Director Francis Lawrence talks THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE; plus 22 new images

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Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen is still sitting pretty atop her throne, with all challengers to her YA adaptation crown – like The Host, Beautiful Creatures and The Mortal Instruments – crashing and burning like they were crash test dummies made of napalm. A big component of The Hunger Games‘ success was writer/director Gary Ross, but he’s no longer at the helm, with Francis Lawrence now being the man behind the camera.

Whether he lives up to the previous standard is still too be seen, but at least he realizes that things are going to be different now.

Speaking to Total Film, Lawrence – that’s Francis, not Jennifer – spoke about how the scope of the second film, subtitled Catching Fire, really increases

“I really loved how the world opens up in the second book. The mythology opens up, the story’s much more complex, you see more of the Districts and Capitol, and you really start to get a sense of the meaning of things.

“This one’s very, very different. The arena’s much more active. And the movie’s about different things, thematically: it’s about the beginning of rebellion, and Kat is becoming a symbol, and there’s much more love story.”

Speaking of story, as with almost all adaptations, some of it is inevitably going to end up on the cutting room floor. Earlier in the year at Comic Con, Lawrence revealed that that won’t be any different here, but that they would kind of make up for it, by adding a few newer scenes to help with the story/character beats.

“No, you never can. I mean, there’s always something that’s not going to make it from the book, so we have to really find the spirit of the book, the tempo of the book, the story as a whole, as best as we can, but you know there are always going to be some little things that people love from the book that aren’t going to be in there. For that I’m sorry.”

“Yes, there are news scenes. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who plays Plutarch Heavensbee, doesn’t have many scenes and the books are solely through Katniss’ view, so there are some new scenes between Plutarch and [Donald Sutherland’s President Snow]. There are some new created things that are very fun. Some of that you saw in the last trailer.”

One of the new things as well, is the much bigger cast of very toothy characters (seriously), and you can get a look at most of them and their chompers in these 22 newly released images from the film, courtesy of IndieWire.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens locally and internationally on November 22, 2013.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour’ of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.

Last Updated: September 23, 2013

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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