The Studio Games Continue…

Word is out that X-Men: Days of Future Past has had to push production back from January to April. Well, this is a Hunger Games blog, what does that have to do with us?

Back in April, The Girl With The Pearl talked about Jennifer Lawrence And The Studio Games, where the production schedule for Catching Fire was largely impacted by her commitment to the X-Men sequel. Fox said they needed Jennifer in January, and she’s contractually obligated to be there. No biggie, except that it would mean that principal photography with Jennifer for Catching Fire would need to be shot before then, very much limiting the time available to prep and film the damn thing. An important note is that, even back then, while Fox insisted filming would start in January, there were reports that they were nowhere near a finished script.

Before we get into it, Fox is well within their rights to ask for Jennifer if that’s when they’re to start filming. She signed onto that franchise first so they get first dibs. That’s how The Studio Games work, after all.

But who is really surprised that Fox finally budged?

You can’t start filming without a finished script, and even if it is completely done, pre-production takes months,especially with such a big movie. We’re still shocked that Francis Lawrence got production up and running for Catching Fire so quickly. Fox most likely would have always had to push production back at least a little bit.

And back to the question at hand, what does this mean for us?

Well, most importantly, production for Catching Fire does not have to be on such a time crunch. As soon as we knew shooting Catching Fire was on a deadline, we could hear the clock tick-tick-ticking away (Tick tock, Wiress would say). If Fox truly won’t start shooting X-Men until April, we can relax a little. We already have an inkling that Francis Lawrence is trying to shoot as much footage as possible, so hopefully this could mean even more.

So thanks, Fox, for doing what you were probably always going to do.

Am I the only one who isn’t quite understanding that X-Men title?



  1. It’s probably too late in the day now for it to impact on Catching Fire’s production. They’re almost wrapped in Atlanta and then they’ll be moving to Hawaii. The schedule is set, and that will involve permits to film on certain days, actors availability, crew availability etc. It will give them breathing room if necessary, but I can’t imagine that they’ll go much over schedule. It will probably give FL more time in post-production of CF and pre-production for MJ.

    If Jen is tied up filming X-Men all spring, then filming on MJ can’t start until summer at the earliest. But I don’t think it will result in a delay for those films either as they’ll still have plenty of time to get them filmed for the planned release dates.

    1. I was thinking more along the lines of being able to shoot pick-ups rather than straight up lengthening their shoot. Obviously they won’t be able to have full production going all the way up to when Fox really does need her, but it does give more leeway than a January deadline would.

    2. While this may not change the “on-location” schedule as much, seems to me that there is still going to be a lot of studio-based work that could be filmed using the extra time. It will certainly give LG more time with CGI and other special effects, especially since the CF arena is much more artificial and tightly controlled by the Gamemakers than the THG arena (even though that was also shown as more controlled in the movie, than in the book).

      Also, by giving F-Law more leeway for post-production work, this may also let F-Law and company get a leg up on pre-production for the MJ films; perhaps this is one reason LG decided to keep him on as director? (While Fox delaying the X-men filming was just announced now, LG may have been aware of it before that).

  2. I know that technically this is good for us since, as you said, it gives more leeway for extra shooting/reshoots etc, but does it kind of frustrate anyone else? I mean, this is the reason we lost Gary and the reason preproduction was so rushed… and now they’ve just pushed it back? Ugh

  3. The funny thing about it is that Gary Ross said he needed eight months to put together Catching Fire and if Fox was more realistic about their timeframe early on, he could have got those eight months. Still, I’m not sure if that would have been a good or bad thing for the franchise.

    1. There’s also the possibility that even if GR stayed on for the second film, he might have decided that the time available between CF and MJ was too short (especially considering MJ will likely be shot as one long movie, though released in two parts). If he’d walked away at that point, we might have wound up with a big split in continuity between the first two movies and the last two.

      I think that keeping movie continuity between CF and MJ is very important, more than between THG and CF. After all, many readers already think the canon, book version of MJ is discontinuous with the first two books due to many reasons, such as D13 being the main setting for much of the story, lack of Peeta, angstier Katniss, etc.

      I’m also very interested as to what Jennifer Lawrence meant when she said that Francis was “more fantastical” than Gary Ross in his approach to the franchise. Though I guess we’ll have to see his versions to find out.

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