Director Francis Lawrence Talks THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – Part 1, Deleted Scenes, the Lack of IMAX, the Batman vs. Superman Logo in I AM LEGEND, and More

     November 20, 2014


Opening this weekend is director Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  In the next installment, we find Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in District 13 while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol.  Unlike the last two films which focused on surviving the games, Mockingjay – Part 1 is about the rebellion spreading throughout Panem and the way both sides play the media to gain the upper hand.  It’s an extremely well done movie and fans of the franchise will not be disappointed.  Joining the cast are Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Pollux (Elden Henson), Messalla (Evan Ross), and Castor (Wes Chatham) alongside Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonJulianne MoorePhilip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth BanksSam Claflin, and Donald Sutherland.

A few days ago in New York City I landed a great video interview with Francis Lawrence.  During our extended conversation he talked about editing Mockingjay – Part 1, deciding the right place to end the film, deleted scenes, the possibility of linking up Part 1 and 2 for a marathon-style fan screening, why he didn’t use IMAX on Mockingjay, the status of Mockingjay – Part 2, and so much more.  In addition, Lawrence talked about the Batman vs. Superman Easter egg in I Am Legend and how the logo is very close to what WB is using for Batman v Superman, if he has has any interest in doing another comic book movie, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

hunger-games-francis-lawrence-liam-hemsworthFrancis Lawrence Time Index:

  • 0:12 – Does he follow tracking for his films?  Says he follows tracking, but doesn’t read reviews.
  • 0:58 – Talks about twitter and his “tweeting issue”, promises to tweet more after the holidays when he gets back in the editing room for Mockingjay- Part 2.
  • 2:22 – Talks about the Batman/Superman Easter egg in I am Legend, says he did not know Warner Brothers was going to use that logo for Batman v Superman.  Says the logo was included in I am Legend because the producer and writer, Akiva Goldsman, wrote an early draft of a Batman/Superman film.
  • 2:39 – Talks about directors playing musical chairs at Warner Brothers during the development of Troy and Batman Begins.
  • 4:50 – How long was his first cut of Mockingjay – Part 1?  Says his first director’s cut was about two hours and twenty-five minutes
  • 5:35 – Talks about wanting to edit the Mockingjay films tighter than Catching Fire since they’re making two movies out of one book.
  • 6:50 – On deciding the right place to end the film.  Did it change in the editing room?  The film ends generally were it was always meant to, but it was shifted a little bit.  Originally the final scene in Part One was the first scene in Part Two.
  • hunger-games-francis-lawrence7:34 – Deleted scenes.  Says there are a couple lengthy deleted scenes including a three and a half page scene between Peeta and President Snow, and that there are more deleted scenes from Mockingjay – Part 1 than there were from Catching Fire.
  • 9:01 – Talks about the possibility of linking up the films for a marathon style fan screening.
  • 10:32 – On the reasoning behind ditching IMAX for the Mockingjay films, says it worked in Catching Fire because there was a moment in the script to shift the format organically and he couldn’t find a place to do it in Mockingjay.
  • 12:50 – On receiving notes from the executives and having exactly right chemistry with the creative team.  Says they got on well and wanted to make the same movie and there wasn’t any change in the way he was treated between Catching Fire and Mockingjay.
  • 14:28 – On the progress of Part Two.  He’s worked on scenes and sequences, but hasn’t seen the movie front to back yet.  Says they started with the major visual effects sequences, so most of those have been cut.  They’re going to start working on the film as a whole after Thanksgiving.
  • 15:34 On what he wants to do next. Does he have a genre in mind?  Does he have any interest in a comic book film?  Says comedy is the genre that scares him the most and it’s unlikely he’ll make a comic book movie.  He already did it with Constantine and he’s feeling superhero fatigue, but if it was a great story and script he would do it.


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