Stanley Tucci Talks Gary Ross, Catching Fire

In a recent interview with Collider Stanley Tucci discusses the difference between working with Gary Ross and Francis Lawrence, and how it felt to come back for the sequel.

Premiere Of Screen Gems' "Burlesque" - Arrivals

Jumping into something else, The Hunger Games switched directors to Francis Lawrence and I’m curious what was it like working with him on the next film?

TUCCI: He was great, he’s lovely.  I think Gary [Ross] did such an amazing and Gary’s such a nice guy.  They’re very different directors and personalities.  Gary’s very garrulous and Francis is very quiet, but he’s very talented and I had a really nice time with him.

Obviously people have read the book, but what can you tease people about the next one?

TUCCI: [Laughs] I can’t, I really can’t, I’m sworn to secrecy number one, but also you have to remember I’m only there for a week and I shoot all my stuff on a stage and then that’s it, so I’m not even privy to what’s going on.

The Hunger Games is a huge franchise now. Were there any difference for you in terms of when you’re making the first one you’re not really sure if anyone’s going to come out for the movie, then it comes out and it’s this massive hit. Did you feel any pressure going back for the sequel?  Or was it sort of like you did it and you can do it again?

TUCCI: Yeah, I think that’s what you feel, you just want to do it as well again, that’s all.  You never want to rest on your laurels.  You just want to give it 100% every time.


MTV’s Top 10 ‘Hunger Games’ Moments of 2012

2012 was the Year of The Hunger Games, and now that it’s coming to a close let’s reminisce with MTV on the best Hunger Games moments of this amazing year!


Poster Posted
The New Year began with a blazing bit of marketing ephemera that made it all seem real — the theatrical one-sheet featuring a close-up shot of star Jennifer Lawrence taking aim with the tagline, “The world will be watching,” emblazoned above. Boy, were we.

One Last Look
With less than two months until the theatrical release of “The Hunger Games,” Lionsgate followed up the pretty poster with a final trailer to whet fans’ already voracious appetites. The clip served up plenty of key moments, including Katniss gifting Prim the symbolic Mockingjay pin, the tribute’s interview with Caesar Flickerman and her touching pre-Games exchange with stylist Cinna.

Taylor Swift Is “Safe & Sound”
Country cutie Taylor Swift evoked Katniss’ dystopian district with eerie accuracy in the music video for her “Hunger Games” soundtrack song “Safe & Sound,” which she debuted exclusively on MTV and gained her a Golden Globe nomination. “Having a music video with that much symbolism in it is something I’m not used to,” Swift told MTV News. “Everyone who is a ‘Hunger Games’ fan knows what it means when there’s fire in the trees and they know what it means for the house to be burnt and they know what it means for the ‘Hunger Games’ pin to be covered in rust and old. Everybody can take their own meaning away from it, but it all goes back to the symbolism of the book.”

“Hunger Games” Lights Up Theaters
Katniss’ long-awaited entrance into the arena arrived March 23, hitting the box-office bull’s-eye straight on. The film reaped a record-setting $155 million in its first weekend, making it the fifth-biggest opening weekend on record. To date, the film has grossed an impressive $408 million domestically — something even President Snow couldn’t frown at.

The Director Shuffle
With the runaway success of the series’ initial installment, it seemed but a foregone conclusion that director Gary Ross would return to helm the sequel, “Catching Fire.” But in April, the auteur announced that he would not be returning to Panem, sending many fans into a tumult. “Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct ‘Catching Fire,’ ” Ross said in a statement. “As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.” Francis Lawrence (“Water for Elephants,” “I Am Legend”) stepped in to fill the vacant director’s chair for the remainder of the series.

For the rest of the best moments visit MTV.  Be sure to tell us what your favorite moments of this year were in the comments section below!

Nina Jacobson Says Replacing Gary Ross Was “Toughest Decision” of the Year

The Hollywood Report revealed their Women in Entertainment 2012: Power 100 and producer Nina Jacobson came in at #39.  In her interview she talks about her career, family and The Hunger Games  where she talks about replacing Gary Ross.

