Francis Lawrence talks 'Mockingjay: Part 1', Alma Coin and more

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in Mockingjay Part 1

Director Francis Lawrence discussed Mockingjay movies with Entertainment Weekly for the magazine’s fall issue. He elaborates on how the two movies tell “distinct stories” and, although in essence stay true to the book, will include new elements that will “surprise even fans of the book”.

On Katniss’ complicated time, he says, “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.”

As is being emphasized every time, we are getting “real war” in this movie. The scope is bigger and different, obviously, from the previous two installments and delves in the background of the story.

“Instead of changing the plot and changing characters what we did was have the opportunity to show scenes that could have been happening at different times in the book,” Lawrence says. “For us it’s world expansion instead of changing things. I think it’s exciting for the fan to see certain things. So we’ve been able to open the world up in this and see some new places. We get to see some new districts this time and the scope gets quite large.”

Some of these in-book scenes and characters is President Coin, who, Francis rightly says, we don’t hear much from even though she’s such a large part of the story.

Julianne Moore has been instrumental in making the character bigger than before. She had an interest in the book through her children.

“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.”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 comes out on November 21, 2014.

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