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'Mockingjay' director: Parts 1 and 2 will have 'two distinct stories'

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Over the course of two Hunger Games films, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has been unflinchingly confident. But in Mockingjay – Part 1, the teen heroine suffers a bout of age-appropriate angst as she reluctantly becomes a rebel leader.

“It’s a very confusing, conflicted, complicated time for Katniss,” says director Francis Lawrence, who also directed 2013’s Catching Fire. “Having gone through the games one more time and having lost Peeta and having been run through the wringer, she’s even more damaged. So you find her in a more agitated place. She’s distraught, confused, angry.” READ FULL STORY

'Mockingjay' director: There's more President Coin in the film than the book

Julianne Moore is a big fan of the Hunger Games series, so much so that she directly approached Mockingjay – Part 1 director Francis Lawrence about securing the role of President Alma Coin, the tenacious leader of District 13 who leads the revolution against the Capitol.

“She actually sort of tracked us down and had an interest in the books through her kids,” Lawrence says.

The Golden Globe winner’s interest acted as an audition, he notes.

“She didn’t audition. Once we knew she wanted it, that was it—done,” Lawrence says, laughing. “I sat down with her, she had great ideas, we got along and that was it.”

President Coin—who becomes reluctant allies with Katniss Everdeen in the rebellion’s efforts to overthrow President Snow—was written by author Suzanne Collins through Katniss’s perspective as narrator; she is perceived as ambitious and egotistical. But with Moore’s involvement, Lawrence says, the gray-haired politician’s role in his two-part finale has expanded significantly beyond her portrayal in the bestselling Hunger Games series..

“There’s more of her in this than in the book, and because of that, there’s some development,” Lawrence says. “I think the character has developed into something pretty amazing. And Julianne was a big part of that.”

The Hunger Games:Mockingjay – Part 1 is slated for release on Nov. 21, 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 9.09.17 AM For more on Mockingjay – Part 1, pick up Entertainment Weekly’s Fall Movie Preview issue, on stands now.

 

'Catching Fire' at Comic-Con: Jennifer Lawrence gets raw, Josh Hutcherson grows up -- VIDEO

Is it November yet? Hunger Games fans (especially the ones in San Diego) got a lot of treats Saturday, with the arrival of the most revealing Catching Fire trailer yet and a Comic-Con panel with the cast and crew.

And now we have even more Mockingjay goodness for you: EW’s Laura Hertzfeld caught up with Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson — Katniss and Peeta themselves — along with their co-stars Jena Malone, Willow Shields, and Lenny Kravitz and director Francis Lawrence.

Jennifer revealed her dietary concerns on set — she’s not a fan of ripping into raw halibut — while Josh said Peeta has grown up a lot since his first Games.

Watch all the interviews below!
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Francis Lawrence to direct 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay' Part 1 and 2

Lionsgate announced on Thursday that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence will remain with the franchise and direct parts 1 and 2 of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.

The announcement means Lawrence, who’s been shooting Catching Fire since September, will have helmed three out of the four feature adaptations of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling YA novel series. READ FULL STORY

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' begins shooting in Georgia, before moving to Hawaii

The 75th annual Hunger Games are on!

Lionsgate announced Monday that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has officially started production in and around Atlanta, Ga., with director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) at the helm, before moving to shoot in Hawaii. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are, of course, reprising their respective roles as winning tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark; Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland are all also returning, with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, and Amanda Plummer joining the franchise. Shooting is set to conclude in December.

Intriguingly, the announcement was notable for what it didn’t mention as much as what it did. READ FULL STORY

Francis Lawrence confirmed as 'Catching Fire' director

A little under a month after Lionsgate and director Gary Ross cited irreconcilable differences and went their separate ways, The Hunger Games franchise has gotten a new stepdad. Francis Lawrence, who has previously tackled action thrillers and literary adaptations — I Am Legend and Water for Elephants respectively — has been named the successor to the series.

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'Hunger Games' star Josh Hutcherson says he's looking forward to working with Francis Lawrence

The Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson found out director Gary Ross was bowing out of the sequel, Catching Fire, in the same way that many fans did — he read it in the news.

Hutcherson told EW at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday that he reached out to Ross after finding out he wouldn’t be directing the much-anticipated second-installment of the record-breaking film. READ FULL STORY

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