'Hunger Games': 'Water for Elephants' Director to Helm 'Catching Fire'by: Posted:
The status of the sequel to "The Hunger Games" has been up in the air since we reported last week that director Gary Ross was dropping out. Thankfully for the franchise, it looks as though Lionsgate has found his successor already, and a deal should be made soon.
Francis Lawrence (no relation to the movie's star, Jennifer Lawrence) has been chosen to direct "Catching Fire," according to THR. It seems that Lionsgate has also been seriously considering "Moneyball" director Bennett Miller, but his schedule wouldn't allow him to take on another project in the later part of this year. Considering Jennifer Lawrence's own scheduling conflicts, the last thing "Catching Fire" needs is a director who has other shooting scedules getting in the way.
Francis Lawrence is best known for directing post-apocalyptic action flick "I Am Legend" as well as period romance (and Robert Pattinson starrer) "Water for Elephants." That's an eclectic resume, but it might be exactly what "Catching Fire" needs. While Ross handled the action in "The Hunger Games" very well, the romantic aspect was a bit passed over. With Lawrence's experience in both genres, he should be able to handle both the revolutions in Panem and the Gale-Katniss-Peeta love triangle.
The deal is not set in stone yet, but Lawrence looks to be the choice. "Catching Fire" is set to shoot in Fall 2012 (and finish before shooting for the "X-Men: First Class" sequel begins in January 2013) and is set for a November 2013 release, so he certainly has his work cut out for him.