The search is over. Lionsgate has chosen Francis Lawrence (I AM LEGEND, CONSTANTINE) to direct THE HUNGER GAMES sequel, CATCHING FIRE. Earlier this week we heard the list had been narrowed down to Lawrence and MONEYBALL director Bennett Miller. Apparently Miller was interested but wanted Lionsgate to push the production date back a little so he could work on his project FOXCATCHER. Lionsgate couldn’t comply.
Time is of the essence here and Lawrence has an open schedule. They need to shoot CATCHING FIRE late Summer/early Fall so Jennifer Lawrence can finish up and hop into costume for Fox’s X-MEN: FIRST CLASS 2. The director will be able to get to work right away, which relieves Lionsgate.
Lawrence has never made a great movie. At the same time, I’d say his direction is competent if a bit forgettable. Most of the problems I’ve had with his films have been because of bad scripts so I’m not as worried as some on the internet. If the script is as strong as THE HUNGER GAMES then I think things will be in good shape.
CATCHING FIRE will be written by Simon Beaufoy and Suzanne Collins. The movie is scheduled to open November 22, 2013.