The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1: Why Is The Final Book Split Into Two Movies?

The Hunger Games is on the home stretch, with the release of the third movie in the franchise this month. But while Suzanne Collins packed all of her finale action into one book, director Francis Lawrence has split that final novel into two movies, meaning we still have to wait another whole year to see how Katniss’ story ends. So why the split?

It’s a common tactic in Hollywood now to split a book into multiple movies. Peter Jackson is doing it, to the tune of a lot of criticism, with The Hobbit, while The Twilight Saga and Harry Potter started the whole thing with their fleshed out final installments.

Cynics might point the obvious reason of that two movies make more money than one, especially when it comes to the teen market which is box office gold, but Mockingjay director Francis Lawrence told EntertainmentWise at last night’s world premiere in London for the movie, that for him it was all about giving the fans more.

“You get a lot more book in the movies if you split it into two,” he pointed out. “If you adapt the book into a two hour movie you lose a lot, you adapt it into two movies you get a lot more. It also allows us to expand things a little bit and surprise the fans.” So does that mean fans who know the books inside out are in for some shocks? Lawrence told us that “the stories get tougher as we go on, we’re dealing with war, we’re dealing with rebellion. It’s about the cost of war on people emotionally, psychologically, physically. We try and be as honest as we can with how people would be reacting to these situations. And sometimes that gets tough.”

Producer Nina Jacobson echoed Lawrence’s view that there’s a clear split in the two movies, telling us “Mockingjay 1 is about the propaganda war, Mockingjay 2 is about war.” And while shooting two movies is double the work, it also meant it was doubly hard to say goodbye when they wrapped, as Nina points out that the cast and crew were together for so long on the back to back shoot.

The Mockingjay is coming

“There were a lot of tears, when we wrapped it was both of them because we shot them back to back so when we wrapped, we wrapped the whole series. So that was pretty sad because we’ve had a great time with each other, and we’ve gotten very close and none of us really wanted it to be over. We feel very connected to each other, it has a very family like feeling, we’ve had a lot of fun together, we’ve been on an incredible journey together that’s a once in a lifetime experience.”

Mockingjay Part 1 opens in cinemas November 20 while the final part in the franchise will land in November 2015. There’s still a lot more Katniss to come! Check out our night on the Mockingjay red carpet in the video below.

Sam Claflin opted for a unique maroon blazer (WENN)