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Catching Fire’s Francis Lawrence On Sticking Close To The Book And Things That Spin

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor


I think it’s safe to say director Francis Lawrence has a lot of pressure on his shoulders thanks to him taking on not just The Hunger Games: Catching Fire but also The Hunger Games: Mockingjay for Lionsgate. As with any adaptation, fans are wondering if anything major will be changed for the screen. Hit the jump for a few answers. 

Speaking with MTV earlier this year, the director delved into how close the film adaptation would follow Suzanne Collins’ novel.

“I would say that it’s a really faithful adaptation. You know, whenever you’re adapting something that’s a 12- or 14-hour read down to something that has to be around two hours, there’s going to be some cuts. We definitely made some cuts,” he told them. “I don’t want to go into that, but we did it with Suzanne, and I would say that it’s very, very faithful. We tried to get as much as we could in there.”

There’s an unusual bit from the book fans might have been wondering about, we’ve spoiler-covered it for those who may not want to know.

“It’s interesting because there’s a very small blur—I want to say it’s a paragraph long in the book—but the moment in the arena when the gamemaker starts to spin the cornucopia,” he told MTV. “I’m very proud of that. We designed a very cool sequence and created a spinning island, and that’s going to be very, very cool. So that’s kind of fun and very unique. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s cool.”

And yes, as you can imagine, that entire set was extremely difficult to work out.

“The arena stuff is pretty tricky…just because the sort of center of the arena where the cornucopia exists and the water and the spokes. The circular beach with the jungle around it doesn’t exist, so we have to sort of piece it all together,” he said. “And you know even though shooting in Hawaii sounds like a lot of fun, it’s pretty tricky when you’re in the beach and waves and tides. Our set got washed away one day by the tide, and then…shooting in the jungle where there’s bugs and mud and rain. The days are short, so you don’t have much time, and you’re starting to lug around 100-pound IMAX cameras.”

Oh yes, speaking of which.

You might have heard the film is set to be screened in IMAX but it’s not just to squeeze a few extra dollars out of you. Specific cenes were filmed with IMAX cameras for a reason. “Yeah, the idea is that it’s sort of mixed formats,” said Lawrence. “The idea is that the arena is in the IMAX format so that once you go in the elevator and it opens up.”

Dammit. Now I have to see it in IMAX.

(via MTV)

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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."