Hunger Games shoot moves to Europe

in Cinema by

Battle scenes will take place in Paris and Berlin

Filming on the final book of the Hunger Games trilogy has wrapped in Atlanta, Georgia, and will be moving to housing projects near Paris and the disused Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, according to film industry sources and postings on social media site Twitter.

Filming in Atlanta wrapped April 18. The city had been used as a production base for the second part, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, in 2102 as well, The first installment, The Hunger Games, was shot in North Carolina. In the film series, Jennifer Lawrence plays the lead role of coal miner’s daughter named Katniss Everdeen who becomes a symbol of rebellion against a cruel dictatorship. Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland also have significant roles in all the films. Julianne Moore is joining the cast for the final installments.

The third book, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, is being broken into two films. The production faced some challenges when actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of a heroin overdose in February, leaving some key scenes unfinished. Rather than reshoot the role with a new actor, Hoffman’s role will be completed with CGI, body doubles, camera tricks and some rewritten scenes. Reportedly he had a week of filming left, although he had rented a house in Atlanta for much longer.

A similar technique was used in the 2000 film Gladiator when actor Oliver Reed died. Fast and Furious 7 is also currently using CGI to finish late actor Paul Walker’s role. The first use of CGI to complete an actor’s role was in the 1994 film The Crow, after Brandon Lee was killed in a special effects accident involving a gun.

The Hunger Games novels are set in a post-Apocalyptic world that has a country called Panem, which is broken into 12 districts, an opulent capital city and a destroyed District 13, which had been a rebel stronghold during an uprising approximately 75 years before the novels take place. Most of the first two novels take place in District 12, a coal mining area, and in forested locations for the fight-to-the-death competitions that give the novels their names.

The conclusion takes the action to several other districts, necessitating the need to change locations.“We are going to new places. No one’s ever been to District 13, and we have not really been in much of the Capital, so creating that is the really fun stuff,” Lionsgate production president Erik Feig told industry magazine Variety.

Housing projects near Paris will stand in for the outlying sections of the capital during an uprising. “Kubrick shot the [Full Metal Jacket] siege in London. In a weird way, we love the idea of urban sprawl. So we (looked for) big buildings that have been around forever. We kept coming back to classic war movies, and we started thinking we should look into Europe,”  Feig said.

While the role of Tempelhof Airport hasn’t been disclosed, fans speculate it might be used for District 2, a military installation in the novels. A German casting company recently sent out a cattle call for 1,000 extras for the Berlin shoot.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 is scheduled to be released Nov. 21, 2014. The conclusion of the series, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 should hit screens Nov. 20, 2015. The pair of films, which were shot simultaneously have an estimated combined budget of $250 million.

The 2012 film The Hunger Games had a budget of $78 million and took in more than $690 million at the box office. The sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, had a budget between $130 million and $140 million, and reaped almost $865 million at the box office.

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