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February 16 2013

Danny Strong begins work on final Hunger Games script. Danny Strong has finished the script for The Hunger Games:Mockingjay Part I and now begins work on Part II.

Oh Tom Lenk had mentioned running into Danny at a local coffee shop while Danny was writing furiously on an upcoming script... it makes sense it was this (since I'm sure the pressure is on, they must be starting filming soon!). So cool. I know Danny will do a brilliant job of presenting the material (after all both Recount and Game Change required some serious work to wrangle all the facts/details/characters into a good tight story line). I'm so excited about this, I loved the Hunger Games books and the first film.
@ embers: "Mockingjay, Part 1" doesn't come out until November 2014 (and Part 2 a year after it), and apparently Lionsgate is winding down production on "Catching Fire." They'll need to give the actors and crew some breathing room before they begin filming, but it makes sense for Strong to finish the script for Part 1 so they can begin prep on it.

Jennifer Lawrence will be busy shooting "X-Men: Days of Future Past" starting in April (as well as that David O. Russell pic with Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner). They won't start filming "Mockingjay" until late this year/early 2014.
Well, good for him; I'm glad they seem to have liked his work on Part 1. This (both parts) looks like a very exciting gig to get - both creatively and in career terms.
If there's one thing the first film dropped the ball on, it was the dark politics of the Capitol. Hopefully Danny should weave some of that betrayal and complexity into it, considering his previous works.

[ edited by Dude Meister on 2013-02-17 10:38 ]
I had issues with the last book which I'd be spoiling if I discussed. I was hoping that whoever wrote the script for the last movie could address these problems. The thought, "they'll fix it it the movie," ran through my head after I finished the book.

He has quite a road ahead of him, but I'm glad that he is the one penning it.
There are things in the last book I was more like "are they going to have the chutzpah for this in a movie"? And I think that yes, yes they will.

Dude, I think you may be faulting the first movie for failing to present events that weren't in the first book.

I just hope Danny Strong has some action chops. The things that will pretty much define the fan experience of these three movies, particularly the two in "Mockingjay" are the major plot points that 1st person POV Katniss learns about in her absence but would pretty much be mandatory set pieces for a blockbuster. There's a nice balance to Strong being tasked to write book adaptations that will require him to flesh out a lot of things the book didn't actually address since his claim to fame is a book adaptation in which he left out like half the book.
KingofCretins, the decision to edit out most of Game Change was not Danny's, that decision had already been made by Producers and Directors before they even hired Danny to write the screen play. I thought he over came the challenges that that posed really well (it isn't like he could over ride their decision). But I agree with you, Danny hasn't done action before and it can be hard to write great action scenes (it will help if the director has a clear vision). I'm looking forward to seeing what they do!

And yeah Dud Meister, I think you need to reread the 2nd book. In fact I'm kind of thinking I'll reread all three.
Wow, you guys are right -- I seriously thought something really bad happened before she went into the arena, but I just reread that section. Huh, obviously muddling the books up in mind, will definitely have to reread before the next film. Thanks guys; I'm sure Danny won't be as mixed up as that!

Edited to take out spoilers. Apologies.

[ edited by Dude Meister on 2013-02-17 10:40 ]
I have motivation for seeing this movie!
Dude Meister, just hush. You're leaking spoilers left and right.

I can't tell you how thrilled I am that Danny is writing this part. I've the feeling he'll get it right.
I hope I will manage to write this vaguely enough not to give away spoilers:

Mockingjay is my favorite of the THG books, although I recognize that it does have some problems/flaws (I just find those flaws minor in comparison to the amazing things that Collins did in the last book). Although I liked the ending, the last couple of chapters seemed like Collins was rushing to end the book and should - and would have to - be expanded, since the movie works on "show, don't tell" rule, and the ending has Katniss simply telling us some things, instead of having 2-3 more scenes to flesh out those things, which would be more effective (and would probably result in far fewer people completely misunderstanding the ending and missing the point).

I think Mockingjay might make for the best movies in the franchise. There are parts of it that felt more like a screenplay than a novel; in particular, a crucial scene towards the end of the novel, just before a climactic event, where Collins did something she had never done in the trilogy before - kept Katniss' thoughts and motives hidden and vague in order to make the next event a big surprise twist (though I guessed it right away). This resulted in many readers being confused, so one may say SC overplayed it, kind of like Joss, Marti and co. overplayed the "what is Spike trying to do in Africa" ploy at the end of season 6. This sequence is one that would work much better and more naturally in the movie, where we normally don't hear Katniss' thoughts anyway, than it does in the book. At other times, while reading MJ I thought that it's a book that would allow a screenwriter to show Katniss' feelings much easier than one can in adaptation of the first two books, since the novel itself provides some very cinematic devices (including her nightmares - some of which could be filmed, the way she keeps a certain object of sentimental value, moments of emotional breakdown, or scenes in which she actually voices her disapproval of certain actions - all the moments in which a lack of internal monologue would not create a problem, compared to say, the first book).

The real challenge in adapting Mockingjay is to strike a balance between the political framework of the story, the action, and the emotional resonance and character development that is at the heart of the story.

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