Francis Lawrence has opened up about the difficulties of taking over the directing reins from ‘Hunger Games’ director Gary Ross on the franchise sequel, ‘Catching Fire’. In a new interview with MTV, Lawrence spoke about stepping into an already established cast and crew, saying, “I liked what Gary did a lot, but I have a different style than he does,” Lawrence explained. “So it was very easy for me to come in the room and sit down with the people involved in the movie and sort of say, ‘Here’s what I like about what Gary did that I would latch on to and hold onto and embrace, and here’s the way I would do it differently.’ The trickier thing, honestly for me, was sort of stepping into a world, and there’s crew members that were on the first movie, obviously an entire cast, all the people that are returning that I inherited.”
He adds, “I was nervous about what they were going to feel… I think everybody in general was really gracious and worked really hard and ended up being really fun to work with. I think there were a couple of people that were really bummed that Gary wasn’t doing it, and it had less to do with the choice of me coming on than just Gary not doing it. They signed on with Gary; they’re friends with Gary; they like Gary. And I think there was definitely some sadness there.”
He discusses casting Sam Clafin in the role of Finnick Odair in ‘Catching Fire’ [something that Claflin himself recently discussed], and adds, “[Claflin] is very athletic, which is great. He’s in great shape. He’s very charismatic. But I was also looking in the long term. There’s kind of a rouge-like quality to him in this book. And long term, he’s actually an emotional character and a very loyal character and a character who’s in love; a character who experienced quite a lot of sadness. And he was really able to tap into that, as well as being really charming and sexy and handsome as hell.”
Lawrence says that although filming has wrapped on ‘Catching Fire’, he does not yet have a final cut because of the rushed filming schedule. He adds that there’s a ‘fair amount cut’, but he hasn’t yet seen the entire movie back-to-back. ‘Catching Fire’ is set to release on November 21st, 2013.