The ‘Hunger Games’ Director Is Also Not Happy That ‘Mockingjay’ Was Split In Two: ‘I Totally Regret That’

Let’s go back to a simpler time. It’s 2014, Pharrell’s “Happy” is playing on every radio station, Brad and Angelina officially got married, and everyone in your life is ready to see the latest chapter in The Hunger Games saga. That is until you realize the story was chopped in half, creating a Part 1 and Part 2, following the likes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Twilight: Breaking Dawn. The question was posed: why are we massacring these films?! The answer was to do more massacring, for some reason.

Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2 were released in November 2014 and 2015, respectively, and director Francis Lawrence understands now why the move was controversial. “I totally regret it,” Lawrence said in a new PEOPLE interview. “I totally do. I’m not sure everybody does, but I definitely do.” He’s right, not everyone gets it.

When the two movies were announced in 2012, it was a popular blockbuster tactic to split the finale of a series into two parts. While it worked for some, it was off-putting to fans, who didn’t want to wait to see Jennifer Lawrence shoot arrows through stuff. “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,” the director told PEOPLE. “And I can understand that.”

He explained his reasoning, “In an episode of television, if you have a cliffhanger, you have to wait a week, or you could just binge it, and then you can see the next episodes. But making people wait a year, I think, came across as disingenuous, even though it wasn’t.”

While the wait didn’t make the movie flop, the finale became the worst-performing installment in the franchise, meaning that maybe people really didn’t want to wait a whole year for the second half of the movie, which was more or less the same as the first half, only most of the movie takes place in a sewer. Maybe people will learn from this! Maybe not.

Either way, we will have more Hunger Games fun when the prequel drops this fall. It’s just one movie. For now.

(Via People)