Posted on 5:10 pm,
April 29, 2012

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The latest episode of our Hunger Games podcast is here! Listen in as we discuss the latest news stories – most notably Lionsgate’s decision to have Francis Lawrence direct Catching Fire.

– We look at Francis Lawrence’s resume and determine if he’s a good fit for the director’s chair.
– Could Gary Ross return to direct Mockingjay, or will Francis Lawrence come back?
– It’s all X-Men’s fault.
– Why is The Hunger Games DVD release being delayed past the normal release schedule?
– Is Catching Fire bound to be a huge success? Can it do any wrong?
– A Hypable user wrote an opinion piece about pacing problems – is it a valid concern?
– Listeners write in with their thoughts and concerns on The Hunger Games film.

Leave a comment on this post and it may be read on Episode 15! Enjoy!

This episode's hosts: Andrew Sims, Richard Reid, Selina Wilken, Jeremy Baril

  • Guest

    So excited to here your thoughts! I really enjoy this podcast, and can’t wait to listen to it, but what happened to your imprint podcast?

    • Guest


  • Matthew Potter

    I very much disagree with the person who commented on Richard’s “negativity”. So far between this podcast and MuggleCast, I’ve agreed with him 99% of the time (only exception being that as a whole I liked DHp1, but still agreed with most of his critique of it). Otherwise, another great podcast from all of you Hypable peeps. :)

  • Laura J

    Richard- I don’t think it ever said Finnick was 24 in the book but it said he won the 65th hunger games when he was 14…so by the quarter quell- the 75th- he’d be 24.

    Also, about the books been given away- I live in the UK and when Taylor Lautners film Abduction came out- if you went opening day, cineworld (major cinema chain) was giving out a free copy of the hunger games to everyone who bought a ticket for it. It was the same cover except with a little “soon to be a major motion picture” bit. It was sad because people were leaving the books in the screens and under their seats, I guess they thought “it’s free, it can’t be that good!”

  • TuesdayNext

    I just thought I’d come back to explain my comment about The Hunger Games. I read all the books, and stand by my opinion that the books are teen versions of 1984 or the Handmaid’s Tale. All of the books present a dystopia of our world, and the Handmaid’s Tale takes place in the North America too. All make you question the society we live/ lived in.
    What I meant by my comment, was that we, the audience, are the Capitol. We are overly excited to watch the Hunger Games; are cheering the Tributes on; and basically behaving like the people in the book. As I mentioned last time, why do we want to watch, and have pleasure doing so, children sacrificing themselves? Is there just a tad bit of irony in it all? Dressing up for the midnight release; going to the midnight release; everything surrounding The Hunger Games is a reflection of Capitol behaviour. What does that say about us as a society?
    On a second note, when I went to see The Hunger Games I was the only one there. I watched the movie in Europe and as Selina says the advertisement is weak. There were small trailers shown on TV and the posters were either of Kantniss ( sorry for misspelling her name) at the Opening Ceremony or of the Mockingjay. I’ve been asking my classmates if they’ve seen the movie , where the response is either “it was a great movie, but I’m not interested in the books” or “what’s that called?”. The lack f audience could also be due to translation. In German The Hunger Games was called Die Tribute von Panem , or in English The Tribute from Panem. I don’t know what they called it in Swedish or Danish or French, but I’m pretty sure that it plays a role. 

    By the way, I think that if you like Hunger Games, Harry Potter, or any literary heavy novel then start reading Jasper Fforde. His website is updated, he sells autographed postcards, and is very funny.  

    • Franki94

      I agree with this, although, I think it’s more a problem of the film than the books, because more people will go see movies than read books. 

      But I was thinking about this while I was listening to the podcast, and the discussion on the UK and US versions and the lack of blood for PG-13 (Australian M) ratings. One thing that really bugs me, is why the film needs such a low rating. Or why the amount of blood is an issue. Isn’t the idea of children being forced to fight and kill each other to the point of DEATH, sickening enough? And I think that by giving the film a PG-13 rating, we are exposing younger and younger viewers to these atrocious things, and they slowly become desensitised. Is this not the case with us calling for more blood? Like I said before, the idea should be sickening enough, but we are so desensitised that in order for the film to make an impact, we need more blood. Our society is becoming so passive towards violence, and at the same time, more violent, like it’s an ok thing, which what Susan Collins is trying to warn us of in The Hunger Games. So it is ironic. 

