Francis Lawrence

Things We Learned From The Mockingjay Part 2 Comic-Con Panel

After catching up with life and the rest of Comic-Con– because holy hell, guys, there was so much win at Comic-Con this year!— we’re finally ready to talk about that Mockingjay Part 2 panel and all its glorious moments.

If you haven’t yet (where have you been?!), watch the panel below:

And now, the lessons begin!

1. Conan O’Brien ain’t responsible for those questions!

Poor Conan! The questions he was given to ask the cast didn’t seem at all organic and contained lengthy chunks of backstory, so he kept having to throw in jokes about how he didn’t write the questions. Describing Peeta as “not Katniss’ biggest fan” after exposition about his whole situation in front of fans who clearly know the books? We’d do the same damn thing, Coco! Of course, it did result in constantly reminding fans just how staged that panel was and that’s certainly a pitfall.

2. Liam Hemsworth is slowly but surely developing a sense of humor!

You know how there are several variations of this meme?


There’s a reason Liam is always Squidward. It’s not that he didn’t has a sense of humor, he just doesn’t always come across that way. Maybe it’s the post-Miley era or maybe it’s just meeting up with old friends, but Liam was actually funny this time! He cracked jokes, he whistled the wrong theme, he giggled when fan’s swooned at him. Hopefully, this means good things for the press madness this fall!

3. Jen still thinks the reference to her nephew as a toastbaby is a spoiler!

Jen slipped and mentioned Josh playing with her nephew, Josh tried to cover it up by pretending the baby was just hangin’ around during epilogue filming. Like we don’t know better! It’s okay Jen, gush totally and completely about your adorable nephews like any auntie does! We all know what happens at the end of the book. Still, Josh’s attempt to cover it all up was quite endearing!

4. We are genuinely embarrassed by some fan Twitter handles!

Your Twitter handle is all yours… riiiight up until you include someone else’s name and make it awkward. Most Hunger Games related handles are referential without being weird, but HemsworthsHugs and Hutcherwife in there totally got the cast weirded out. And suddenly everyone who knows better than that felt awkward too. I actually facepalmed and groaned a little at the latter. Please don’t let these stars think this is representative of the whole fandom! Most of us are normal and not stalking you, we swear!

5. Katniss Everdeen is the new face of the Rhythm Nation!

JJ already covered the new “Stand With Us” propo. It was interesting, but don’t worry– the Internet made it better by making it exactly what we were all thinking just shortly after Miss Janet Jackson announced her upcoming world tour! It only took one of the staffer to post this (and about six more hours for a larger entertainment site to steal the idea and make their own).

Side note: We keep thinking of this scene from Across The Universe. We’re not saying it inspired the propo, but the two are now linked in our minds via dancing hardcore soldiers.

6. We’ve had a lot to talk about on Twitter!

According to data from the social media site, the Mockingjay Part 2 panel was THE MOST discussed event at Comic-Con via their social media outlet. Not Star Wars, not Batman v. Superman.. THE HUNGER GAMES. Daaaaamn guys, you must’ve had a lot to say.

7. We’re the only suckers who refuse to leak full trailers!

Not that we blame any of you Comic-Con attendees, of course! The Hunger Games is, in general, a very respectful fandom. They tell you not to record, you don’t record. At least the video. The audio is floating around the Internet. Also, we haven’t been to SDCC, but we’ve been to other cons that monitor the audience like hawks to make sure you’re not recording. Yeesh, it’s intimidating! But as leaks for Deadpool and Suicide Squad and X-Men: Apocalypse hit, we couldn’t help but think “DAMMIT! There wasn’t one asshole in that room willing to attempt it?!” We recognize that it’s purely selfish and we’ll get the trailer soon enough, but still we want the trailer even if we don’t expect the trailer. It’s Fandom 101!

Until Next SDCC– Oh Wait.. *sob*
The Girl With The Pearl

Reserve the Right to Be Impatient

Last night at CinemaCon, Francis Lawrence gave a couple quick interviews to Collider and MTV about Mockingjay Part 2. There’s some nice tidbits about the upcoming Epilogue filming, the current cut of the film’s length, and his plans to attend the Hunger Games Exhibition opening and Comic Con.

