [Deadline]

The Norwegian helmers behind Oscar-nominated Best Foreign Film Kon-Tiki have signed on to direct their first-ever major studio project. Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg will helm Spectral for Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. The story details are (per usual) being kept underwraps, but word ‘round the campfire is that the film is in the vein of Black Hawk Down but with a supernatural twist. [Deadline]

Reports of Steven Spielberg’s next project being dead are slightly exaggerated. In a recent interview following his Oscar nomination for Best Director, The Beard himself said that his new sci-fi entry, Robopocalypse, is still going to happen – just latter than planned. And with a new story. “We found that the film was costing a lot of money and I found a better way to tell the story more economically but also much more personally.” Spielberg told Entertainment Weekly. “I’m starting on a new script and we’ll have this movie back on its feet soon.” Spielberg hopes to have the new story completed in six to eight months. [EW]

Excited for your latest Hunger Games fix? Or for Spielberg’s return trip to the sci-fi genre? Tell Celebuzz all about it in the comments!

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16 Films You Need to See in 2013 (PHOTOS)

Hollywood just had its biggest year ever at the box office, raking in a whopping $10.8 billion in ticket sales. Naturally, the town celebrates by challenging 2013 to “top that.”

Channing Tatum, Jennifer Lawrence and Matt Damon are just a few of 2012’s stars returning to conquer the box office in new year, with some help from J.J. Abrams, Ryan Gosling and Iron Man, of course.

There’s a crazy amount of movies vying for your attention in the new year. But don’t worry, Celebuzz is here to help with a guide to the must-see movies of 2013.

From superhero movie sequels to another trip to the Hunger Games, here are 16 films to look forward to this year.

Release dates are included when available, so Sharpie them in on your calendar and let us know in the comments which films you are dying to see.

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‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ First Look: Jennifer Lawrence Back as Katniss (EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS)

May the odds be ever in your favor, Katniss!

Production is officially underway for the Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the highly-anticipated sequel to the box-office hit, filming in and around the metro Atlanta area.

After sharing snaps of Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark) and Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair) suited up at tributes on Thursday, Celebuzz has the exclusive first look at Jennifer Lawrence reprising her role as Hunger Games heroine Katniss Everdeen.

So is the Games victor back to bloodshed and brutality in the arena?

Not quite yet. Hiding under an umbrella and snug-fitted hooded sweatshirt, Lawrence was spotted darting between her trailer and the Catching Fire set.

The Francis Lawrence-helmed Hunger Games sequel, a Lionsgate production based on the second book in the Suzanne Collins trilogy, sees Katniss and Peeta returning home victorious after winning the gladiatorial games, only to be called back into action for the 75th Hunger Games — better known as the Quarter Quell — which pits past champions against one another.

After the film wraps in Atlanta, the next installment of the fan-favorite franchise will move locations to Hawaii, shooting on island beaches and jungles before completing production in late December.

In the weeks leading up to filming, Catching Fire castings were flying in feverishly. In terms of Quarter Quell competitors, Jena Malone will play snide District 3 tribute Johanna Mason while Claflin will bring to life dashing District 4 tribute Finnick Odair.

They will face off in the arena against the other recently-tapped tributes: Smallville actor Alan Ritchson was named as Gloss and Stephanie Leigh as Cashmere, the two tributes from District 1. Maria Howell and E. Roger Mitchell will star as District 11 tributes Seeder and Chaff, respectively. And for District 2, Bruno Gunn will star as muscle man Brutus and Meta Golding will play fierce golden-fanged Enobaria.

The newcomers — which also includes Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Jeffrey Wright — join returning principals Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy), Lenny Kravtiz (Cinna), Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman), along with Lawrence and Hutcherson.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is set to hit  theaters November 22, 2013.

Check out what happens on set of the Hungers Games with the behind-the-scenes video, below.

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Ever wondered where the Hunger Games actors were before hitting it big? Uncover their pasts in the video below.

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‘Catching Fire’: Josh Hutcherson and Sam Claflin On Set of the ‘Hunger Games’ Sequel (EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS)

Just days after Lionsgate announced the start of production for Catching Fire, Josh Hutcherson and Sam Claflin are already showing their stuff as tributes.

Celebuzz has the first exclusive photos of the film’s stars in and out of costume in between scene on the Hunger Games sequel.

Although co-star Jennifer Lawrence was nowhere to be seen, director Francis Lawrence, who took over helming duties from The Hunger Games writer-director Gary Ross, already has at least two of her male counterparts suiting up for action.

Which Hunger Games star seems to be in better shape?

