‘The Hunger Games’ Director Refused to Film Sex Scenes; ‘It’s Not Like Twilight’
It’s no secret that The Hunger Games movies had an enormous fanbase. The films had a built-in audience, thanks to the eponymous books written by Suzanne Collins, and millions of people were completely invested in the dystopian world of Panem. Together the four films became one of the most successful film franchises of all time, grossing a staggering $2.97 billion dollars at the box office.
Because fans were so invested in The Hunger Games movies their feedback was often taken into account. When Francis Lawrence joined the franchise as the director for the second film, Catching Fire, he made sure to pitch things that would honor fans who were loyal to both the movies and the books. The Red Sparrow director even made the decision to recast Prim’s cat, Buttercup, to cater to fans.
Francis Lawrence really catered to fans of ‘The Hunger Games’ movie
“One of the big pitches I made was that I didn’t want to reinvent, I wanted to make the book,” Lawrence shared with the Los Angeles Times. “Everybody was with me on that; obviously so was Suzanne Collins. Luckily, Suzanne isn’t a total stickler about everything; she’s a great collaborator. Fans get attached to things, and they get attached to things like that cat. The idea, which was actually put forth to me by Nina [Jacobson], the producer, who said, ‘Maybe we should just recast the cat?’ They were worried that I might have issues with suddenly there’s inconsistencies with the cat from one and two. But I didn’t care. I would rather fans be happy.”
But there were some things that Lawrence wasn’t willing to do simply to appease fans of The Hunger Games. As he went on to direct the final three films in the franchise, fans were hoping that he would include a sex scene between Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. Fans even created fanfiction of intimate scenes that they hoped for dubbing it “Everlark” sex, which is a meshing of Katniss and Peeta’s surnames. Fortunately, Lawrence opted out of the sex scenes because they simply didn’t fit the tone of The Hunger Games movies.
The director reveals why sex scenes didn’t work for the dystopian movies
“There are definitely ideas that they come up with that we don’t want to do,” The Hunger Games director confessed. “The ‘everlark’ sex. Where they want Katniss and Peeta to have sex at the end of the movie, have a sex scene. There was no shooting that. These just aren’t sexual movies. The romance itself too, nobody actually has time to truly think about romance. It’s all sort of situational. It’s about comfort and trauma. She’s not pining over boys. It’s not like Twilight. That was all about abstinence and wanting somebody so badly. I get it in stories like that; in this, it just didn’t make sense.”