The release of The Hunger Games teaser trailer was certainly an epic event, but the arrival of these character posters feels even more monumental. As I’d hoped, not only did Lionsgate release designs for Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Liam Hemsworth as Gale and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, but a handful of other characters, too. Meet Elizabeth Banks as Effie, Amandla Stenberg as Rue, Alexander Ludwig as Cato, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch and, via Fandango, Lenny Kravitz as Cinna.
Naturally, being the first time we’re getting a glimpse of these characters, my eye is attracted to Effie, Haymitch and Cinna. All three are particularly stylized characters with some very distinctive visual attributes, so it’s interesting to see what Lionsgate chose to bring to life. However, the poster that moves me the most is certainly Rue’s and that’s thanks to Stenberg. Even with a costume sans bells and whistles, this image says so much, thanks to Stenberg’s expression alone. With one look she presents Rue’s youth and innocence as well as an incredible degree of strife.
Rather than pinpoint a least favorite, I’d like to draw attention to an element of these designs that’s just the slightest bit distracting: the logo. Every single photo has a softness and delicacy to it, but then Lionsgate slaps on that brightly burning title. Perhaps if it were moved to the upper right-hand corner, it’d be less distracting. I understand the need to keep the logo consistent, especially when it comes to building a presence for the film amongst non-fans, but the imagery in this set of posters is just so beautifully subtle, it would have been nice for the entire poster to reflect that.
Enough from me -- it’s time to bring in the fandom! What’s the consensus across the board? Check it out …
Shylah of Down With The Capitol
Favorite: I love them all, but if you're making me choose, then I pick Haymitch. This glimpse gives us a really interesting insight into the way Woody Harrelson is going to bring him to life. Note how well dressed he is and, most surprisingly, those long blond locks! While the books say Haymitch is from the Seam, it looks like he must have some connection with the Merchant class (characterized by their light hair), and is trying to keep up that appearance even through his alcoholism.
Least Favorite: My least favorite of the bunch is Gale. Liam Hemsworth definitely looks the part, but I wish there was more anger in his face. Gale is just as fiery as Katniss, and I would have loved to see a little more of his rebellious nature come out in this photo.
HG Girl on Fire
Favorite: We get the smallest glimpse of Effie's bright pink hair and bright personality. Unlike all of the other posters, she's the only one that seems to almost be smiling. And, of course, her splendid over the top dress is perfect for our overdone Capitol lady Effie.
Least Favorite: Cato's poster, while still excellent (and good-looking), is the least interesting and revealing. There isn't too much to learn about Cato here, especially knowing how fierce his character is.
Crystal of Mockingjay.net
Favorite: Out of all eight posters I like Peeta's and Rue's the best. Peeta looks his best when he's soft and the look on his face has just the right touch of longing. I can just see him wearing this expression when he says, "One more time? For the audience?" Rue looks so innocent and beautiful and the way she's looking down is so amazing. Also, I'm glad they got Cinna's eyeliner in there. I was really wondering whether they'd be that accurate and I wasn't disappointed!
Least Favorite: I was most disappointed in Haymitch, though I suppose a drunk Haymitch doesn't make as great a poster as post-Games Haymitch. I was also really looking forward to Effie, but, in the end, she kind of scares me! I guess that means her garish Capitol look is spot-on.
Favorite: While every single one of these posters looks amazing (thank you, Lionsgate!), we'd have to say our favorite is Cinna. Not only does Lenny Kravitz pull off the understated look of our favorite stylist, but the fact that he's wearing gold eyeliner really makes us confident that the movie will include the little details from the book that mean so much to fans. Plus, Lenny as Cinna was the one casting choice that threw off a lot of fans and we think this poster will give them confidence in Lionsgate's decision.
Least Favorite: Like we said, we really do love every one of these character posters, but if forced to choose, we'd say Alexander Ludwig as Cato is our least favorite only because we wanted him to look more evil. While we understand there's only so much you can do with a profile shot, we're not sure Cato looks like the kind of kid who kills for fun here.
Natalie of Crushable.com
Favorite: For me, it’s seeing the Capitol characters that makes all of this real. Even though the tributes are all unique - as we can see with Cato’s hair and Rue looking down, which is great - a lot of The Hunger Games’ commentary is on the glittering, scheming Capitol citizens. I agree with people who say that Effie looks unexpectedly scary, almost kind of ghastly. (I definitely expected more pink!) Cinna is perfectly subtle, just that splash of gold eyeliner. I had forgotten that detail, but I’m really glad that Lionsgate remembered it. And I’m going to lump in Haymitch with this group, since his poster looks to be him once he’s been cleaned up for pre-Games socializing. It’s not quite how I expected my first view of him, but already it shows us that there are at least two sides to him.
Least Favorite: Gale’s poster was just the same as the photos we’ve already seen of Liam Hemsworth; it doesn’t get me any more excited for his character. But, that might be because he doesn’t get to be in the movie much anyway.
Theresa of Down With The Capitol
Favorite: How can I decide? I have three that are my immediate favorites - Katniss, Rue and Peeta. But out of these three I think Rue is my favorite. This is our first glimpse at her and I love how they are portraying her as small and having her looking down. To the unknowing eye, it makes her appear so vulnerable, but readers will see her as the powerful player she is and know she is looking down at her competition from the trees above.
Least Favorite: Ok, as much as it pains me to say it, my least favorite is Haymitch. I love his character in the books, but this put-together Capitol show he has going on in the poster doesn't feel right to me yet. Plus, coming from the Seam, I expected dark hair (ok or maybe bald). I'm sure it will grow on me and I love Woody Harrelson as Haymitch, but I’m just not sure of the style yet.
Hunger Games Network
Favorite: What an incredible bunch of posters! I was dying to see Cinna's gold eyeliner and Lionsgate did not disappoint. There is something to talk about with each of the eight posters, but I personally fell in love with Effie. I wasn't quite sure what to expect out of the Capitol, and now the anticipation is renewed. Most of the books' charm lies with the Capitol. If Lionsgate nails it, the movie adaptation could never fail. I also particularly likedPeeta, subtle and perfectly blond Peeta. Although I'm not sure how Haymitch will actually be carried out in the movie, I'm okay with his first look. Overall, plus one for Lionsgate!
Least Favorite: I think my least favorite has to be Gale, and I've always been very pro-Gale, but somehow I feel the studio isn’t bringing out Hemsworth's full potential. I hope it turns out better in the actual movie.
Favorite: I really love Rue's poster with the way she is looking down. It really represents her young and innocent character. All in all, I think all the posters look amazing; such beautiful photography.
Least Favorite: My least favorite would be Haymitch'sbecause I was hoping to see him more haggard and worn out, like he seems to be throughout most of book. To me, it doesn't represent his character as much as the other posters do.
Adam of The Hunger Games Fireside Chat
Favorite: Effie, which I never expected to favor above the others. However, her eye-catching poster looks like it came fresh out of MOMA, with its brilliant blend of minimalism and style. What an exquisite use of color, capturing the essence of Effie so artistically.
Least Favorite: Cato, because you might as well just go to Abercrombie for that one.