Toughest decision I had to make this year: Figuring out how to reload Hunger Games when Gary Ross left as director and make sure we chose the right person. It has turned out to be the right call to bring on Francis Lawrence.

Complete interview can be found at THR


‘X-Men’ sequel’s production pushed back to April

As you all remember, Gary Ross decided to not direct Catching Fire because of the how tight the production schedule would be. This was based on  Jennifer Lawrence’s commitment to Fox and the sequel to X-Men: First Class whose production was slated to start January 2013.  Well, it looks like Catching Fire’s schedule just became a little less tight as the production for The X-Men: Days of Future Past has been pushed back to April.  The effect this will have, if any, on Mockingjay Part 1 remains to be seen.  See excerpt from Film Thrasher‘s story below.

Since earlier this year, there has been a large focus on Jennifer Lawrence and two of her upcoming projects: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and X-Men: Days of Future Past. The actress torn between both sequels, reports surfaced that 20th Century Fox would be aiming for a January start which would only rush the production for Catching Fire in the process. But in the months since, Days of Future Past has hit at least one major snag while filming still continues strong for Catching Fire. Now, it seems one of the two studios have finally budged and finally makes more sense of the schedule at hand.

The Geek Files over at Coventry Telegraph (via CBM) reports that filming for X-Men: Days of Future Past has been pushed from a January 2013 start to an April date. The push allows not only for an extended filming of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for Lawrence, but will also give Bryan Singer time to adjust the script for Days of Future Past into his vision before pre-production begins and as set begin construction.

Thanks to Welcome To District 12 for the heads up!

Gary Ross: No regrets after walking away from the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise

In an interview realized by EW, ‘The Hunger Games’ director, Gary Ross talk about his new children’s book and  why he hasn’t had a moment’s regret after walking away from the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise.

Here what he says:

“I didn’t feel that Iwould have the time for the way that I work to do the movie justice,” he says. “I wear two hats. I don’t wear one hat. When you write and you direct that’s a linear process, it’s not a simultaneous process. I would’ve had to have written a script and prepped the whole movie in four months and on the first movie that’s a process that took me eight months. And I thought [Catching Fire] was a more difficult adaptation, not an easier one. I didn’t really feel I had the time I needed to live up to my own standards. And I haven’t had a moment’s regret. It was absolutely the right decision and I’m thrilled about new challenges.”

You can read the rest of the interview here.

Via: The Hob

Video: Jennifer Lawrence Interview

Jennifer Lawrence talks to Anne Thompson from Thompson on Hollywood in which she discuss The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook, and some of her other movie projects. 

She talks a lot about The Hunger Games, Katniss, and differences between working with Gary Ross and Francis Lawrence in the second video.


Thanks to The Hob!

Jennifer Lawrence: Fame just means “nicer places to hang out”

In an honest interview with Inquirer, Jennifer Lawrence talks about the perks of fame, and the annoying side. She was “devastated” to hear the news that Gary Ross would not be directing Catching Fire, but that she’s “really happy” with Francis Lawrence.

The actress maintained that nothing had really changed significantly for her. “Fame and celebrity are such simple, predictable things that I’m not totally in awe of them,” she said in her husky voice. “It makes complete sense. You have a job where people recognize you. For some reason, they think you’re not human. I do that, too, so I get it. I met John Travolta two weeks ago and I almost threw up. [But] I’m not really freaked out by it. It’s not really dramatic. I just move on.”

Traumatic There’s been only “one really traumatic day” for Jennifer and that was when “The Hunger Games” came out. She recounted, laughing: “I went to Whole Foods, like I did every morning, to get my coffee and a smoothie. There were 15 paparazzi. It happened so quickly—overnight. It’s jarring to watch these freedoms in [my] life being taken away. Two weeks ago, I made the mistake of thinking I could pump my own gas. It’s heartbreaking.”

She clarified: “At the same time, it’s not as dramatic as you think because it happens only in LA. As soon as I’m out of LA, it’s over and gone.”

