Mockingjay director explains that Parts 1 and 2 will be two "distinct stories"

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Jul 9, 2019, 2:01 PM EDT (Updated)

The third book in the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, was split in twain for the movie adaptation. Here's how that's gonna shake out.

Lionsgate has this new thing they're doing with adaptations where they make two movies out of one book. They did it with Twilight, they are presently doing it with Hunger Games, and they'll be doing it with Divergent, too.

Your eyebrow might arch a little at the thought of added movies, which is understandable because that maneuver has the scent of cash grab all over it. More movies means more money.

So, from that perspective, it's perfectly fair to wonder how Mockingjay's narrative can be successfully split into two movies without unnecessary padding or radical interpretations of the text.

Which is probably why director Francis Lawrence wound up talking about why there are going to be two movies without straying too far from the book. He wanted to make it clear that Mockingjay Parts One and Two will be "two different, very distinct stories." How? Well ...

Instead of changing the plot and changing characters what we did was have the opportunity to show scenes that could have been happening at different times in the book. For us it’s world expansion instead of changing things. I think it’s exciting for the fan to see certain things. So we’ve been able to open the world up in this and see some new places.

That actually makes sense. In the Hunger Games books, we're dealing entirely with a first-person narrative from the perspective of Katniss -- you know, a teenager who is in over her head and comes to have some severe PTSD. So it's actually good that we're getting a more third-person perspective in the film adaptations, especially in Mockingjay, where much of the story is about complex political fare. It's actually possible that, from that perspective, there could be two movies' worth of story to tell.

Still, we're a little on the fence. This doesn't explain how each film's narrative stands on its own so much as it explains why there can be two movies without too much filler. Each film still needs a satisfying throughpoint that brings its own conclusion while also weaving an overarching story that will bring an end not only to the Mockingjay story but to the Hunger Games entirely.

It can be done, but not easily. Time will tell.

Mockingjay Part 1 will hit theaters on Nov. 21.

(via Comic Book Movie)