The Internet has been swirling with rumors over the past week of which director was going to land the coveted gig of directing the sequel to The Hunger Games, called Catching Fire. It was revealed to be between two directors, Francis Lawrence and Bennett Miller. The scramble to find a new director began after director Gary Ross opted out of returning to direct its sequel.
Now, EW has confirmed that Francis Lawrence has been offered the job.
Lawrence (no relation to Jennifer Lawrence, star of the franchise) previously helmed I Am Legend. They have reported that Lawrence won the job after a Miller’s commitment to shoot the biopic Foxcatcher ultimately proved he would not be able to do the film.
It was no secret that Lionsgate needed a new director fast after Ross bowed out. The film was scheduled to begin production this fall in order to stay on course for their already planned release date of November 22, 2013. In order to stay on track, the film must finish shooting by December for production to begin and for Jennifer Lawrence to begin production of her other film, the sequel to X-Men: First Class.
Considering that Catching Fire is on a considerably larger scale with several locations as well as a tropical-type Arena, Lionsgate is putting their trust in Lawrence’s ability to handle this bigger and more exotic canvas of the setting and story. Lawrence already has extensive experience with incorporating visual effects-drive action scenes and large scale worlds from his first two films, 2005′s supernatural thriller Constantine and 2007′s post-apocalyptic thriller I Am Legend. However, despite his ability, one reservation occurs and that is the romantic angle of Catching Fire. Lawrence previously director the drama Water for Elephants, which fizzled at the box office with many critics giving bad reviews for the romance between between Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. However, the romance between Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence, and Peeta, played by Josh Hutcherson, is a huge part of the sequel. Some worry he will stick with the less romance more action angle that the first film put in place, much to the dismay of diehard fans everywhere.
Lawrence will have to prove himself to fans and critics alike for this highly anticipated sequel.
As the sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire continues the story of Katniss and Peeta. Following the events of the previous novel, a rebellion against the oppressive Capitol has begun, and Katniss and fellow tribute Peeta Mellark are forced to return to the arena in a special edition of the Hunger Games in the 75th Hunger Games Quarter Quell.
The sequel will see the return of stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, and Woody Harrelson.