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Francis Lawrence On The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

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MockingjayREAD WITH CAUTION. SPOILERS FOR MOCKINGJAY AND CATCHING FIRE BELOW!

Now that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is in theaters, it’s time to look forward to its follow-up, Mockingjay. The final installment in Suzanne Collins’ extremely popular book and film series is currently in production in North Carolina. Mockingjay will be split into two parts to get as much of the book on the screen as possible, so Lionsgate can have another giant blockbuster on their hands. While Catching Fire was the start of the revolution, Mockingjay will reveal change is just over the horizon for Panem.

The reasons why Catching Fire was a bigger hit than its predecessor are the rising star of Jennifer Lawrence and the addition of the series’ new director, Francis Lawrence (no relation). Lawrence gave the series more weight and did away with the annoying presence of shaky cam. In an interview with Wired, Mockingjay‘s director opens up about the film’s psychological damage to its characters. Lawrence says:

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s Director Was Inspired By Breaking Bad

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catching fireIf you’re like me, you have a large gap somewhere in between your soul and your mind where Breaking Bad once lived, and while the show has moved on into the memory banks, that void persists. This hunger I have for it is no game. And The Hunger Games: Catching Fire director found his love of the show to be so insatiable that he marathoned nearly the entire series as they were filming the highly anticipated sequel, and part of it rubbed off on him. And, spoiler alert, that’s why the last half of Catching Fire involves a methamphetamine lab and a drug cartel. No, rather than the subject matter itself, Lawrence was inspired by the storytelling methods used by the AMC series, which often ended in cliffhangers. Actual mini-spoiler alert, Catching Fire ends in a cliffhanger.

Talking with The Huffington Post, Lawrence said:

The more I watched those episodes, I just became sort of convinced that you can do that kind of stuff with movies, too. I know it’s weird because TV people used to always look at movies for inspiration, and now, suddenly, we’re looking at some great TV shows as inspiration.

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Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Is A Seditious Sequel That Tops The Original

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The Hunger Games Catching FireThe Hunger Games is a good enough movie. The world building in early portion is well done and engaging, but by the time get to the actual games of the title, things fall apart. At that point you have a lone girl running around the woods, trying not to die, not talking to anyone, that’s only so interesting. Suzanne Collins’ novel gets away with this, the first-person point-of-view makes you privy to the innermost thoughts of heroine Katniss Everdeen, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence. In the film she spends a fair amount of time gazing into the distance. If you’ve read the book, you know she’s thinking about Gale (Liam Hemsworth) or Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) or her sister Prim (Willow Shields), but if not, you have no idea.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, based on the second book in Collin’ trilogy, follows the same pattern, but digs much deeper, and the result is a much stronger movie. You pick up the story in the aftermath of the first film. Something eerily akin to PTSD has set in, and Katniss is jumpy, haunted by nightmares, and distant from everyone she cares about, especially Peeta, who she can barely look at. Their Victory Tour of the twelve districts of the dystopian nation of Panem reveals the embers of rebellion, which are being dealt with violently by the Capital forces of President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Gets Ready To Party In This New Clip

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While there are a ton of great movies being released this month, the kind that will likely walk away with large number of various golden statutes in early 2014, the November box office race boils down to two big-time sequels. Thor: The Dark World pounded the competition in the face with a massive hammer, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will rule the latter portion of the month. The hotly anticipated follow up hits theaters next week, and we’re waist deep in the final promotional push, which includes this latest short clip.

When experts and pundits anticipate that your movie is going to bring in $150 million on its first weekend, and the early reviews have been almost entirely positive, you have to wonder how much more marketing is actually necessary. But when has that ever stopped a studio from pushing?

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The Tributes Get Down To Business In The Latest Hunger Games: Catching Fire Clip

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In traditional Hollywood sequel time, it hasn’t really been all that long since the first Hunger Games showed up and established itself as the new teen box office champ. Still, the ensuing 20 months has been full of anticipation from fans, with every little detail becoming a newsworthy event. Well, the sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens on November 22, and if you didn’t already feel inundated, you’re about to, including this training montage clip from the film.

In the sequel, based on the second book in Suzanne Collins’ massive selling young adult trilogy, the dastardly President Snow (Donald Sutherland) forces Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) back into the Hunger Games arena for another go round. Total dick move, but one that he hopes will quell the rebellion in the outlying districts of the nation of Panem. While this sounds like an overly elaborate way to get rid of a problem, Snow is playing a publicity game. To simply kill them outright, risks the popular figures becoming martyrs, so he has to figure out a sneakier way to go about his business.

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A Hunger Games Theme Park Could Be Coming Soon

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HG theme parkThat time is almost upon us. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is due in theaters in about a week and a half. The Hunger Games is a pop culture phenomenon like few others. The young adult book and film series are the young generation’s Harry Potter, with all the spoils that come along with that title. It’s itching to be a billion dollar property, which is why Lionsgate is looking to branch out and expand the brand.

According to Variety, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer confirmed that the studio is looking to develop a Hunger Games theme park. The proposed destination would be in two domestic territories, most likely Florida on the east coast and California on the west. While Feltheimer didn’t disclose what kind of attractions would be at the proposed theme park, it begs the question; do you want to spend your vacation at a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, and dystopian theme park?