That’s some good stuff to get fans excited for this summer. When asked about when we would see the first footage from Part 2 he said he didn’t know (because honestly he doesn’t control the timing of these releases).  He also said that fans should “practice patience” because it hasn’t been that long since Part 1 came out.

We totally understand Francis being annoyed about fans harassing him on Twitter about a trailer because as he said, while he has input into the creation of the trailer, he does not control the release of them. Or other facets of the movie’s marketing plan. So stop bugging him (and Nina) about those things, please.

But the thing about being patient for teases of the movie… sorry, but NO. NO WE DO NOT ACCEPT. WE ARE PROUDLY IMPATIENT.

i am super chillAnd we don’t think anyone involved in the movies should want us to become more patient. Listen, die-hard fans WANT news and teases of the thing they love. It’s normal. IT’S A PART OF OUR DNA AS HUGE FANS. It’s what differentiates huge fans from casual fans who just watch the movies but don’t really pay attention to trailers or other things along the way. The day we become patient is the day Lionsgate should get seriously concerned. Because casual fans show up whenever and once. We show up first and often. We talk repeatedly about what we love and drag our friends and family along. We get hyped and make it contagious.

It’s the end of April and within the context of movie marketing, we are not unreasonable to expect some things now. Stills, a new poster, a teaser trailer. Yes, these are all reasonable things to expect. The Hunger Games movies are huge – they deserve blockbuster-level hype and attention. If blockbusters such as Star Wars (opening Dec 2015) and Batman v Superman  (Opening March 2016) can release stills and teasers already, yes, we’re going to expect the same for Mockingjay Part 2 now. We see you at this level. YOU CAN DELIVER TO THIS LEVEL.

As fans, we do our part by getting excited when STUFF IS RELEASED. The day we sit patiently for it is the day we stop caring for it to come at all. Don’t play that game of chicken with us. We certainly don’t want to play.

We just want to enjoy all we can of the time that’s left.


Francis Lawrence Fiesta!


Hemsy and Lawrenced Squared. BECAUSE WE SAID SO.

Hemsy and Lawrenced Squared. BECAUSE WE SAID SO.

Today is Francis Lawrence’s 44th birthday! And we’re celebrating with this appreciation post!

Francis Lawrence is THE main man behind the last three films in The Hunger Games franchise. Though we’ve yet to see Mockingjay Part 2, we can definitely say they we loved his work on Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 1.

If you were around when Gary Ross left the franchise after the first film, you remember the collective groan from the fandom and the general sense of “Now what?” It’s not that Gary Ross was the undeniable leader of the film franchise, but he had done a solid job on a limited budget. Who knew what to expect from a new director?! It definitely had the potential to be a disaster.

Then rumors of Francis Lawrence directing came about. He had three movies under his belt– one of which was Constantine (In retrospect, we blame the screenwriters, Francis!), but another one was I Am Legend, which was actually really good. More than his limited movie history, we went into throwback mode because F-Law started off with music videos and HE DIRECTED THIS:

This alone is proof of what this man could do with effects (which weren’t a strong point in the first movie) and a limited budget.

Soon after, Francis was announced as the definite director for Catching Fire. The first photos of Francis and Jennifer meeting wound up online and LAWRENCE SQUARED WAS BORN! Because unnecessary nicknames are our favorite!

This guy is immediately MOBBED by the fandom. He definitely feels the pressure. But he shoots his movie and the same and when fans get their first trailer… It’s really, really good. As more clips and footage finds its way online, it’s more than good. This movie looks fan-freaking-tastic!

Lionsgate announces that Mockingjay will be split into two films and Francis will direct both before Catching Fire is even out. We’re divided on the split, but no one has any complaints about Francis directing. He talks about the films passionately and articulately.

At the Catching Fire premiere, Francis comes out for a signing. The fansites stand in a media pit a few feet away, not expecting much attention. He introduces himself (as if we didn’t know!), asks up how we’re feeling as we stand in the hot sun, asks us what sites we’re from (Them There Eyes is wearing a Victor’s Village shirt and replies “It’s on my chest!” He doesn’t even flinch.) Someone thanks him for saving the franchise from a sophomore slump and we all agree pretty heartily. He’s nothing but gracious.