      Also on the ratings note, I would still see it if it was rated MA15+ (I don’t know the US equivalent), because I have read the books and am a fan, and those that the books are geared towards would still be old enough to see it, and it would attract adults as well. On top of that, it would remind the really young fans, like the 10 year olds in the cinema behind me, that these issues are serious, and this isn’t a story for entertainment, but rather a warning.

      • TuesdayNext

        I agree with you’re first two paragraphs.

        • TuesdayNext

          Sorry, I meant to write your*. Not studying at university where the langauge isn’t my mother tongue, has turned my English sour.

    • Selina

       I agree that it’s bound to make you think about the irony of it all; I’ve compared the Katniss Barbie dolls to the kids with wooden swords that Haymitch sees in the film before. But at the same time, let’s not forget the main difference: in the Capitol it’s real, in this world it’s made up. Kids died in Harry Potter too, but we still lined up for those midnight releases. It’s all fiction.

  • Kaitlyn Gore

    The Hunger Games does not have the same plot as 1984, but even if it did 1984 has the same plot as Brave New World and We – a man is enticed to stray from his allegiance to a utopian/dystopian society because of his desire for a female character. All utopian and dystopian novels share elements because of the nature of the genre. They portray society’s fear about the power of governments and those fears have remained pretty much the same over time. The Hunger Games government is actually pretty lenient. As far as we see, citizens choose their reproductive partners and are not watched every minute as seen in 1984, Brave New World, and We. I will say that everyone should read The Handmaid’s Tale since it is wonderful and another dystopian novel by a female author. I’m in a class about utopias and dystopias right now and we have read zero books by women.
    However, I do agree that the fanfare surrounding the movies and books is a reflection of Capitol behavior. Hopefully, the exposure will eventually get more people examining why we enjoy watching people being threatened/killed/tortured.

    • TuesdayNext

      The Hunger Games, 1984, Brave New World, they are all dystopian novels – that’s the point I was trying to get across. I know that because I studied The Handmaid’s Tale and 1984  in great depth for school. George Orwell portrays society’s fears and was a type of springboard for The Handmaid’s Tale. In both 1984 and The Hunger Games the same symbols keep arising: grey, dust, destruction; being constantly watched (in The Hunger Games there are the video cameras in the woods, the Jabberjays, some other creature); the pin (in 1984 it was the paperweight) and a type of room 101 (in The Hunger Games we see the arena as Katniss’s Room 101), and those strange mottos that they tell one another. Susan Collins changed the language of her book, as did Orwell.  There are probably a lot of other similarities that I haven’t picked up ,since I haven’t read 1984 in the last few months.  
      However, I was hoping to see what people thought about the way we are showing Capitol behaviour. I too would be interested to see what people think.

      • Kaitlyn Gore

        Yes I agree with you on the similarities. I just don’t want people to think The Hunger Games is some kind of rip-off of 1984 (like the Battle Royale thing). The whole dystopian genre is very derivative.

        It’s hard for me to articulate my thoughts on the Capitol behavior. On one hand we are watching the hunger games just as the Capitol and districts do in the book. However, we know that Katniss is ultimately the catalyst for a rebellion that overthrows the regime. So we’re watching to see her story, not to see children be slaughtered. I, personally, think that seeing and funding things like slasher horror movies is worse than The Hunger Games because the purpose of those is to see other people in pain. On the other hand hearing people say their favorite parts of the books/movie are the games is kind of disturbing. That’s not to say that enjoying moments of character development that happen during the games is bad but having a favorite part be when someone is killed/tortured is troubling (though I haven’t heard anyone say that). So I guess what I’m saying is that we dont watch/read the hunger games for the same reasons as the Capitol.

        • TuesdayNext

          Those that read the books know that Katniss is the catalyst for a rebellion. But how many of them know that it is her story? Sure, it’s about “The Mockingjay”, however her story is intertwined with the people around her. I agree that people should read the books before saying that it’s a rip off. Perhaps it will get more people to read Orwell, Atwood and other dystopic writers.

