In anticipation of Friday’s worldwide release for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1, the film has taken over social media today, starting with a Reddit AMA by actress Natalie Dormer, who plays Cressida, ending with a Facebook fan event with the whole cast, and augmented by a Twitter chat with the director of the film, Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend). Facilitated by the International Movie Database (IMDB), Lawrence answered a wide range of questions, naming Raising Arizona as the film that inspired him to become a director, and choosing Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) as the character from The Hunger Games series that he would most want to embody. The main topic, however, centered on all things Mockingjay, a film that Lawrence described in three words as, “Emotional. Intense. Epic.”
Lawrence began the chat by stating plainly, “Mockingjay is my favorite. It’s the book that, for me, gives the series its meaning.” He then expanded on the meaning of the film, hoping that the one thing fans take away from the film is the idea “that any one person can make a difference.” This is essential to the final book of the Suzanne Collins series, as the heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), transitions from a pawn in The Capitol’s oppression to the leader of an all-out rebellion that aims to free the citizens of Panem.
For fans of the YA novels, Lawrence stressed that “Suzanne [Collins] was very involved in the adaptation process. She was an amazing collaborator.” One sequence he needed help with, for example, was Katniss’ return to a demolished District 12, saying that, “getting the emotion and impact right [was] tough.” Beyond the author’s active role, Lawrence said fans can still expect some exciting surprises that will separate the film from the book. One artistic freedom he took involves the trickiness of “bringing the propaganda war to life,” adding, “we can’t just hear about it. We have to see it.” This most likely means a larger focus on Dormer’s Cressida, the rebel film journalist hailing from The Capitol. The biggest surprise, he teased, will be “The Hanging Tree” sequence – a song from Katniss’ childhood which required vocals from Jennifer Lawrence. In a previous interview, the director revealed that “[Jennifer Lawrence] was so horrified… she cried a little bit in the morning before she had to sing.” The actresses’ pains should be well worth it, however, when the song reaches audience’s ears, as well as Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), who will experience significant character development because of the song.
Briefly addressing the franchise’s last installment Mockingjay- Part 2, Lawrence revealed that they have “cut all the FX [sequences] and will dive into the rest of the movie after the holidays.”
To satisfy your Mockingjay needs before this Friday, watch the final trailer, and then check back for our coverage on today’s other fan events.