He “got it” that fans didn’t like having to wait a year between movies, Francis Lawrence said. Francis Lawrence, who directed The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, said that he now gets why people had different feelings about the final book being split into two movies.
In an interview with People magazine that came out online Friday, the director said that he wouldn’t split Mockingjay into two separate parts if he had to make the Jennifer Lawrence movies over again.
“I feel terrible about it. “Yes, of course,” said Lawrence. “I do, but I’m not sure if everyone else does.”
He also said that everyone on the team agreed at the time that the two parts of Mockingjay, which came out a year apart, “had their own separate emotional questions,” which made for full stories.
He did, however, understand why some fans weren’t happy about having to wait so long between movies.
“What I understood after hearing all the reactions and feeling the anger of fans, critics, and people at the split was that it was frustrating,” Lawrence said. “And I get it.”
“In a TV show, if there is a cliffhanger, you have to wait a week or you could just binge-watch it and then watch the next episode,” he said. But I think making them wait a year seemed dishonest, even though it wasn’t. There was no desire on our part to be dishonest.
However, the director also said that splitting it into two parts was a good way to adapt more from the books.
In reality, he said, “We got more screen time from the book than any of the other movies.” This is because the end book has close to four hours of screen time.
When asked about his planned prequel, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which comes out on November 17, Lawrence said that the plan was always to make one movie from Suzanne Collins’ book that came out in 2020, even if it meant the movie would be longer.
He said, “I would never let them split the book in two.” Not a single conversation took place about it. Even though it’s a long book, fans, reviewers, and everyone else had bad things to say about splitting Mockingjay in two. I was like, “No way.” I’ll just make the show longer.