Jennifer revealed that she didn’t have famous friends to advise her. Not that she’s griping. “There are normal friends that I’ve had for most of my life. I find that it’s more comforting to keep things the same and just be normal, than to have people tell me how to act now that I’m famous.”

Now chuckling, the actress said, “Well, my hotel rooms are nicer; the apartments, bigger. A friend told me that, for her, that was the only thing that had changed. I was wondering how my fame had affected my friends. They were like, ‘We’ve got nicer places to hang out.’”

Home for Jennifer is still the two-bedroom condo in LA that she’s had for several years. “It’s the same place since I moved to LA,” she pointed out. “It’s pretty low-key. I should probably get a house but I don’t really know if I do want to live in LA. I don’t like going out that much. I’m kind of an old lady. After 11 p.m., I’m like, ‘Don’t these kids get tired?’”

Reminded that she’s only 22, the “old lady” smiled and remarked: “I know! Every time I’m out, I think about my couch. I’m like, ‘That would be awesome right now—I bet there’s a new episode of ‘Dance Moms’ on [or] a new episode of ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ that I’m missing. I’d like people to come over to my place. My condo is the reality TV show cave. I just learned how to work TiVo—that has changed my life. I don’t even want to work anymore.”

That’s her “silver lining”— watching reality television. She dished: “At the end of the day, nothing makes me feel better than junk food and reality TV.”

Even with her reported eight-figure pay for the “Hunger” sequel, Jennifer admitted that she still often experienced what she called “phantom pockets.” She explained: “I’m in the grocery store and I’m like, ‘$12 for a case of water? That’s crazy.’ But I get valet. I used to always drive, never valet, because it was like $6 which really means $10 because it’s embarrassing to ask for my change.” Again laughing, she said, “Now, I valet. I tip a lot bigger because that’s fun.”

Devastated Jennifer revealed she was “devastated” when “The Hunger Games” writer-director Gary Ross decided not to return for the second film, which Francis Lawrence is directing. “When I first heard the news, I was devastated because I adore Gary,” said Jennifer. “I didn’t see it coming. I couldn’t understand. I called him and he basically said, ‘I don’t have time to give 100 percent to this movie.’ My devastation was replaced with respect for him for stepping out when he felt that he couldn’t give his all. So, as much as I miss him, I completely respect him for making that decision.”

Of the new director, she said: “Francis is absolutely amazing. The actors feel very free; he’s not controlling at all. He knows everything inside and out so you feel supported. I’m really happy.”

Looking into the future, Jennifer once more showed her pragmatic side: “I tell myself I’m not going to be relevant forever.” Breaking into a laugh one more time, she said: “It’s impossible (to stay on top). There are always only a few more years.”

This is a great interview. Jen’s extremely open and she’s not afraid to talk about the not-so-bright side of having such notoriety. She’s still able to keep real and not take it for granted.

Do read the entire article: CLICK HERE

Thanks to HGgirlonfire for the heads up!

What Would The Hungers Games Have Looked Like With A Different Director?

When you read a book do you imagine the characters a certain way or how you think an adaptation should look on the big screen? Well what if Gary Ross didn’t direct the Hunger Games and Kevin Tancharoen, director of the Fame remake in 2009 did? Apparently it was a possibility. Just as Gary Ross put together a video showing Lionsgate why he should get the job, Kevin Tancharoen put together a trailer mash-up of what he envisioned the Hunger Games to look like.  So without further ado, I present to you Kevin Tancharoen’s imagination of the Hunger Games.

Now that your curiosity is fulfilled, do you think he could have done justice to the Hunger Games if given the opportunity? Let me know in the comments below!

Source: Cinema Blend

Donald Sutherland’s letter to Gary Ross that inspired rose garden scenes

You may remember earlier this year when we told you how Donald Sutherland inspired new (and powerful) scenes in The Hunger Games.  Well thanks to the DVD/Blu-ray special features we now know just what he did to inspire those scenes.  In the special feature section titled Letters From The Rose Garden the three page letter Sutherland sent to Gary Ross concerning President Snow has been made available to all.

