Welcome Back, Francis Lawrence!

Can it be real?! Good timing? Dedication? Perhaps even a shot at continuity? Yes, it is so!

Francis Lawrence Director The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Mockingjay 1 and 2

His hair did all the negotiating!

Lionsgate has bucked the annoying but hip new trend of hiring a new director for every film in a franchise and signed Francis Lawrence up to direct Mockingjay Part 1 and 2! We’ve aired our grievances with too much change in a single franchise before and we were expecting the “different director for each book” approach after Gary Ross decided not to come back (as if Lionsgate could act like “Oh, that? We totally did that on purpose! Trend alert!”) We’re psyched to see an effort to keep things steadily rolling along.

That being said, feelings are still mixed. The people over at Lionsgate trust Francis Lawrence with The Hunger Games franchise, otherwise they wouldn’t have re-hired him for the pivotal, intense ending to the series. He’s made it clear that he wants to do the series justice and do right by the fans. The dude is doing something right.

But we can’t trust him yet! Nothing personal, Frankie! We can only trust our own opinions, but we haven’t even been able to form them. We won’t even see a teaser trailer for another several months. There’s over a year until the release of Catching Fire and it hurts so much to even think about that! We’ve seen other work by Francis, but that doesn’t give us any real hints about his ability to successfully interpret the second and third installments of Hunger Games, even if he’s worked on fantasy before.

Without anything to go on, even we remain cautiously skeptical. Every actor in the franchise could say he’s great, but that doesn’t always lead to outstanding final products. We want it to be outstanding, of course! If it’s not, this site is going to get uber depressing at an alarming rate.

In short, it comes down to this…

Congratulations Francis! Now Don’t Screw It Up!
The Girl With The Pearl

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5 comments

  1. My first reaction was ‘yes!’ Because while I totally get that Francis hasn’t proved himself yet ti THG fans, I think there is a better chance of one director giving a continuity of vision AND the possibility of IMPROVING with every movie. No question that the more you do something the better you get at it. With a new director for every movie, there is NO chance of that.

  2. I think that having a unified vision for the last three movies will be a good thing. However, the caveat is that, unlike Gary Ross, it seems that Francis Lawrence has delegated much of his work to others, most obviously the script, unlike GR, who was deeply involved in the script, casting, etc. While this makes sense in terms of how FL can handle the quick turnaround time between movies, when GR couldn’t/wouldn’t. So, it seems to me that, depending on who else on the production staff is retained for the MJ movies, that there still might be some gaps in continuity.

    And truth be told, one aspect of MJ that does worry me a little is that script. Not that it won’t be a good story, but whether it tells the whole story SC wanted to tell. I am hoping that it’s not TOO political, focusing too much on powermongers like Snow, Coin, and Plutarch, to the detriment of the story arcs involving Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Finnick, etc. (Something you can argue the THG movie already did to some extent.) Also, note how the ending of “I am Legend” deviated from the book significantly, and FL was criticized for this; but he didn’t write the script.

    Anyway, I really hope that CF has at least as good a reception among fans as the THG movie did, otherwise I agree with The Girl with the Pearl that this site, as well as other fandom sites, will get pretty depressing to visit. I also find it interesting that the initial fandom reaction to GR leaving was overall disappointment and “Gary Ross is Boss”, but now that FL is locked in, I’ve seen a lot more GR bashing floating around the fandom. Oh well. I guess whoever won the 73rd Hunger Games also became a complete has-been once the Star-Crossed lovers became famous.

    1. I think that is what makes The Hunger Games so rich– it’s very much the personal story of Katniss, with all these layers of political and social issues. You can keep digging for a long time and never run out of something new to think about.

      However, the movie is sans Katniss’ inner thought life. I watched the movie with a friend recently and her comment was that the movie seemed so shallow compared to the books. I think our best hope for the movie/s is that the script hint at the layers underneath but keep the dynamic between Kaniss

      1. Peeta, Finnick, Haymitch, and Gale so that their personhood feels real. Wr need that depth in the characters to make the other issues meaningful on a micro level.

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