GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT?!
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