And then we watched Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 1, which were tonally different but both superb. And we are super thankful for his part in this franchise!

At Least We’ve Stopped Calling Him Frank,
The Girl With The Pearl

May The Force Be Ever In Francis Lawrence’s Favor

Today we’re talking about a big, unconfirmed rumor that could be a load of bunk, BUT WE LOVE THIS RUMOR SO MUCH THAT WE DON’T CARE.

According to (which appears to be a Star Wars fansite), Francis Lawrence “is being sought to write and direct” Star Wars Episode IX. The site doesn’t list the source, so as we say, it could be completely untrue, but it got our pulses racing at the possibilities.

Francis Lawrence on Mockingjay set

Why? Because we LOVE what Francis Lawrence did with Catching Fire and Mockingjay Part 1. He respects source material, hires great people, and seems to have great working relationships with his cast and crew.  He knows how to world build yet doesn’t over-use CGI. It also doesn’t hurt that he deals with the demands of crazy fans well too. That’s a pretty important quality if you’re taking on Star Wars.

Even if he doesn’t end up taking on this job, we’re excited to see what Francis does next. Well, I guess that’s technically Mockingjay Part 2, SO WE’RE ACTUALLY REALLY INSANELY EXCITED ABOUT THAT. But we’ll be in line to see whatever comes after that too.

Go get, ’em F-Lawless


Diving In With Lawrence Squared

Rejoice, my friends, for Lawrence Squared LIVES ONNNNN!

Okay, that might have been a little dramatic. But we’re not sorry because we’re really psyched that Jennifer Lawrence and Francis Lawrence are teaming up for a new movie post-Hunger Games.

Ferraras and Mestre

Ferraras and Mestre

Directed by Francis and starring Jennifer, THE DIVE will tell the true story of Audrey Mestre and her husband Francisco “Pipin” Ferraras. The two competed as freedivers, diving into the depths of the ocean without a breathing apparatus. Jen is playing Audrey Mestre, who died while attempting to break her own world record of 577.7 feet when the safety equipment meant to help her return to the surface failed. The movie is also a passion project for its producer, James freakin’ Cameron.

Let’s just mention now that Fox has not officially confirmed this in a press release. However, the story was broken by The Wrap, which tends to be a reliable source, and republished by multiple entertainment outlets. We likely wouldn’t be getting a press release until after an actor is cast as Mestre’s husband.

It’s not all action like The Hunger Games, but we’re suckers for a good, strong character story. And we all know J-Law has the chops for one of those! There may also be a bit of mystery, too. Mestre and Ferraras were reportedly on the brink of divorce with the abuse allegations flying (as Mestre became a much more beloved figurehead for the sport than her husband/mentor) at the time of her death in 2002. With his jealousy being fairly well known in the community, some have accused Ferraras of disabling Mestre’s safety equipment– or at the very least, not properly ensuring its functionality– before the dive. Cameron and Ferraras seem to be friendly, however, so the story may not explore that angle.

Thanks to Jabberjays, we got sucked into this really interesting documentary about the woman who inspired it all:

We know Jennifer Lawrence can act the hell out of any role, so we’re thrilled for that. But we’re also really intrigued to see how Francis works with a piece that’s fantastical in a more definite, real world sense. The director is mainly known for solid sci-fi and fantasy worlds, but we can’t wait to see how he tackles something more intimate.

We Don’t Envy All The Constant Underwater Scenes, Though!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Big Big Big Mockingjay Part 1 World Premiere

It’s Mockingjay Part 1 World Premiere Day! And the lucky attendees are watching the movie RIGHT NOW. We really want to be those people. A lot. But we’re stuck telling ourselves that it’s ok – once we see the movie, we’re stuck back to waiting 365 more days to Part 2. And that brings its own struggles.

Hello Glamorous People

Hello Glamorous People

The part of the premiere that we COULD see was livestreamed on Yahoo UK, which is a mix of the host repeating herself ad nauseum to kill time while awaiting someone to arrive, watching the stars pose and sign things for the excited fans, and some super-quick interviews. All very shallow and silly sure, BUT WE LOVE IT and wait all year for this craziness.

