Lionsgate Goes All-In on Bonuses for Final 'Hunger Games'14 Mar, 2016 By: Chris Tribbey
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — When Lionsgate releases the limited-edition Blu-ray combo pack of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 March 22, disc owners will probably laugh, more than likely cry, and definitely want to watch it all over again.
No, not the movie itself, the final installment in the studio’s successful franchise (well, maybe that too). We’re talking about some of the five-plus hours of bonus features here, specifically the heartfelt eight-part documentary that had both journalists and people behind the movie in tears when the studio showed it off for the first time.
“I’m about to cry again,” said Ve Neill, makeup department head for all four of the “Hunger Games” films, after seeing the final part of the documentary (“A Different World: Reflections”). “To watch these kids grow up was such a special thing. We’ve stayed together, all of us. It’s a family, and I never thought it would be like this.” She then excused herself to start crying again.
The acting ensemble, the design of the final film, costumes, make-up and hair, the worldwide production locales, special effects and post-production all get their due in the documentary. But it’s the final part — a tearful send-off to Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died before filming was complete, a hilarious bit about how hard it was to wake up the baby in the final scene of the film, a toast to the cast and crew by Woody Harrelson that’ll give you shivers — that had even director Francis Lawrence close to speechless.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” said Lawrence, who directed the last three of the four “Hunger Games” films. “It was tough doing three movies in three years, and yes it was a lot of work, so there was a part of me that was relieved that the pressure was gone.
“But that last day of shooting, the very end, was tough. That final goodbye was sad.”
VFX make-up artist Glenn Hetrick, who worked on the last three “Hunger Games” films, said he hasn’t seen a home entertainment bonus feature done quite as well as what he saw with the documentary for the final film, using everything from “beautiful” to “amazing” to describe it. “The quality, the production value … it was enlightening,” he said. “Everything was absolutely next level, grand in scope, like the films themselves, and just as compelling.”
Already out on Digital HD, the limited-edition Blu-ray combo pack of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 doesn’t end with the documentary (dubbed “Pawns No More: Making The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2”): there’s an audio commentary with Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson, a photo reel, “Cinna’s Sketchbook: Secrets of the Mockingjay Armor,” a featurette on the “Hunger Games” exhibition and more.
Day and date with the release of the final film, Lionsgate will street The Hunger Games: Complete 4-Film Collection, featuring never-before-seen deleted scenes from the previous films in the franchise.