The Hunger Games director Gary Ross sat down with Moviefone for a great new interview. In it, he touches on working with author Suzanne Collins to add scenes to the film and much more.

Below is a lengthy portion of the interview we enjoyed reading ourselves. Click here to read the full interview which includes Ross’ thoughts on asking Steven Soderbergh to film a scene for him, individual casting decisions, and more!

How did Suzanne Collins feel about your adding scenes?
I would never give myself carte blanche to make changes. My job is to faithfully adapt something I love and to get at the essence of what I love about it. It’s incredibly compelling. It’s wonderfully urgent. It’s the beautiful evolution of a girl into a leader as she matures under very extraordinary circumstances. So it wasn’t so much about having carte blanche, but finding the most deft way to get at the essence of the story. So I wrote a draft of the script and then I sent it to Suzanne. We’d talked about it a bunch and she responded really, really favorably to the script. And then she came out to California so we could talk further and she had wonderful thoughts about it. And we started pitching back and forth and she was bringing a whole new layer in her insight because she had obviously lived with these characters a long time and before we knew it, we were working together. it wasn’t like I invited her in to work on the next draft with me, it just evolved. So I said, “Well, this is crazy. You’re not giving me notes, why don’t we just write the next draft together?” And she said, “Great.” So we locked ourselves up in a room and wrote the next draft of the script. Which was great for me, because I hadn’t had a writing partner since Anne Spielberg on “Big.” And I loved writing with someone again. That was a fun, special, really unique experience.

Did you feel like you had to tone down some of the violence to get that PG-13 rating or did you decide to make the film and then worry about the rating later?
I think that there’s a way to be as urgent and as compelling as the book is without being lurid or indulgent with the violence. If you tell the story from Katniss’s point of view, which is what the job is, then you’re in a perspective where you never become lurid or fetishistic about the violence. It’s a horror going on around her, but that can be done in a way that is very precise and select and even sparing at times without sacrificing any of the urgency or the immediacy of it. So no, it’s not done for the rating. It’s pretty intense. I’ve had people see the movie and they said it was more intense than they even expected. But it’s PG-13. It’s not gratuitous in any way. It’s just appropriate, I feel.

Are you also going to direct “Catching Fire?”
I’m attached to the next one. I’m looking forward to it. Simon Beaufoy, [“Slumdog Millionaire”] who’s a writer I’ve been a fan of for a long, long time, is doing the script. We had great meetings with him when he was here in LA. And I’m really excited about that. I can’t write the “Catching Fire” script right now because I’m finishing [“Hunger Games”], and we’re on a schedule where the script has to get written right now. So I’m unbelievably fortunate that someone like Simon is going to be writing the script. That was the person I wanted to do it. One of the great things about this is that you get to work with people that you respect and you love and I think I’m at a point in my career where that’s exciting for me. Would it be great to have time to write the script right now? Yeah. But I get to work with Simon Beaufoy. That’s a thrill. He’s somebody that I respect and I just love his work.

The film adaptation of Wicked is currently in production and Stephen Schwartz revealed at Comic Con that the film will feature plenty of new songs!

Warm up those vocal pipes and get your best “Defying Gravity” cape dry cleaned, the Wicked film is gearing up for production at long last! The Broadway hit, currently in its 13th year, has had audiences clamoring for a filmed production since Idina Menzel Kristin Chenoweth brought Elphba and Glinda to life. Now, that dream is becoming a reality, but probably not with the original cast.

At the CW3PR’s 8th Annual Behind-The-Music: Crime, Death and Resurrection Panel at Comic Con, Stephen Schwartz the man behind the music of Wicked appeared to announce that the film will feature songs both old and new. The “old” of course includes songs from the stage production such as “Defying Gravity,” “Popular,” and most likely, “One Fine Day.” But it also includes songs that were written and cut from the production before its Broadway opening.

Winnie Holzman will be writing the screenplay as she also wrote the book to the stage show based on Gregory Maguire’s novel. Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) is attached to direct.

You can watch Schwartz’s announcement from the panel below!

Now its time to start some casting speculations! It is my hope that the casting director sticks with strong Broadway talent to carry the roles. The musical has enough of a following to garner a strong viewership, but it also wouldn’t hurt to throw Menzel and Chenoweth in for a cameo or two!

Wicked is expected to hit theaters in December 2019.

U! S! A! U! S! A! A new Fantastic Beasts poster debuting at San Diego Comic-Con has American pride peppered into the design, giving us a hint at the film’s plot.

The film’s official social media channels unveiled Fantastic Beasts’ SDCC poster on Friday morning, just a day before the movie hosts a panel at the conference with the cast and crew. Presumably these posters will be handed out on the show floor, and/or at the Fantastic Beasts event.

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There’s a lot to unpack in this poster, which features Newt and a brightly lit “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” sign.

Newt is looking over his shoulder in the middle, holding a wand in one hand and a suitcase (with a beast trying to get out!) in the other. Supporting characters Graves, Jacob, Queenie, and Tina appear in the wings. Also here: Our very first looks at two female characters. We believe the one in the bottom left is Mary Lou, played by Samantha Morton. The guy on the right is Credence played by Ezra Miller.

So what’s with the American flags? They’re not only to remind fans that the movie is set in New York — We believe they’re teasing an election of some sort. The last Fantastic Beasts trailer briefly depicted a political event (See a screenshot below). We’re guessing an election will be taking place over the course of the movie with possible ramifications for the well-being of the North American Wizarding World.

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Fantastic Beasts opens this November. Return to Hypable on Saturday to check out our coverage of everything that happens during the movie’s panel!

Have a round, or two, with Lin-Manuel Miranda when he steps in to tell the story of Alexander Hamilton on Drunk History.

Comedy Central is keeping Lin-Manuel Miranda connected to Hamilton for a little while longer by setting the scribe up on the next season of Drunk History to spin another verse about the founding father. The show will concentrate on the rivalry between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton duel that resulted in SPOILER Hamilton’s death.

Hamilton was the first subject that the series took on in season one. With the rising success of the Broadway hit, fans clamored for Lin-Manuel Miranda to give Alexander Hamilton a reprise on the series.

Miranda is not throwing away his shot at telling another version of Hamilton’s decision to throw away his on the shores of New Jersey in 1804. Even though Miranda stepped away from the show on July 9, we expect to see him sticking close to the production for quite a while, especially as the show begins performances across the nation.

Miranda was not the only guest announced for Drunk History‘s fourth season. Joining him will be Aubrey Plaza, Ben Folds, Billie Joe Armstrong, Busy Phillips, Dave Grohl, Ed Helms, Elizabeth Olsen, Josh Charles, Mae Whitman, Michael Cera, Rachel Bilson, and Tony Hale, to name a few.

Raise a glass!


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Drunk History returns for its fourth season on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 10:30 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.