Dear Gary Ross:
Power. That’s what this is about? Yes? Power and the forces that are manipulated by the powerful men and bureaucracies trying to maintain control and possession of that power?
Power perpetrates war and oppression to maintain itself until it finally topples over with the bureaucratic weight of itself and sinks into the pages of history (except in Texas), leaving lessons that need to be learned unlearned.
Power corrupts, and, in many cases, absolute power makes you really horny. Clinton, Chirac, Mao, Mitterrand.
Not so, I think, with Coriolanus Snow. His obsession, his passion, is his rose garden. There’s a rose named Sterling Silver that’s lilac in colour with the most extraordinarily powerful fragrance – incredibly beautiful – I loved it in the seventies when it first appeared. They’ve made a lot of off shoots of it since then.
I didn’t want to write to you until I’d read the trilogy and now I have so: roses are of great importance. And Coriolanus’s [sic] eyes. And his smile. Those three elements are vibrant and vital in Snow. Everything else is, by and large, perfectly still and ruthlessly contained. What delight she [Katniss] gives him. He knows her so perfectly. Nothing, absolutely nothing, surprises him. He sees and understands everything. he was, quite probably, a brilliant man who’s succumbed to the siren song of power.
How will you dramatize the interior narrative running in Katniss’s head that describes and consistently updates her relationship with the President who is ubiquitous in her mind? With omniscient calm he knows her perfectly. She knows he does and she knows that he will go to any necessary end to maintain his power because she knows that he believes that she’s a real threat to his fragile hold on his control of that power. She’s more dangerous than Joan of Arc.
Her interior dialogue/monologue defines Snow. It’s that old theatrical turnip: you can’t ‘play’ a king, you need everybody else on stage saying to each other, and therefore to the audience, stuff like “There goes the King, isn’t he a piece of work, how evil, how lovely, how benevolent, how cruel, how brilliant he is!” The idea of him, the definition of him, the audience’s perception of him, is primarily instilled by the observations of others and once that idea is set, the audience’s view of the character is pretty much unyielding. And in Snow’s case, that definition, of course, comes from Katniss.
Evil looks like our understanding of the history of the men we’re looking at. It’s not what we see: it’s what we’ve been led to believe. Simple as that. Look at the face of Ted Bundy before you knew what he did and after you knew.
Snow doesn’t look evil to the people in Panem’s Capitol. Bundy didn’t look evil to those girls. My wife and I were driving through Colorado when he escaped from jail there. The car radio’s warning was constant. ‘Don’t pick up any young men. The escapee looks like the nicest young man imaginable’. Snow’s evil shows up in the form of the complacently confident threat that’s ever present in his eyes. His resolute stillness. Have you seen a film I did years ago? ‘The Eye of the Needle’. That fellow had some of what I’m looking for.
The woman who lived up the street from us in Brentwood came over to ask my wife a question when my wife was dropping the kids off at school. This woman and her husband had seen that movie the night before and what she wanted to know was how my wife could live with anyone who could play such an evil man. It made for an amusing dinner or two but part of my wife’s still wondering.
I’d love to speak with you whenever you have a chance so I can be on the same page with you.
They all end up the same way. Welcome to Florida, have a nice day

How amazing is this?!

Source: Business Insider

Is Lionsgate seeking new director for Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2?

It looks like Lionsgate might be searching for a third (and maybe fourth) director to take the helm of the last two films in the franchise.  Last week it was confirmed that Mockingjay would be split into two parts, and now it’s being reported that the hunt is on for a new director.  As we all remember Gary Ross declined to direct Catching Fire because he felt that he didn’t have enough time.  Is Francis Lawrence facing the same dilemma?

From Indie Wire:

New Lionsgate movie chiefs, Summit’s Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, producers Nina Jacobson and author Suzanne Collins are currently vetting the right directors for the last two “Mockingjay” films, which are also hurtling into production (for release November 2014 and 2015), too fast for Francis Lawrence to be in charge.

What do you think about this?  If what is being reported is true, do you feel it’s better to hire a new director who will have more time, or would you prefer they stick with Lawrence for the sake of continuity?  Share with us!