Judging by his ripped physique, newcomer to the series Claflin (The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) is more than ready to compete. The actor didn’t hesitate to leave his short off while making his way to the set.

But even at a diminutive 5’7”, Hutcherson looked ready to battle as he put on his skintight tribute costume.

Launch the gallery — above — of more exclusive photos from the Hunger Games: Catching Fire set.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is set for release on November 22, 2013. Watch this video which explores the world of the tributes:

           

‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Starts Production, Offers Fans a Chance to Visit the Set

Now that virtually every actor in Hollywood has joined the cast, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has finally started production.

Lionsgate announced Monday that Francis Lawrence’s adaptation of the second novel in Suzanne Collins’ blockbuster young adult series started shooting at locations around Atlanta, Georgia — locations some lucky fans may get to visit.

Jennifer Lawrence returns to the role of Katniss Everdeen alongside co-stars Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, who play potential love interests Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne, respectively.

Who’s new to the world of The Hunger Games?

In addition to returning cast members Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz and Elizabeth Banks, director Lawrence has added Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright and Sam Claflin to the ensemble.

The production is scheduled to shoot in and around Atlanta, but scenes are also being shot in Hawaii as principal photography races to wrap up before the end of 2012.

As anticipation intensifies for the sequel, Lionsgate has also announced a contest starting September 10 which will award 12 fans the opportunity to visit the set of the film and interact with the stars and filmmakers. Contestants must upload a 30-second video of themselves by October 12 in which they offer their top question for cast and crew members.

Fans who play The Hunger Games Adventures on Facebook (and soon on the iPad) can also enter. Full details are available on the contest Facebook tab, and at www.catchingfiresweeps.com.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is scheduled for release on November 22, 2013.

 

‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Starts Production, Offers Fans a Chance to Visit the Set

Now that virtually every actor in Hollywood has joined the cast, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has finally started production.

Lionsgate announced Monday that Francis Lawrence’s adaptation of the second novel in Suzanne Collins’ blockbuster young adult series started shooting at locations around Atlanta, Georgia — locations some lucky fans may get to visit.

Jennifer Lawrence returns to the role of Katniss Everdeen alongside co-stars Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, who play potential love interests Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne, respectively.

Who’s new to the world of The Hunger Games?

In addition to returning cast members Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz and Elizabeth Banks, director Lawrence has added Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright and Sam Claflin to the ensemble.

The production is scheduled to shoot in and around Atlanta, but scenes are also being shot in Hawaii as principal photography races to wrap up before the end of 2012.

As anticipation intensifies for the sequel, Lionsgate has also announced a contest starting September 10 which will award 12 fans the opportunity to visit the set of the film and interact with the stars and filmmakers. Contestants must upload a 30-second video of themselves by October 12 in which they offer their top question for cast and crew members.

Fans who play The Hunger Games Adventures on Facebook (and soon on the iPad) can also enter. Full details are available on the contest Facebook tab, and at www.catchingfiresweeps.com.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is scheduled for release on November 22, 2013.

 

‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Casts Jeffrey Wright as Beetee

Another tribute has been tossed into the arena — Jeffrey Wright will star as Beetee in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

In the second installment of the fan-favorite franchise, the Tony- and Golden Globe-winning actor will play the former Hunger Games victor from District 3 who returns to combat during the 75th Hunger Games, also known as the Quarter Quell, which pits past champions against one another. Beetee becomes known as Volts for his electronic prowess.

Wright is an acclaimed actor known for his performances in Syriana, Casino Royale, Shaft and Source Code. Next up, the veteran thespian hits the silver screen in Broken City opposite Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe.

With filming of the sequel scheduled to start this month, ‘Catching Fire’ castings have been flying in feverishly over the past few months.

In terms of the Quarter Quell players, Smallville actor Alan Ritchson was named as Gloss and Stephanie Leigh as Cashmere, the two tributes from District 1. Maria Howell and E. Roger Mitchell will star as District 11 tributes Seeder and Chaff, respectively. And for District 2, Bruno Gunn will star as muscle man Brutus and Meta Golding will play fierce golden-fanged Enobaria.

The newcomers join returning principals Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark), Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy), Lenny Kravtiz (Cinna) and Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman).

The Francis Lawrence-helmed Hunger Games sequel, a Lionsgate production based on the second book in the Suzanne Collins trilogy, is expected to start shooting this month and is due in theaters November 22, 2013.

The story sees Katniss and Peeta returning home victorious after winning the gladiatorial games, only to be called back into action.

Check out the ‘Catching Fire’ cast as it stands with Celebuzz’s cheat-sheet, below.