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CATCHING FIRE Is Catching A Rewrite!!

The Kidd here...

I find this whole development process for the second chapter of THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy, CATCHING FIRE, to be fascinating, because you'd think that studios would have learned that rushing a film into production when it's not quite ready doesn't always yield the best results. Then again, they know anything with THE HUNGER GAMES name on it is going to make a ton of money regardless, so they'd better get it into the theatres sooner rather than later, lest these fans head elsewhere suddenly. 

However, even with a very tight production window for CATCHING FIRE, dictated by Fox's need to have Jennifer Lawrence ready to go for the X-MEN: FIRST CLASS sequel, Lionsgate is squeezing in a rewrite of the script. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Michael Arndt (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, TOY STORY 3) is being brought on to take a run at Simon Beaufoy's script in order to get it ready for the late summer start date for the film. That doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room for Arndt to operate with, knowing he's against the clock to get CATCHING FIRE polished and ready to go in front of cameras. 

I get that Lionsgate knows they've got a major money maker on their hands, as evidenced by the first film, but it's the fans who suffer when little attention is paid to quality and more focus is put on making a pre-determined release date. 

Can we please get back to making movies that then get release dates as opposed to the practice of making movies for the release dates?


-Billy Donnelly

"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"

Follow me on Twitter.

Readers Talkback
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  • May 7, 2012, 11:05 a.m. CST


    by HornyForHarry

  • May 7, 2012, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Avengers owned Hunger Games box office record.

    by Tikidonkeypunch

    It was a shitty movie that is garnering shitty sequels

  • May 7, 2012, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Good news hopefully

    by Prior Walter

    The first movie had a terrible script. The cutting away from the arena so we can see the game makers destroyed any tension the movie had and shortchanged the audience from really understanding what Katniss' experience was like for those weeks in the arena. Hopefully these new writers don't see a need for cheesy commentary like we're watching a Quidditch match or something.

  • May 7, 2012, 11:23 a.m. CST

    I disagree, sometimes deadlines are necessary

    by Superponte

    Look at Star Trek 2. That thing was rewritten in a few days by Nick Meyer and is regarded as the best Trek Film. Desperation can give you some wonderful inspiration. This is not a "new" project. The story already exists, all it needs is a polish. That is doable.

  • May 7, 2012, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Hopefully this means that they're taking good care with the script

    by BlackBauer0320

    ....and not simply trying to bring in a good screenwriter to paint gold on shit. Time will tell. Second book is actually my favorite of the series.

  • May 7, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST

    I bet Beaufoy's script is actually sturdy...

    by jellypop

    and faithful to the novel but needs more oompah. He is a fairly decent writer most of the time.

  • May 7, 2012, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Can they polish up the shaky cam?

    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • May 7, 2012, 12:05 p.m. CST

    This will be tough

    by chuckmoose

    I thought the first movie was decent, and had some points about it that I really liked, but overall it was not as good as I hoped it would be. I prefer the first book over the second. Hunger Games felt fresh and concise, where Catching Fire kind of treads water trying to figure what to do with itself and then becomes an inevitable rehash of the first one to me. At least the the third book at least went in a different direction, but even though it had some very serious and potentially interesting things to say I found myself burned out long before the end. I think the main character became unlikable at some point. Hopefully the movies can make her a bit more sympathetic.

  • May 7, 2012, 2:16 p.m. CST

    They know the sand's running out on this, quickly.

    by kevred

    This isn't Harry Potter, where the books were still coming out as the film series was in progress, and the buzz over one could create buzz for the other. This is a series that was over before the first film came out, and it's a series that ended with the relative thud of a much poorer response to the finale than the previous books - not the best way to keep up the enthusiasm. First one made huge money, but still got a mixed reception, even from fans. By the time the next film is out, there will amost surely be a 'next big thing' in the book world. Tough spot. They'll do well, but it will probably end up a missed opportunity.

  • May 7, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST

    The Kidd needs a lesson in Hollywood Accounting 101

    by Big Dumb Ape

    >> Kidd: "Can we please get back to making movies that then get release dates as opposed to the practice of making movies for the release dates?" Nice wishful thought --- and I'm sure you also envisioned a blue sky with a giant rainbow arcing over a field of flowers, where puppy dogs playfully prance about. But for those of us who live in this little thing called REALITY -- not to mention work in Hollywood -- you're living in a dream world, Kidd. I admire your wishful thinking, but it's a pipe dream because it's just ain't gonna ever happen. Bottom line: the studios just don't have the financial resources anymore to make a movie and then just sit on it, so they can tinker away and play around with it till they feel it's pitch perfect, at which point then they'll schedule it and start marketing it. And, hell, if they didn't have the money before, in the current economic climate the piggy banks are running even MORE bare. Turn that piggy upside down and shake it, and all you'll hear is a single penny clanking about. Speaking as someone who's turning in a script at the end of this month... where luckily the financing was already in place... it's utterly insane out here, in terms of the race from successful pitch and greenlight to production to release date and keeping your fingers crossed that money will start rolling right back in, simply because you never know when the money beer keg might get totally tapped out. Of course when it comes to money flow, the best "living under a lucky star" example of the year has to be Disney. Right now they're ecstatic to see AVENGERS money rolling in given the staggering hole they had to fill in the company coffers due to JOHN CARTER. So, each time you hear a new box office result for the AVENGERS -- and rather than it adding to the Disney bank account and allowing them to do more new movies or allowing them to use the cash (as the Kidd is proposing) to give themselves breathing room on other projects -- imagine instead the Disney accountant whose sole job is to sit at a desk, write checks, and shovel AVENGERS money right out the door, to pay off all of the creditors owed some serious coin on CARTER. And given the incredible beating they were gonna take on that colossal failure, you gotta figure Disney execs are down on their knees and lighting candles in church right about now in thankful praise for the AVENGERS saving their asses.

  • It's just like the All-Star version of Survivor, bringing back the past champions.

  • May 7, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST


    by The Infamous Billy The Kidd

    Which SPIDER-MAN are we talking about?

  • a "Hulk" fan, it disgusts me that another Hulk film would only be possible IF they sell a lot of Hulk toys and other memorabilia. I mean, who really makes films for fans? It's business as usual.

  • May 7, 2012, 7:01 p.m. CST

    I dont get it...

    by kman2000

    How long does it take to re write a script when you already have the source material handed to you? Speaking of course from the point of view of someone who doesnt know the time it takes to do this. Seems like you could do it in a two or three weeks.

  • Furthermore, it's kind of pathetic that studios can make two-hour shit sequels with a time constraint of a year or two, but shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad can make a dozen or so hours every year with wonderful writing and cinematic polishings.