MTV has premiered the first teaser trailer for the highly anticipated follow up to last years $691 million hit, The Hunger Games. Interest on my part has been relatively high as I enjoyed the book series and the second book, Catching Fire, was far and away my favorite in the series. I enjoyed Gary Ross' take on the first film and the world he set up and created for these characters to exist and rebel in as the titular challenge is simply a stage to personify the extremes the capitol goes to in order to keep their people in check. I was anxious also to see what new director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Water for Elephants) would be contributing to the world and if the trailer is any indication it is only getting all the more dark and all the more epic. The whole thing looks a a bit sleeker and a bit more credible than the slightly laughable capitol outfits that made the first one look like it took place partly in Oz. As the trailer is structured around a conversation between President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and new Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) that details the downfall of Katniss we get a taste of the great cast hamming it up and delivering the goods. There are several cuts to Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) on their victory tour, but as the trailers for the first film did there are no games in sight and only a slight hint towards them near the end here. I won't lie and say I haven't been eagerly awaiting this trailer though I thought I'd have to wait longer. Does this make it better or worse we still have to wait seven months for the actual film? Still, this trailer has given me faith in Lawrence and piqued my interest in these film adaptations again in that this second installment might actually exceed the first and match the intrigue the novel delivered. The film also stars Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, and Amanda Plummer. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens on November 22nd in IMAX and traditional theaters. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.

Synopsis: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.

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