Director Francis Lawrence Goes Deep in 50-Minute ‘Red Sparrow’ Q&A

     March 13, 2018


Back in 2015, Collider partnered up with IMAX for a screening series. The goal was to show both old and new movies and have intimate conversations with the people involved in bringing the films to life. While I had optimistic goals for what I wanted to accomplish, over the past two years we’ve absolutely exceeded my lofty expectations by showing some of the biggest new releases before they’ve been in theaters, including meet and greets for the fans. To every filmmaker and actor that’s worked with us, I say thank you!

However, there is one person that deserves an individual shout out and that’s director Francis Lawrence. That’s because every idea has to start somewhere, and back when the idea was just a dream, Lawrence agreed to launch the IMAX screening series by letting us show The Hunger Games Mockingjay – Part 2 and sitting down with me for an extended Q&A with a lucky group of fans. Because of that screening, I was able to reach out to other filmmakers and studios to show it can be done and the rest is history.

francis-lawrence-hunger-games-imax-screening-series With Lawrence’s fantastic spy thriller, Red Sparrow, now in theaters, we recently held a special IMAX screening for Collider readers here in Los Angeles. Once the movie ended, I sat down with him for almost an hour to talk about making the movie, which also included a ton of great audience questions. Thankfully, IMAX shot the interview for Facebook Live so I can share it with everyone below.

During the Q&A, the filmmaker shared  some great stories about working with Jennifer Lawrence, what it’s really like filming the brutally violent scenes, how he didn’t want to make an erotic thriller, what he learned from test screenings, his four-hour first cut, which scenes he deleted and why, how he’s done shooting on film, what it was like showing Jennifer Lawrence the movie for the first time, and so much more. Trust me, if you’re curious how Red Sparrow was made you’ll learn a lot watching this Q&A.

Again, a huge thank you to Francis Lawrence for doing this Q&A, and for helping us launch the Collider Screening Series. Below the video is a list of exactly what he talked about.

Red Sparrow also stars Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jeremy Irons.


Francis Lawrence:

  • What was it about Red Sparrow that made him want to make it after Hunger Games?
  • How did the project come together and how did he get Jennifer Lawrence to do it?
  • What was it like pitching Jennifer Lawrence on the role especially with the nudity involved?
  • What was the collaboration like with Jennifer Lawrence? Talks about he didn’t want to make an erotic thriller.
  • What was it like on set filming the really brutal scenes?
  • red-sparrow-posterWhat did he learn from test screenings that impacted the finished film?
  • Talks about the ending of the movie without spoilers. Did they film a different version?
  • Talks about why he changed the ending of the book.
  • Where did they film the movie and which location was the most challenging?
  • What was it like filming at a major London hotel?
  • How much time did he have to film the movie and how did it compare to a Hunger Games shoot?
  • How much did he manage every shot and did he give anything to second unit?
  • How long was his first cut compared to his finished film?
  • Talks about deleted scenes and when he removed them.
  • How he loves Full Metal Jacket and modeled some of the Sparrow school on that film.
  • What was the last ten minutes he removed from the film?
  • Does Jennifer Lawrence ever ask for a different take to be used in the edit?
  • How Jennifer Lawrence was the very first person to see the film and she had the power to change anything she didn’t like.
  • How has Jennifer Lawrence changed as an actor since they first started working together?
  • Did they ever talk about doing this as a PG-13 movie?
  • What cameras did they use and why?
  • Will he ever shoot on film again?
  • Plus a ton of fan questions that last almost 30 minutes including new details on his “imaginative” series for Apple.

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