Francis Lawrence is Lionsgate’s pick to direct ‘The Hunger Games‘ sequel, but some fans are definitely still on the fence about the decision. Well, NextMovie has some excellent points that will hopefully put your mind at ease about Lawrence directing ‘Catching Fire‘.
“Catching Fire” has to begin production this August to accommodate potential actor scheduling conflicts and to meet the Nov. 22, 2013 release date scheduled by Lionsgate.
For Gary Ross, the idea of readying the film for production would likely include a heavy re-drafting process on the script – which was originally penned by “Slumdog Millionaire” and “127 Hours” writer Simon Beaufoy – before moving forward on anything else. That’s because Ross is even more accomplished under his screenwriting hat than behind the lens and always has a major hand in the scripts he shoots from.
Not so for Francis Lawrence. Unlike Ross, Lawrence isn’t known for his screenplay-writing acumen and would be more likely to work from Beaufoy’s script; this leaves plenty of time to economize on the other pre-production efforts which will be involved – casting, set-scouting, and production design to name a few. In other words, the span between now and August looks a lot more supple when you’ve got a working script at the ready rather than just a first draft.
A second major consideration is the visual and creative palette Francis Lawrence brings to the table. So far, he’s directed three motion pictures – “Constantine,” “I Am Legend,” and “Water For Elephants” – each of which was based upon a book. All three movies were semi-large productions with complicated visual aspects.
Whether it was a Keanu Reeves versus the heavens fight scene, Will Smith hunting deer with a red Mustang in Manhattan, or Reese Witherspoon dancing atop a giant elephant, Lawrence added weight to the moments with excellent set selection. Put simply, the man knows how to create a backdrop.
And this will be mighty important for “Catching Fire,” as the film will introduce a few new landscapes – Victor’s Village, some of the as-yet-unseen Districts, and an all-new arena (which just so happens to be twelve times as complicated as the first). If there’s anything we can be confident about with Francis Lawrence in charge of the film, it’s that these new settings will be stunning.
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Does this settle your mind on Francis Lawrence? How do you feel about the decision?