Nov. 20, 2014 | 2:43 p.m.
Inside filmmaker Francis Lawrence’s West L.A. office sits a framed collection of arrows with an inscription reading, “May the odds be ever in your favor,” a signature line that fans would immediately recognize from “Hunger Games” lore. The director received the gift for his work on last year’s “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” which saw him take the reins on Lionsgate’s blockbuster franchise from original director Gary Ross. With the release this weekend of the third movie in the series, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” the odds would continue to be in Lawrence’s favor. The film, with Jennifer Lawrence reprising her starring role as headstrong archer Katniss Everdeen, is on track to break boxoffice records, possibly collecting as much as $160 million in just three days of release, according to some early estimates. “Mockingjay” sees the leaders of […]
Oct. 31, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.
In a barren Georgia warehouse on a cold January day, Jennifer Lawrence was doing something unusual for the young Oscar winner. She was acting very, very badly. Lawrence was filming a scene for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1,” in which her strident archer Katniss Everdeen was attempting to summon righteous indignation for a propaganda piece designed to stoke a nascent uprising. Katniss may be many things — a fierce warrior, a devoted sister, a reluctant symbol of hope — but a talented thespian she is not, and Lawrence was giving it her all. FULL COVERAGE: Movie Sneaks “She was very good at it,” director Francis Lawrence recalled of his star’s ability to turn in an intentionally lousy performance. “We had a bunch of variations, but we didn’t want to go too far. Some were really broad and funny […]
Sept. 04, 2014 | 12:14 p.m.
Katniss Everdeen is back in the latest character poster for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” the next installment in the blockbuster film franchise, which is set to arrive in theaters Nov. 21. The young heroine, played by actress Jennifer Lawrence, is actually pictured with her back to the camera, trademark braid trailing down her back, shoulders squared for a coming fight. The image is the latest in a series of new character posters spotlighting the “rebel warriors” featured in the film, the first of the two-part finale in the series. The previously released posters feature Liam Hemsworth’s Gale, in addition to a host of new faces joining the series with the third movie, including Mahershala Ali as Boggs, Evan Ross as Messalla, Wes Chatham as Castor, Elden Henson as Pollux and “Game of Thrones” favorite Natalie Dormer as […]
Aug. 28, 2014 | 11:16 a.m.
A series of new character posters spotlight the “rebel warriors” featured in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” the next installment in the blockbuster film franchise, which is set to arrive in theaters Nov. 21. The posters feature Liam Hemsworth’s Gale, in addition to a host of new faces joining the series with the third movie, including Mahershala Ali as Boggs, Evan Ross as Messalla, Wes Chatham as Castor, Elden Henson as Pollux and “Game of Thrones” favorite Natalie Dormer as Cressida. Click through the gallery above to see each of the images. Last month, a new teaser was released for the film showing how Katniss Everdeen reluctantly finds herself the symbol of rebellion in the world of Panem, and the target of ruthless President Snow. The clip opens with a conversation between former games maker Plutarch Heavensbee (the […]
March 05, 2014 | 1:54 p.m.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is out on Blu-ray and DVD this Friday, and Hero Complex readers get a first look at one of the blockbuster film’s deleted scenes. “Catching Fire,” which raked in more than $860 million at the worldwide box office, is based on the second installment in Suzanne Collins’ bestselling young adult book trilogy. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic country called Panem, in which children are forced to compete in a televised battle to the death. Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen, a young woman who manages to survive the battle in the first film, and in the second film reenters the arena after Panem’s autocratic ruler sees her as a threat. She inadvertently becomes the face of a rebellion. The exclusive clip from the home video release features a deleted scene from “Catching Fire,” […]
Nov. 25, 2013 | 5:08 p.m.
For her last film, costume designer Trish Summerville was tasked with creating the stunning visual style of punk rock hacker Lisbeth Salander for David Fincher’s English-language telling of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” With her latest, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” she’s found herself designing looks for another headstrong, resilient warrior, Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen. “I feel fortunate that those are the types of films I’ve been able to work on, that you do have these really strong but emotional and sensitive female characters that are forging their way,” Summerville said. “They’re good role models for young women.” “Catching Fire,” based on the second novel in Suzanne Collins’ best-selling trilogy of young adult novels, sees Katniss summoned back to the arena to compete against previous survivors of the brutal battle to the death for a special anniversary edition of […]
Nov. 25, 2013 | 10:59 a.m.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” broke box office records this weekend, raking in an estimated $161 million, and falling just short of beating out “Iron Man 3” for the best opening of the year. The second film in the series adapted from Suzanne Collins’ best-selling young adult novels, “Catching Fire” arrives not only as an outsized success for distributor Lionsgate but also for director Francis Lawrence, who stepped in to helm the blockbuster sequel after “The Hunger Games” director Gary Ross left the project. Known for meticulously crafted films such as the Will Smith-led futuristic action adevnture “I Am Legend” and the literary romance “Water for Elephants,” Lawrence retained Ross’ naturalistic visual approach. However, the director opted for a cooler color palette that would show the world of Panem in the winter and reinforce the darkening cast of the story, […]
Nov. 22, 2013 | 12:32 p.m.
When it came time for Francis Lawrence to dream up his vision of Katniss Everdeen’s bleak, brutal world, the director of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” didn’t find inspiration in the famous sci-fi landscapes of cinema past. Instead, he reached back to movies steeped in real-world history to infuse the new sequel with emotional weight. “I looked a lot at movies like ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘Platoon,’ movies about Vietnam,” Lawrence said. “One of the things that really appealed is the idea of the consequence of war and the consequence of violence and many of the aspects of that, including things like PTSD.” The new film, which opens in theaters Friday, arrives as the second installment in the blockbuster adaptation of novelist Suzanne Collins’ YA adventures. The young heroine Katniss (played again by Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence) has survived the events […]
Nov. 01, 2013 | 9:43 a.m.
The color wasn’t finished. The visual effects were not complete. The score, temporary. Yet those details seemed to be of little consequence to director Francis Lawrence, who chose a fine summer day to open up his edit bay and show off his work in progress, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” While other filmmakers might be stressed over the work to be done on such an eagerly awaited film — let alone the inherent pressure of taking over a beloved franchise — the 42-year-old Austrian director gleefully cued up scene after scene of heroine Katniss Everdeen facing the repercussions of having manipulated a government-sanctioned death match in the first film. Dressed casually in a blue button-down shirt, jeans and sneakers, Lawrence is relaxed, even a little excited by the footage — a fanboy given the keys to the kingdom. “I really […]
Aug. 23, 2013 | 2:55 p.m.
“The Hunger Games” has found its Cressida in “Game of Thrones” actress Natalie Dormer. The 31-year-old English actress has been cast in the two-part feature adaptation of the final installment in Suzanne Collins bestselling trilogy of books, “Mockingjay.” She’ll play a filmmaker who follows the heroic Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), attempting to document her efforts to overthrow the sinister Capitol government. Dormer had a small role in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” but she’s arguably best known to genre audiences for her performance on HBO’s lavish fantasy “Game of Thrones,” in which she plays Margaery Tyrell, the savvy bride-to-be of the ruthless King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson). PHOTOS: Katniss and Peeta in ‘Catching Fire’ posters D.B. Weiss, who created “Game of Thrones” with fellow show runner David Benioff, said Dormer was such a strong actress they opted to expand Margaery’s role […]