Some highlights from the livestream:

  • Francis Lawrence teased that yes, there is one remaining scene to film. And Jennifer later said that he had promised her it would involve a horse. We’re not so sure about how that’s going to work, but we’ll let the two of them work that out.
  • Nina has enjoyed interacting with fans on twitter. So continue being nice to her so she keeps tweeting us little teases. She was the saving grace of the long winter of no Mockingjay news in 2014.
  • We want to listen to Jeffrey Wright discuss the books for hours, not just a minute. Let’s make that happen. He can bring anyone else from the cast too.
  • Jena Malone is aware of the fanart and fanfiction. Does she read the fanfiction though? We want to know.
  • The host tried to say that Effie and Katniss were “best friends” and Elizabeth Banks found a way to graciously find a way around that completely wrong comment without making the interviewer aware of how dumb it was.
  • Josh Hutcherson was well enough to attend the premiere, but still not fully recovered. It didn’t seem to scare away any of the screaming fans though (we get it – I GOT JOSH HUTCHERSON GERMS is a fun story to bring home with you. Just maybe stay away from your friends for a while to keep from passing it along).

mockingjay premiere photo call


Finally, this cast is gorgeous and appreciates us, even when we scream and shove things at them to sign. We really love them for that.

Can we see the movie yet?





Final Trailer Reaction Post

The final trailer was released this morning, and that means one thing– collective fandom flailing across the globe, and a patented Victor’s Village reaction post featuring all three of us. So without further nattering, here’s the trailer, and under the cut will be our lovely non politically correct reactions!

JJ: Yep let’s talk burning!
Them There Eyes: First off, everybody state where they watched the final trailer! JJ: In my office cube, with headphones though.
TTE: Grocery store parking lot!
The Girl With The Pearl: Hiding in the work bathroom. ALL TIME LOW.
TTE: The Girl With The Pearl wins!
JJ: You gotta do what you gotta do
TTE: Exactly, plus I warned not to have food stuffs around me, in case I flailed, screamed, or choked on anything.
TGWTP: Winning, in the worst way possible.
TTE: Hey, at least your not Peeta! Which brings us to the fact that today was yet another day of extreme Peeta-Feels.
TGWTP: Poor Peeta! That line delivery was beautiful though!
JJ: Every shot of Peeta we see gets worse for him. Thanks, Francis. But Josh totally owned it. So well done!
TTE: I know, but we’re total gluttons for tortured Peeta. And yep, Josh is winning all the emotive awards today.
JJ: He’s mastered the teary eyes. I imagine we’ll see more of that. And it will destroy us even more.
TGWTP: But the feeling bad is a good thing! No one can say they don’t understand Katniss’ Peeta-Feels.
JJ: We all feel Katniss’s pain!
TTE: I’m looking forward to feeling destroyed by Josh Hutcherson’s acting abilities.
JJ: Yes, let him shine, especially since his screen time will be limited.
TGWTP: I feel like Josh deserves much more acting credit than he gets.
TTE: He’s been making us cry since Bridge to Tarabithia.
TGWTP: This movie could open a major doorway as he’s an adult actor now.
TTE: You mean it could turn him into the next Ryan Gosling? Or maybe Jake Gyllanhaal?
TGWTP: I could get behind that!
JJ: I approve of all these.
TTE: If he’s going to base his career on anything, I’d hope it would be those two.


125 Minutes

The latest rumor in Mockingjay Part 1 waiting-land concerns the movie runtime.  The movie’s IMDb page (which can be edited by people with a paid account) now lists 125 minutes. If true, that would be about 21 minutes shorter than Catching Fire and 17 minutes less than The Hunger Games, but who’s counting?

All we want is for you to make another incredible movie for us. NO PRESSURE!

All we want is for you to make another incredible movie for us. NO PRESSURE!

Well, all the fans are, from the buzz about it. That, or we’re just trying to take our minds off the silly snack food promotion. Whether the runtime is actually 125 minutes or not, we’ve heard from Francis Lawrence himself that the individual Mockingjay movies would be shorter than the previous movies. There’s two movies to cover one book, after all. We would hope that having the luxury of two movies means that there will be no need to rush through scenes or edit out material we love for the sake of run time. And we have every indication that there will be some new material added because we are able to see beyond just Katniss’s perspective.

