After the first Hunger Games became a breakout hit, the recent sequel, Catching Fire, served as a transition into both a bigger budget and a bigger story. But it sounds like things are getting a whole lot bigger for the final two installments.
In a lengthy interview with Variety, director Francis Lawrence teased that they’re having a great time in preproduction figuring out the look of District 13, additional parts of the Capital and a version of Panem “so devolved as to be barely recognizable.” Here’s an excerpt from Lawrence about where we’ll be heading when Mockingjay Part 1 opens Nov. 21:
“We are going to new places. No one’s ever been to District 13, and we have not really been in much of the Capital, so creating that is the really fun stuff.”
To go along with Lawrence’s comments, Lionsgate production president Erik Feig also opened up about the inspiration for some of the epic, burned-out locales that will house the action for the next two films. According to Feig, they actually turned to Stanley Kubrick’s war classic Full Metal Jacket when they were putting together the visual concepts:
“Kubrick shot the siege in London. In a weird way, we love the idea of urban sprawl. So we (looked for) big buildings that have been around forever. We kept coming back to classic war movies, and we started thinking we should look into Europe.”
To that end, Feig said the studio has booked Berlin’s recently closed Templehof Airport, which is a massive facility originally built in 1927, then reconstructed by the Nazis. They’ve also locked in some huge apartment complexes outside of Paris, which will be used to stage some battle scenes.
Though it had a tough act to follow, Catching Fire was a fantastic transition piece and did a bang-up job setting up the two-part Mockingjay finale. Here’s hoping they can pay it all off. If nothing else, those last two sequels should at least be gorgeous.