‘Hunger Games’ Director Makes Surprising Confession About ‘Mockingjay’ Films: ‘It Was Frustrating’

He heard the complaints

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Still from 'Mockingjay Part 2.'
Lionsgate Pictures

Throughout the past 15 years or so, it's become en vogue for film series based on bestselling books to split the final installment into two parts—just look at Harry Potter, The Twilight Saga and more. But while The Hunger Games film series also followed this trend, it turns out director Francis Lawrence regrets his decision to split Mockingjay into two films.

Lawrence, who directed every Hunger Games film except for the first installment (and who has no relation to star Jennifer Lawrence, BTW), recently told People that he wishes he hadn't made a Mockingjay into two separate films.

“I totally regret it,” he said. “I totally do. I'm not sure everybody does, but I definitely do.”

He added, “What I realized in retrospect—and after hearing all the reactions and feeling the kind of wrath of fans, critics and people at the split—is that I realized it was frustrating, and I can understand it.” Lawrence pointed out that the cliffhanger of the first part left fans in anticipation for quite some time, and it was interpreted as disingenuous, even though that was not the intention.

While it might have been a controversial choice to split Suzanne Collins’s Mockingjay book into two parts, it didn't seem to hurt too much at the box office. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 grossed $755.4 million, while The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 grossed $653.4 million. Both currently sit in the top 150 highest-grossing films of all time in North America.

But now, Lawrence is returning to direct the prequel film, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, based on Collins’s novel of the same name. And this time, he won't let history repeat itself. “I would never let them split the book in two,” Lawrence declared. “There was never a real conversation about it.”

All we know is, Lawrence has done a fabulous job as director so far and we're counting down the days until Ballad hits theaters on November 17.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...