The “Hunger Games” love triangle is about to get more interesting.
Director Francis Lawrence sat down with MTV News’ Josh Horowitz for an exclusive chat about all things “Catching Fire,” including which iconic scenes from the book will (and won’t) be seen on the big screen.
Get Ready For More Liam
“There’s a little bit more of Gale and Katniss in this — there’s a little bit of the two of them in the beginning of the movie, and then when we come back after the victory tour there’s more of them,” Francis said. More specifically, he refers to a scene in which Gale suffers a whipping at the hand of District 12’s new not-so-peaceful Peacekeeper. “There’s a sequence that I like a lot that has to do with the three of them, which is now Katniss caring for Gale after the whipping and then Peeta coming in and offering to look after Gale, and the dynamics of the relationships start to play out in a really nice, enjoyable way.”
President Snow Vs. Katniss
The impoverished District 12 will provide the backdrop for more memorable moments, including Katniss’ epic face-off with President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland.
“Even though it’s so quiet, it’s just one of those iconic scenes from the book and so to film that, we spent an entire day just doing that,” Lawrence said, describing the scene as “exciting.”
The Victory Tour
As fans of the book will remember, “Catching Fire” kicks off with Peeta and Katniss embarking on a tour of all twelve districts of Panem while a rebellion begins brewing beneath them. Among the most volatile stops is District 11, where the duo’s heartfelt speeches give way to tragedy in a matter of moments.
Lawrence described it as “one of my favorite sequences to shoot in the movie.” Not only because it is “one of the strongest, biggest impact scenes in the first third, first act of the movie,” but because Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson’s performances were so powerful.
“It was one of the moments that gave me the confidence that this movie was coming together and was gonna have the emotion and impact that it needed,” Lawrence said.
As Katniss and Peeta enter the Quarter Quell alongside their fellow victors, they’re forced to find a new way out. Without spoiling too many details for non-book readers, Lawrence tiptoed around the story’s epic climax.
“I had a lot of fun kind of crafting and figuring out the logistics,” he said, even though “it was one of the tougher sequences to shoot just in terms of the scale of it all.”
But with big risk comes big payoff, right?
“Tricky stuff, but fun and I’m pretty pleased with it,” he allowed. “I think it’s pretty spectacular.”
What You Won’t See
Many fans have been pressing for a flashback to Haymitch’s days as a tribute. But the graphic nature by which he won the Hunger Games will not be seen in “Catching Fire,” Lawrence confirmed. “We don’t see it in this movie,” he said, leaving the door open for “Mockingjay” Parts 1 and 2 (but don’t hold your breath).
MTV News has your ticket to all the red carpet action on Monday, November 18, as Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and their co-stars step out for the film’s Hollywood premiere, streaming live on MTV.com beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Horowitz will be on hand to ask your burning questions — just tweet them using the hashtag #AskCatchingFire.
“Catching Fire” hits theaters on November 22.