          I agree with you that slasher movies shouldn’t be funded. Although we are following Katniss, it is still horrible to watch the children compete. This movie wasn’t about the violence, however the screenwriters may decide to do that. Catching Fire isn’t exactly a walk in the park , so it will be interesting to see how they portray it.

          I just hope that the movie doesn’t continue to dissensitize people to accept violence. I hope it’s seen as a warning.

  • Rochelle Korolewski

    I’m in agreement with most of you about the arena scenes not being able to be too drawn out or people may have lost interest. I think it was a good balance.
    Being a big HP and Twilight (book and movie) fan I don’t set high expectations for the movie adaptations so as not to feel let down (as I did with HP 3-6). I’m planning to go see it a second time on Thursday and my husband will be joining me and he has not read the books so I am interested to get his view on it.
    Sadly I have to agree with the listener that made the comment about Richard. Richard you make the show a bit depressing and I like to listen to the podcast while I’m at work… lighten up, it’s entertainment we’re talking about here!

  • Louelle van Rens

    When I checked iTunes for new podcast episodes, I immediately started laughing when I saw the title of the new Hunger Games Chat episode.. Lawrence Squared! The exact same wording as last week’s Hunger Games Fireside Chat episode. Hah.

    Anyway, I’m going to listen to the episode soon.

  • WhatTheGrace

    I disagree with the comment about the ‘hype’ of The Hunger Games. Around 95% of the people i know who went to go and see the film had not read the books but were still able to understand and digest the horrible concept of the games, if so there were a lot more shocked than i was whilst watching the film (obviously because i’d read the book). A lot of people i asked agreed that the world of the hunger games could potentially become reality in some sort of far-fetched future. They talked a lot about whether or not they would volunteer for their sibling or thought about how well or not so well they would do if they were in the games themselves. On a whole it got them thinking. 

    When Richard refers to the UK i think he  means Scotland only because in London there was quite a lot of promotion and a majority of people at my school had heard of the hunger games (film) It wasn’t on the scale of twilight promo but people generally knew it was coming out. However I do agree with Richard on the feeling of the hunger games after watching it for the first time, I also saw the Avenger when it came out and honestly that film blew my mind, i really loved the hunger games but it didn’t give me that same omg feeling either.

    Lastly Jeremy’s voice reminds me of Kevin from Mugglecast ;)
    Great show guys!

    • Richard Reid

      I don’t actually live in Scotland; I’m in Oxford

    • Scott Learmonth

      I agree with your first paragraph. In my school in Aberdeenshire, loads of people saw the film and loved it, despite not reading the books. Those who read the book also enjoyed the film. 

      But with your point about maybe being a lack of promotion in Scotland, I disagree with you. There was probably just as much promotion here as the rest of the UK. Cardboard cut outs in cinemas, banners on busses, billboards, TV ads. There has been much criticism of the lack of promotion outside the US, but I feel they didnt do too bad a job in the UK. It was by no means a good marketing campaign but there was a fair share of TV ads.

      • Richard Reid

        Nice to see a fellow Aberdonian.

  • Tatiana Richardson

    “I hate the world” – If i wasn’t such a misanthropic I would like Richard

    • Richard Reid

      misanthropy is a great word. I’m going to endeavour to use it in the next episode.

  • Franki94

    Funny story, I fell asleep literally 5 minutes in the first time I listened to the podcast, see I have this routine where I listen to podcasts to get to sleep, and so I fell asleep and was so disappointed in myself. I did listen to it a second time and I am glad I did, because my comment was read. haha, the highlight of my week. 

    One question: after listening to the discussion about the varying degrees of blood in the UK and US, does anyone know what version they showed in Australia? XD

  • Baylor

    If it was gary ross’s choice to not make catching fire in 3D does that mean Francis Lawrence might decide against what Ross wanted?

