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Movies PopWrapped | Movies

Catching Fire Director Talks About Challenges Stepping Into An Already Established Universe

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


11/20/2013 7:26 pm
PopWrapped | Movies
Catching Fire Director Talks About Challenges Stepping Into An Already Established Universe

Clare Sidoti

Managing Editor

Ever since the credits started rolling on The Hunger Games film, we’ve been anxiously awaiting to see how Catching Fire would be translated to the big screen. Well the long wait is almost finally over as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hits screens this week. With the new movie, comes a new director in the form of Francis Lawrence (of I Am Legend and Water for Elephants fame) who has not only been trusted to helm Catching Fire, but also has been signed on to direct the final two films. With the enormous success of both the novels and the first film, the pressure on Lawrence to live up to the standard set by his predecessors is high, and coming into an already established franchise one would expect there’s not that much room to put your own stamp on the series. I mean, if it’s not broke, why fix it? But as Lawrence explains in a recent interview with The Huffington Post, there were plenty of opportunities for him to exert some creative control. “I’m a different person [to director Gary Ross]; I’m going to definitely have a different style at least visually than Gary does,” he explains. While places like District 12 and the Capitol had been established in the first film, the other Districts that Katniss and Peeta visit on their Victor’s Tour certainly allowed room for Lawrence to develop his own style. “There was a lot of room to sort of create and to grow and to sort of make “Catching Fire” my own and just try and tell the story as best I could”. With any film adaptation of a beloved novel, challenges arise in bringing to life scenes, characters and environments that fans have fallen in love with and created their own ideas of how it’s supposed to look like or feel. It also takes the element of surprise away from the plot. This was certainly in the forefront of his mind as he made this film and found it to be a disadvantage in many ways as a filmmaker adding that “as a film experience, [Catching Fire] will be far more enjoyable for those who haven’t read the books, just because it’ll be new.” Lawrence also reveals that he got inspiration for the film from an unlikely source… TV’s Breaking Bad. Explaining that he “became really obsessed” with the AMC series and binge-watched the entire series while filming Catching Fire, he found a number of parallels in the storytelling aspects of the series and The Hunger Games. This was especially apparent in the cliffhanger endings and the realisation that he could do something similar with the ending of Catching Fire. You can read the full interview with Francis Lawrence over at The Huffington Post. Also check out our review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The film is in cinemas from November 21 in the UK and Australia and the 22nd in the US.


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