If 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.
That’s pretty interesting, seeing as how many filmmakers take their TV show inspirations too far by just turning the TV show into a movie, which only works part of the time.
“But they opened bold and they end bold, and I just think that’s fun stuff,” Lawrence continued, saying the idea is to “make people want more — make people want to see what’s coming next…The big difference with something like Breaking Bad and this is obviously, you’ve got to wait a year, as opposed to just waiting a week.” And Suzanne Collins’ third book in the series, Mockingjay, is being turned into two movies, so there’s even more of a wait for that. I wonder if he’ll end it on a cliffhanger then, as well.
When asked which of his previous films — I Am Legend or Water for Elephants — helped out more in the making of this most recent film, Lawrence said it was both, crediting Water for Elephants for the love triangle part of the story, and I Am Legend for creating something driven by effects and world building. We can all hope the CGI in Catching Fire is a little more believable than in the horror tale.
While we have yet to see just how the public feels about Catching Fire, critics everywhere have said it’s better than the first film, including our own Brent. It hits theaters this weekend, so you’ll be able to judge for yourself whether Lawrence is in the empire business or if he should go back to school.