ABOVE: Stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, and director Francis Lawrence were at Comic-Con promoting the final instalment in the The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay – Part 2.
SAN DIEGO — About 6,500 Comic-Con conventioneers were the first to see the full trailer for the final installment of The Hunger Games series, but the playful banter between the series’ three leads was the real can’t-miss moment.
Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, along with the film’s director and producer, unveiled the trailer for Mockingjay-Part 2 Thursday at the annual pop-culture celebration.
The camaraderie between the stars was obvious as they shared the stage inside the San Diego Convention Center’s largest meeting hall.
When Hutcherson said being part of The Hunger Games was “the most incredible movie-making experience, and just experience in my life, getting to know these people,” Lawrence and Hemsworth playfully petted his face.
“He’s a sweet, sweet angel,” Hemsworth cracked, adding that the two share a scene in the final film that almost hints at a bromance.
“We have this really emotional scene together,” he said, “and there might be a kiss between Josh and I.”
After Lawrence felt she fumbled the answer to a fan’s question, Hutcherson joked he had a “kill switch” for her microphone.
“What have we learned over the years about me and public speaking?” she asked rhetorically.
Hosted by Conan O’Brien, who is taping his nightly talk show from Comic-Con this week, the Mockingjay-Part 2 panel opened in dramatic fashion: An army of drummers dressed all in white pounded out a solemn beat as they marched through the exhibition hall.
Director Francis Lawrence played the trailer at the start of the hour-long presentation, and again at the end. Fiery and battle-filled, it shows Katniss Everdeen leading a civilian army into the Capitol to take on tyrannical President Snow.
Jennifer Lawrence said she hopes the film inspires young people to consider “the power of our future is in our hands.”
The three lead actors said ending the four-film series is deeply emotional. But Lawrence feels she and Katniss are forever connected.
“Something was bestowed onto Katniss in a way that me saying yes into these movies was onto me,” she said. “The changes that happened in my life from doing these movies are so permanent and still with me that I don’t think I’ll ever say goodbye to her.”
That doesn’t mean the final day of shooting wasn’t heartbreaking for the three stars-turned-friends.
“There’s no way to say this without starting rumors,” Lawrence said, “but that night we held each other and slept like puppies.”