Don’t recognize him? That’s ok, but you might recognize his name… This is Francis Lawrence. His short resume’ includes the Will Smith post-apocalyptic tale I Am Legend, the dark graphic novel adaptation Constantine (the one with Keanu), and last year’s Reese Witherspoon-Robert Pattinson romantic drama Water for Elephants.
One thing I noticed with all of those films is that they’re all adaptations (a short story, a comic, and a novel). So this bodes well for the decision of Lawrence (who apparently won out over the other finalist: Moneyball‘s director Bennett Miller). All of those films are also very impressive visually, so this should mean good things for the Hunger Games sequel.
What doesn’t bode as well is that’s not a very impressive resume’. I am personally a fan of I Am Legend but I do know that a lot of people have a lot of issues with it. And I’m no expert on the whole comic book/graphic novel thing, but I found Constantine a bit off (maybe it was Keanu…) and I stayed about as far away from Elephants as possible, so I have no opinion there, other than to say that I know that critics didn’t give it a warm welcome.
I don’t think any of this really matters anyway, because to me, it’s not like Gary Ross left his stamp on the first Hunger Games film, unless his stamp is trying to be a poor man’s Paul Greengrass by shaking the camera all over the place. I found a lot of the cinematography to be distracting, especially in two specific scenes (the Reaping, for one, where there was so little focus that it almost lost impact and the final fight scene between Peeta, Katniss, and Kato, where apparently we weren’t allowed to see clear hand-to-hand combat). For this reason alone, I’m fine with the transition (hell, the Harry Potter franchise went through quite a few director changes) and I certainly hope Lawrence does a good job.
But what about you? Is there reason for concern in District 12 with such an inexperienced man behind the camera, or will Katniss and Co. be just fine being guided by someone who has directed such fantastic actors as Keanu Reeves and Robert Pattinson? Let us know below!