Francis Lawrence has finally spoken to the media! Not just a few short, sweet clips, but a full-blown interview with MTV.
There were a lot of great tidbits, bit our favorite was Francis respectfully stating that he’ll be doing things a bit differently than Gary Ross:
“I liked what Gary did a lot, but I have a different style than he does,” Lawrence explained. “So it was very easy for me to come in the room and sit down with the people involved in the movie and sort of say, ‘Here’s what I like about what Gary did that I would latch on to and hold onto and embrace, and here’s the way I would do it differently.’”
We love The Hunger Games, but we can see why Francis would want to change some things. We’ve already seen a marked, positive change in the costume design. What else could we possibly hope for?
The Terror - We were often concerned during The Hunger Games, but we were never really scared for the characters. In fact, we only got startled when the mutts first made their appearance because HOLY CRAP, WE CANNOT HANDLE JUMP SCARES. We’re not talking about fear in a horror movie sort of way, but in an suspenseful “This is awful! Why is this happening? Oh dear goodness I’m dying inside…” sort of way. Lawrence executed this type of suspense pretty successfully in I Am Legend, so we’d love to see him bring that to Catching Fire.
The Pacing - The Hunger Games had odd pacing, in our opinion. Certain scenes were quick and full of danger… and in others, Katniss was just camping. It was a constant shift between scenes that seemed way too long and important moments flitting by too quickly. A big part of this correlates with the lack of true fear for the characters throughout. Overall, it certainly doesn’t ruin the movie, but we think a steadied pace would compliment Catching Fire well.
The Camaraderie - The Careers aren’t friends in The Hunger Games, but they have an understanding. At least temporarily, they’re a unit. They care about each other, though not as much as they care about themselves. That doesn’t quite happen in the movie. They’re just a band of rowdy kids without any real connection other than their Districts. With even more history between the tributes in Catching Fire, their complex relationships will hopefully come across more clearly.
The Character Psyches - One other thing Francis Lawrence mentioned that really excited us was making PTSD more evident in Haymitch. We want this to extend to all the characters in Catching Fire. Young and old, they are all scarred and they all suffer from some form of distress that they all deal with differently. But none of the tributes of the 75th Annual Hunger Games can be doe-eyed and unaware. They need to be rough on the inside, forever changed by the mentality of the games.
Gary Ross started the franchise off right, but if changes are going to be made, hopefully they help highlight the unique situations and characters presented in Catching Fire and make the story we love so much better.
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