Director Francis Lawrence has been offered to helm the highly anticipated ‘Hunger Games’ sequel, ‘Catching Fire,’ Slashfilm is reporting. After narrowing its search to two possible contenders, the franchise’s studio, Lionsgate, decided on the ‘I Am Legend’ director over ‘Moneyball’s Bennett Miller.
Lawrence and Lionsgate have yet to finalize the deal, but they are expected to soon. Word of the studio’s decision to hire the director came after rumors began circulating earlier this month that Gary Ross, who helmed ‘The Hunger Games,’ would be leaving the series. The filmmaker confirmed his departure last week, after the film’s blockbuster opening weekend, and the studio immediately began looking for a new helmer. The contenders for the sequel also included David Cronenberg, Alejandro Ganzalez Inarritu and Cary Fukunaga.
One of the main reasons why Ross left ‘Catching Fire’ was due to it’s compressed production schedule. Star Jennifer Lawrence is obligated to film the ‘X’Men: First Class’ sequel in January for Fox. Lionsgate needs to start production on ‘Catching Fire’ by August in order to keep on schedule for its November 22, 2013 release date.
But (Francis) Lawrence’s late summer schedule is free. He’s expected to start working on the script for ‘Catching Fire’ with ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ screenwriter Simon Beaufoy and ‘The Hunger Games’ author Suzanne Collins right away.
Written by: Karen Benardello