Of course, the cynical business person in me also notes that a shorter runtime adds up to the availability of more movie showings per theater per day, but I’ll put that aside in favor of the thought that the movie will be as long as it needs to be to tell the story.  Catching Fire’s end credits were 10 mins 20 seconds (yes I did just check that on my digital copy of the movie), so 125 minutes means about 115 minutes of real movie time. If Francis Lawrence thinks 115 minutes is enough to tell this part of the story I’m going to trust him. And then we’ll have some extra time to sit and cry during the end credits and wonder about how appropriate that Lorde song really is for the movie.

Until the next rumor…


The Mockingjay Challenged (with the #ALSIceBucketChallenge)

It’s swept the internet over the past couple of weeks and made over $50 million (and counting for) ALS Association. Some think it’s wasteful and silly, but from a fundraising perspective, it’s worked phenomenally. And it’s given us some priceless videos of people getting cold water dumped over their heads.

And some of the Hunger Games Mockingjay crew have taken up the challenge too, offering us a fun little respite from the August blahs.

Thanks to a fan and PanemPropaganda, the challenge got on Nina Jacobson’s radar, who took up the call and nominated the Mockingjay cast’s leading ladies.

Then Francis Lawrence joined in the, fun, nominating the Mockingjay boys.

Julianne Moore heard your cries for MORE WATER.

Liam Hemsworth showed love for Ninja Turtles his challenge.


Willow Shields put on a brave face (but it was COLD).

Jena Malone has plans to take part too. Anyone else thinking about how Johanna was tortured with water? Ok, this just got dark.

Sam Claflin seemed to be game, but we’re still waiting on him too.

He’s probably just devising a plan to out-water Benedict Cumberbatch (I know he’s not Mockingjay, but this was impressive. *Applause*)

And what about Natalie Dormer, Josh Hutcherson, and Jennifer Lawrence? No word on their plans. Though Josh and Jen may be having flashbacks to those freezing days filming Catching Fire water scenes?

Update: Friday night, Josh took up the challenge (while wearing one of his signature white tees, of course). The person pouring the water did it tortuously slow too. Eeeevil.

Update #2: On Saturday, Sam bundled up and got dance-y!

You can show thanks to all those who’ve spread the word with their challenges and support ALS by donating.

Stay chill.


President Coin – A Role Worth Seeking Out

After last week’s little blurb of an article and repetitious “first still” of Katniss Everdeen in Entertainment Weekly come two online articles today with a little more to chew on. There’s some hints about the tone and greater world building and also about the expansion of President Coin’s character in the movies.

One surprising thing about Coin’s casting was that Julianne Moore approached them about the movie. According to Francis Lawrence,

She actually sort of tracked us down and had an interest in the books through her kids.

First of all, a big THANK YOU to Julianne Moore’s children for getting the books into mom’s hands. Last spring/summer Coin was THE top role that we were all wondering about with Mockingjay casting. Fansites collaboratively did a “Campaigning for Coin” set of posts thinking about different actresses who could fit the role. Julianne Moore was included in the lot. (Read it, it’s fun to see now).

And seems like Francis Lawrence saw it right away too because,

She didn’t audition. Once we knew she wanted it, that was it—done.

Did anyone question this casting? No. Why would you???

Did anyone question this casting? No. Why would you???

When she was cast, I think there was resounding joy among fans that someone of her caliber would play the role. But the fact that she already knew about the books and was captivated enough by them to pursue playing Coin makes me so happy. She didn’t have to be courted. She knew the power of the story and the potential of the character.

With big movies like this sometimes you worry that top actors are just “in it for the money” so they can then go off and do low-paying indie passion projects without going broke.  I’m sure she’s getting paid well to play Coin (as well she should, it’s only fair considering the box office of these films) but seeking out Francis Lawrence with her thoughts on the character is a good sign for the complexity of the role, which the article says has been expanded for the films.

Yay, President Coin! Wait, that sounds weird.