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Toby Jones talks working with Jennifer Lawrence again in “The Falling”

Toby Jones and Jennifer Lawrence

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Toby Jones and Jennifer Lawrence never share any onscreen time in “The Hunger Games,” so they’re making up for that in the upcoming movie “The Falling.” Formerly titled “Serena,” the movie follows a couple played by Lawrence and Bradley Cooper as they commit a string of crimes to try to make money for their family. Jones plays the sheriff tasked with bringing them to justice.

IFC caught up with Jones at “The Hunger Games” premiere Monday night where he shared that “The Falling” was beginning shooting the following week. He said he’s excited to be returning to set with her as “The Hunger Games” is about to hit theaters, especially in a film that inverts their roles.

“I’m chasing her character,” he explained. “She’s the villain, I’m the hero.”

The movie, which also stars Rhys Ifans, tells the story of George and Serena Pemberton, the owners of a timber empire in North Carolina. However, their claim on the wealth becomes complicated when the couple finds out Serena can’t bear any children. Susanne Bier will direct it.

“Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have a love story that completely robs them of any moral place, and I as the sheriff, I’m chasing them down and trying to pin crimes on them that they’ve committed,” Jones explained of the film’s plot.

In “The Hunger Games,” Lawrence plays a 16-year-old girl forced to fight to the death against 23 of her peers to last through a terrifying reality tournament held by their futuristic society every year. Jones plays the Hunger Games’s heartless announcer Claudius Templesmith.

Are you excited for Lawrence and Jones to get more screen time together in “The Falling”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Fred Armisen and Bill Hader as Blue Jean Committee

Sowing Their Oates

Watch Blue Jean Committee Talk About Their Old Pals Hall and Oates

Fred Armisen and Bill Hader made a smooth video for Hall & Oates.

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Kings of the “Yacht Rock” genre Daryl Hall and John Oates are kicking off a slew of tour dates this summer in an effort to raise the nation’s median concertgoer age by at least 30 years. And to announce their soon-to-be onslaught of blue-eyed soul jams, Hall & Oates have enlisted fellow “Mavens of Mellow” the Blue Jean Committee from IFC’s Documentary Now!. Reprising their laid back musical personas, Bill Hader and Fred Armisen reflected on the history between the two groups in a new video announcing the tour.

“What do you think of when you think of the Seventies? When you think of beautiful harmonies, you think of a duo who sing together to make hit songs. You think of the Blue Jean Committee and that’s who we are,” Armisen remarks. Hader continues, “Who you think of fifth, or maybe eighth, is Daryl Hall and John Oates. You know who used to open for us? Who we used to kick around? Daryl Hall and John Oates!” Strong words. Strong, smooth words.

Be sure to catch Hall & Oates on tour and check back for updates on Documentary Now! season two coming later this year.  For more Bill and Fred, check out the complete Documentary Now! archive, listen to music from the show, and watch full episodes right now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

Gary Ross officially out of “Catching Fire”: The next director should excel at these five things

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It’s definitely disappointing that Gary Ross will officially not return for “The Hunger Games” sequel “Catching Fire.” Lionsgate and Ross released statements today confirming his departure.

“Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct ‘Catching Fire,'” Ross said. “As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.”

We felt Ross pretty much did a spot-on adaptation of “The Hunger Games,” and did everything he needed to do in telling Katniss Everdeen’s story. Since a new director is going to be stepping in to fill his shoes, here are five things they should excel at in order to make “Catching Fire” as good as its predecessor.

Be adept with CGI
In “The Hunger Games,” Ross was able to get away with limited use of CGI because the Games were set in a wooded environment. Not so, in “Catching Fire.” Without giving anything away, the setting for the second film is very specific and not easy to replicate. A set will have to be built, and a good portion of the movie will likely need to be computer generated. Because of that, the new director should have a history of working with CGI and, more importantly, have done a good job with it.

Be able to direct an action film
Again, we don’t want to give too much away here, but “Catching Fire” will be arguably more action-packed than “The Hunger Games” before it. Ross did a great job shooting the action scenes in the first film, especially since it’s only rated PG-13. There’s no way Lionsgate will make “Catching Fire” rated R, so the next director had better be able to do the same thing this time around.

Be someone who can see through Katniss’s eyes
Though the portrayal of Katniss Everdeen largely lies on Jennifer Lawrence‘s capable shoulders, the director also needs to be able to see the story through her eyes. “The Hunger Games” did a great job of translating the intimate story told in the novel to a larger tale on the big screen, while still telling it from Katniss’s perspective. That can be attributed to the fact Ross was such a big fan of the book (we’ll get to that later), but the new person in charge needs to be able to understand Katniss’s motivations in order to do a good job of telling her story.

Be able to tell a love story
Honestly, the love story in “The Hunger Games” was a bit too downplayed for our liking, especially since Katniss’s complicated relationship with Peeta is dealt with immediately in “Catching Fire.” But the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale comes to the forefront in this upcoming sequel, and fans will never be more divided over who they’re rooting for. (Let’s face it, Gale becomes a dick in “Mockingjay.”) The next director can’t be someone who’s going to shirk away from the lovey dovey stuff, because it’s one of the more important elements of “Catching Fire.”

Be a fan of the book
Above all else, the new director needs to be a fan of the series. Ross admitted repeatedly that he was a huge fan of the books and that was why he wanted to be the director to portray them on the big screen. In fact, it’s rumored that his love for “The Hunger Games” alone was one of the reasons he didn’t have any interest in directing its successors. But Ross made sure to work closely with author Suzanne Collins while working on the script in order to stay as true to the heart of “The Hunger Games” as possible. It was clear that he understood the story being told, and his love for the material came across in the final product.

What do you think the most important strengths of the new director should be? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

“The Hunger Games” gets the “Saturday Night Live” treatment

"SNL" parodies "The Hunger Games"

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There’s one thing that’s almost a guarantee when you’re the number one movie in America three weeks running: you’re going to get spoofed on “Saturday Night Live.”

“The Hunger Games” was the latest film to get this treatment on last night’s Sofia Vergara-hosted episode. The “Modern Family” star acted as an Effie Trinket-styled news reporter covering the Games in the middle of the action. Unfortunately, she was also responsible for several deaths because, well, she’s loud and proud like Vergara in real life. Hunger Gaaaaames!

In other “Hunger Games” news, the flick has dominated the box office for the third week in the row. It earned $33.5 million this weekend, bringing its total gross up to $302 million. Not too shabby, all things considered, and the flick won’t have any real competition until “The Avengers” comes out May 4. As excited as we are for “The Cabin in the Woods” this weekend, we doubt the R-rated horror comedy will draw more people than the continued success of “The Hunger Games” will.

Also, we feel it’s worth noting that “The Hunger Games” has made more money (domestically) in its three weeks of release than all of the “Twilight Saga” films have made in their entire theatrical runs. Point made.

“The Hunger Games” tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl from the poor District 12 section of the futuristic country Panem who volunteers herself into the annual Hunger Games to take the place of her sister. In the Hunger Games, she must fight to the death against 23 of her peers on national television to win fame and fortune to her District. But Katniss only thinks about her survival and returning to her family, and that’s what gives her the edge. “The Hunger Games” hits theaters on March 23, 2012.

Are you surprised “The Hunger Games” is doing so well in theaters? Did you find the “SNL” skit funny? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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