  • Fox

    Love your come back Richard.  I think you opinions (though different from mine) is important for discussion sake.  I just had an idea if there are notes in the (I forgot the name) gift then does that mess up the bread code in book 2 ( the 1 loaf of district 4 or 12 rolls from district 3  Thanks

  • Tab

    My big problem with Lawrence being chosen as the director is the horrible adaptation of I Am Legend. If we want a good book to script adaptation is he the right choice? I Am Legend the movie has nothing other than the name of the main character in common. In the end I guess it really falls on the screen writer to do a good job, but so far I’m worried about this news and to me it doesn’t bode well for the future of Catching Fire.

  • 7Starrchasers

    I love Richard’s opinions. That is all.

    • TwiGleeStarGames34


  • Vantage

    I think they would remain faithful to the books. I mean, the cast and crew are very passionate about this project. Besides, Suzanne will be involved with the writing. Let’s just hope for the best. May Francis Lawrence capture the true quintessence of the second book leading to the mutiny.

    • Vantage

      And an addition to the music videos Francis Lawrence directed is Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’.

  • KatnissLovegood


    I just want you to know that you are my favorite person on this podcast. 99% of the time your comments and opinions are ones that I completely agree with. You bring a bit of realism to the conversations, and you are appreciated!


  • 1avsfan

    “I am Legend was awful.” Were we watching the same film, Richard?

  • belac889

    Can you guys talk about the Foxface suicide theory: In the beginning of the film there is a point made that foxface knows about plants and berries in the training room. Yet in the arena she eats berries just as it gets down to the point of her, Katniss, Petra, and Cato. So people on the Internet say that Foxface committed suicide so she wouldn’t be killed in a much gorier way.

  • Scott Learmonth

    Have to disagree with Richard when he said that it felt like the the Games only lasted a few hours. In the film it clearly shows that the characters sleep over night. Therefore, unless viewers dont understand the time difference between day and night, viewers would obviously realise that the Games last for days. 

    Also the point about us watching the film is sick because we want to see kids killing each other is retarded. People want to see it because its a good story with interesting characters. Not to mention that I want to see one of my favourite books in a film. 

    I feel that some fans are too critical of the film. It is a good film, as well as a good adaptation.

    I did agree with Richard with the criticism of the BBFC. I would be surprised if they didnt allow the blood to be included on the dvd thought.


    so this doesn’t really have to do with the discussion on the podcast, but I think it was a poor choice to make Catching fire on a different day as the Hunger Games premiere (March 23). I think it would have been consistent with their idea of trying to make it seem like we (the viewer) are the capitol people and we are actually watching the Hunger games as its happening. They could argue that the beginning of Catching Fire they were on tour and the reaping doesn’t start right away. However, I think it takes away the idea of The Hunger Games being on the same day every year. It would also give the day more significance to fans. I could imagine that if every movie was released on the 23rd of March and after Part 2 of Mockingjay would be released that people would have Hunger Games parties at their houses and watch the movies with their friends saying” Happy Hunger Games” to everyone. Now what do you say to people on the day Catching Fire comes out? Since the first movie was on the 23rd of March would that be considered the OFFICIAL Hunger Games day or would it change? Thanks I love your podcast. I love everyone on the show. However, recently people were cutting each other off mid sentence or trying to interrupt . I absolutely love everyone on the show but it gives me a head ache when a person buds in when someone else is talking while I am listening. Sorry if I sound like I’m complaining. 

  • santanana

    Hey guys, I was reading Mockingjay the other day when something occurred to me.  After Katniss gets rescued from the second arena and becomes mentally disoriented, it makes me think of something Bella Swan would do.  Like when Jacob left Bella, both girls fall into a kind of trance and lose sense of everything.  The only difference between Bella and Katniss is that one is that one is a hormonal teenager and the other has just killed other people.  This is the only time I think Kristen Stewart would do a better job then Jennifer Lawrence.  Love the show, you guys rock!

  • Rae

    Agree with Jeremy on how Catching Fire will make more money because it’s true for most sequels. Especially since this is a huge franchise CF!

    As devastated as I am to see Gary Ross ditch us (jk), I have high hopes for Francis Lawrence. Hopefully he will be able to do CF justice. I Am Legend was good but it wasn’t extraordinary. It was however, able to capture the world of that movie really good. So I agree with Jeremy that I think Francis will be able to visually do the movie justice. But what matters most is the story, so hopefully that’s taken care of. 

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