Director Francis Lawrence Says THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Will Ditch Shaky Cam and Focus More on the Love Triangle

     October 8, 2013


When the YA adaptation The Hunger Games opened in theaters last March to record-breaking box office, Lionsgate understandably was ready to movie quickly on feature film adaptations of Suzanne Collins’ two book sequels, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.  Director Gary Ross deserves a sizable amount of the credit for the first film’s success, but he wasn’t keen on rushing right into the next film without ample time to work on the script.  As such, Ross opted not to return as director, and Lionsgate quickly started the search for a replacement.  The studio subsequently settled on Water for Elephants and I Am Legend filmmaker Francis Lawrence, who signed on and got to work prepping The Hunger Games: Catching Fire straight away.

Not only is Lawrence currently gearing up for next month’s release of Catching Fire, but he’s already in production on the two-film finale The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.  Many have wondered what changes Lawrence may have made to the series with Catching Fire, and now the filmmaker has spoken up to address some of the issues he had with Ross’ first film.  Hit the jump to read on.

hunger-games-catching-fire-josh-hutcherson-jennifer-lawrenceWith The Hunger Games, Gary Ross took great care to approach the film not only as a potential blockbuster, but also as a character-driven piece that took Collins’ social commentary seriously.  Ross shot the entire film handheld to give it a real-world feel, and felt very strongly that the Capitol, its inhabitants, and the games themselves should not be glamorized in any way.  The result was a different kind of franchise film than Hollywood was used to, and it paid off in spades.

Speaking with New York Magazine (via The Playlist), Francis Lawrence addressed his take on the material, noting that he has ditched Ross’ camera style:

“No! [Laughs.] No shaky cam. I think a lot of people will be happy to hear that.”

Lawrence also added that he has decided to focus more on the love story between Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss, Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta, and Liam Hemsworth’s Gale this time around:

“I felt the love story in general was, um, a bit buried in the first one. I wanted to bring the love story to the surface. And when I say love story, I mean the triangle.”

Catching Fire has thus far looked very promising in the trailers that we’ve seen, but it’s a tad disappointing to hear Lawrence talk about wanting to up the romance and ditch the real-world camera style in favor of something more commercially appetizing.  Obviously the romance is a big part of the books, but so is rebellion and a politically conscious populace, so hopefully The Hunger Games doesn’t devolve into something more akin to Twilight in these next few films.


  • Aaron Sullivan

    I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt but those two decisions together sound ominous to say the least. The books submerge the triangle because the main character does. The movie should do the same as it’s much more powerful that way. Catching Fire DOES necessarily deal with it more directly, so hopefully he is just saying what he thinks some fans want to hear and isn’t as shallow and commercial as he’s making himself sound. :/

  • cnd21

    Well that put me on edge…. I know there’s a love story, but I was hoping they would focuse more on the games and Katniss, not make her this girl who depends on a guy… Hopefully they don’t. Less than 2 months, so I’ll hold judgement based on his statement.

    • DjangoBro

      Don’t worry half of the movie will take place in the arena. There will be more than enough footage.

  • $2367358

    I’m with the previous 2 guys. Worrisome but I’ll wait and see. Really like the poster above.

  • GrimReaper07

    The love triangle is exactly why I liked the first book but never wanted to read beyond that.

  • loki

    The thing is that he isn’t doing anything that isn’t in the books. The triangle has a more permanent role in the second book than in the first. I’m not too worried. And besides all the triangle stuff will be at the very beginning of the movie cause after that Katniss has more important things to think about. I’m sure it won’t take much time at all.

    • vik

      Yeah I agree. I think what he means when he says ”there will be more of the love triangle” he means like 1 or 2 scenes addressing it. I’m not too worried either. The trailers and the promotional material have been really promising so far. I’m excited!

  • name

    More action, less twilight love triangles, its that simple.

  • Scavenger

    I agree with the Director’s thoughts on this; perhaps I will like his movie better than the last one

  • Reina

    ahh the romance wasn’t why I read and loved the books……

  • Alberto

    Let us not forget that Francis Lawrence is known for turning great books into not-so-good films, starting with I AM A LEGEND. So when he says things like these, it’s worrisome.

  • Sten

    No more shakycam is the right decision. I’m happy with that. Hopefully Alfonso Cuaron started a new trend with his one shot technique in Gravity. JJ Abrams should take notes: no more shakycam please! Can you imagine a Star Wars movie with shakycam? The Star Destroyer couldn’t be seen in it’s glorious overwhelmingly size. Imagine the Cuaron approach on the other hand: that’s the way to go, Hollywood!

  • Mauro

    I agree with Sten: no more shackycam please! I hate it. It was the only thing I did not like about the first movie, so I’m very very happy with Lawrence’s decision

  • Aaron Sudarma

    The novel itself focuses more on the love triangle anyway and it’s only evident in the first third of the book. Everyone thinks a love triangle will equal to a horrible Twilight clone. The reason Twilight failed was because of the source material.. and not to mention the films had a horrible screenwriter…

    I’m trusting Francis Lawrence because by what we’ve all seen so far, he has made a film that will balance the rebellion/emotional scenes, the effects and the love triangle well. So unless they made Katniss Everdeen as a wimpy teenage girl, Peeta Mellark as a sparkling vampire and Gale Hawthorne as a brooding werewolf.. this love triangle is going to be nowhere near what Twilight was.

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