5 Facts About Catching Fire Director Francis Lawrence

4. He’s incredibly candid about what worked and didn’t work in his films. One element of I Am Legend that garnered criticism was the appearance of the zombies. In an interview with Den of Geek, Lawrence explained that initially he had planned to use a group of about 50 dancers and parkour folks, but that their makeup just didn’t read on-camera. So they scrapped that idea and put the actors in motion-capture suits to layer CGI on top of. However, they didn’t have nearly enough time to hone those visual effects in post-production:

It was better than doing the live versions at that time, because it didn’t work, but we needed six more months on the post end to get all the visual effects rights. Because there were some close-ups that were stunning, and then you get some shots that I never got right, and it just fucking blows it. It just kills it. And it’s just, like, one of the big downfalls for me with that movie, personally, was with the visual effects.

Props to him for being honest instead of just sugarcoating it.

5. Just as The Hunger Games film expanded the character of Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) and all the other Gamemakers, we have high hopes that Lawrence’s Catching Fire will do the same with the new Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee. After all, this is the man who helped us sympathize, if only for a little while, with Christoph Waltz‘s abusive ringleader August in Water for Elephants. He told Collider,

“…you have a guy who’s doing what he thinks is the very, very best thing for his family, at all times. The most important thing was that Christoph and I never judged him as an evil person, in any way. You let the audience judge the character and judge the moral decisions that that character makes.”

Catching Fire begins shooting in August, with a projected release date of November 22, 2013.

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