The Hunger Games: Catching Fire wasn’t just good, it was shockingly good. Francis Lawrence firmly grabbed the reins of this franchise, crafting a slick sci-fi epic that pleased fans and non-fans alike. It also pulled in over 864 million dollars worldwide, became the top grossing YA adaptation of all time, and is now the number ten domestic grossing film of all time. Lionsgate was smart to keep Lawrence at the helm of the final two films in the series, but not just for business reasons. Based on what I just saw in the trailer, I think this will make a dynamite half-movie. The Capitol aesthetic is nearly all gone, replaced by the utilitarian sci-fi of District 13. I love the idea of Peeta being used as the anti-Katniss, and Donald Sutherland’s President Snow has never looked or sounded more evil than he does on that big screen.

If the critical reaction is as good as it was for Catching Fire, I’ll probably be seeing Mockingjay: Part 1 when it opens in the US on November 21.