|Josh Hutcherson as Peeta|
Gary Ross “brought so much to the movie that it’s going to be hard for Francis [Lawrence] to come in,” he tells MTV News.
No one supported Gary Ross more than “Hunger Games” star Josh Hutcherson, who called Ross “my guy” right before the director exited stage left.
Well, with Ross out and Francis Lawrence in to direct the franchise’s second film, “Catching Fire,” the actor is just hoping that the same magic can be captured without Ross there waving the wand.
“I have spoken to Gary. And I literally don’t think I’ve talked to somebody on the phone and they’ve sounded more upset than he was,” Hutcherson told MTV News at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. “He was so disappointed that he couldn’t do it. Unfortunately, with the scheduling and the timing, he just didn’t have the time to write the script and prep it the way he wants to, the way his work ethic allows him to be as great as he is, which made me extremely sad.
“Gary, I think, brought so much to the movie, and he created that whole world that was so close to the book and so perfect in so many ways that it’s going to be hard for Francis to come in, for sure,” he added. “But Francis is extremely talented and everyone I’ve talked to says he’s the best guy in the world. So I think he’s going to bring a lot. I haven’t spoken to Francis. I’ve spoken to Gary.”
Given how epic “The Hunger Games” is, Lawrence makes for an interesting choice. He’s no stranger to making visuals that go big or go home, whether as a music video director who has created show-stopping clips for the likes of Beyoncé and Britney Spears or as a film director (“I Am Legend,” “Water for Elephants“). With Ross already having created a certain vision for the big-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘ books, Hutcherson is hoping there’s a way to meld Lawrence’s with it.
“I think he’ll stay true to the first one. Gary’s already established a tone and a theme and kind of a whole world. So I think Francis will operate within that. I hope so,” he said. “At the same time, if I were directing, I’d want to bring my own thing to it. So I hope he brings something different to it, which I’m sure he will.”