Tag Archives: Francis Lawrence

Francis Lawrence Signs On To Direct Mockingjay Part 1 and 2

When Gary Ross left the The Hunger Games franchise after the first film, it was up in the air whether or not new director Francis Lawrence would stick around. Thankfully, he recently announced that he would be also helming the two part adaptation of the final novel, Mockingjay. 

Lawrence came in to take over directing the second adaptation of Catching Fire which is currently filming in Atlanta.

Franchise star, Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta Mellark, commented on the new director saying,

“He’s fantastic. He’s such a smart guy. He has some great ideas for the movie. I just really like where his head is at. I really like him a lot.”

Catching Fire also sees the addition of several new cast members as fans are given a whole new set of tributes for the 75th Hunger Games Quarter Quell. Main cast members Jennifer Lawrence, Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, and Elizabeth Banks also return.

New cast members include Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair, Jeffrey Wright as Beetee, Amanda Plummer as Wiress, Jena Malone as Johanna Mason, Lynn Cohen as Mags, Meta Golding as Enobaria, Bruno Gunn as Brutus, Alan Ritchson as Gloss, E. Roger Mitchell as Chaff, Maria Howell as Seeder, Stephanie Leigh Schlund as Cashmere.

Catching Fire will hit theaters on November 22, 2013.

Philip Seymour Hoffman Joins The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Casting is finally moving forward with much sought after roles in Catching Fire. Lionsgate has officially announced that critically acclaimed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has been cast as Plutarch Heavensbee. He will play the Head Gamemaker of the 75th Hunger Games.

The film, which has been rebranded as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, begins where the first left off. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have returned home safe after being both being crowned Victors in the 74th Annual Hunger Games Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour’ of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.

The actor and filmmaker just wrapped a Broadway run as Willy Loman in the revival of “Death of a Salesman” for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. He will next be seen in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master and the indie film A Late Quartet alongside Catherine Keener and Christopher Walken. More recent films includeMoneyballThe Ides of March and Jack Goes Boating, which marked Hoffman’s feature directorial debut.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be directed by Francis Lawrence, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the second in a trilogy that has over 36 million copies in print in the U.S. alone.

All of the main cast from the first movie have already been confirmed to be returning to much anticipated sequel.

Lionsgate will release The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on November 22, 2013

Hunger Games Star Jennifer Lawrence Talks New Director

Catching Fire, the sequel to the phenomenal movie The Hunger Games switched directors at the last minute, with Gary Ross leaving the sequel and Francis Lawrence picking it up. Many fans are worried what this change in vision can do to the much anticipated sequel. To quell fears, actress and star of the first movie, Jennifer Lawrence, has said quite a few nice things about the director and what he has in store.

Jennifer had this to say:

I really like his take, which is a lot of what I liked in [The Hunger Gamesdirector] Gary Ross. It’s the realistic grasp of the story instead of all the details of the imaginary things… The new movie will be very real, which is what I’m excited about.”

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth will reprise their lead roles as Katniss, Peeta and Gale, with Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, and Woody Harrelson also returning to their respective roles.

The coveted roles of Finnick Odair and Johanna Mason have not yet been cast despite several rumors of who is in the running.

The film is set to be released in theaters November 22, 2013.

Catching Fire Moves Forward With Another Screenwriter


Now that Catching Fire finally has a director confirmed, it seems the project is moving forward. Lionsgate is now bringing in screenwriter Michael Arndt to rewrite the initial draft for the film adaptation.

The first draft came from Simon Beaufoy, and as he is already an Oscar-winning screenwriter, the re-write should be relatively painless.

The new screenwriter, Arndt has also done well making a name for himself. He previously wrote the screenplay for Little Miss Sunshine, which earned him an Academy Award. He also penned the screenplay for Toy Story 3, contributed to the writing for Rock of Ages, and also did a refurbishing of Disney’s Snow White-inspired martial arts epic, Order of Seven – and is handling the Mouse House’s impending Phineas and Ferb movie.

Author of the series, Suzanne Collins has already confirmed that she has had a hand in adapting her novel into the screenplay for the film. After writing the first draft of the script, Beaufoy confirmed that he handed the script over to Collins for her to review.

Things always do have to change otherwise there’s always something very flat about very faithful adaptations. But on the other hand, there’s an extremely loyal fan base and readership and you just have to be careful of how many liberties you do take. So fortunately Suzanne is here to help me… she’ll tell me, ‘You can’t do that. You must do this.’ Because there are some things that are sacrosanct to her readers and she knows them very well and she’ll let me know.”

It isn’t clear as of yet, whether or not Collins will play such a direct writing role with Catching Fire as she did with The Hunger Games. However, it is good news to fans that she has at least helped create the script for the film.

With all the actors returning, and Collins helping with the script, it appears the second film of the series is finally materializing.

Catching Fire remains scheduled to begin a theatrical release in the U.S. on November 22nd, 2013.

Will Francis Lawrence Be Good For Catching Fire?

It was announced last week that Lionsgate had officially offered director Francis Lawrence the job of directing Catching Fire. As of now, fans are still unsure of the decision as many felt that the departure of Gary Ross was the first step into disappointment for the mega popular trilogy written by Suzanne Collins.

However,  Lawrence may just surprise fans. He is qualified for the position and his previous experience may lend itself to the expansive setting of Catching Fire.

Lawrence definitely has more experience when it comes to large-scale action scenes and settings. After his previous work on I Am Legend, he has proven himself to be adept at creating worlds where CG and live action merge harmoniously for the audience. Considering the large-scale world of Arena, Lawrence may be more at home than Gary Ross was during the first installment.

Another reason we may be able to trust Lawrence with the beloved second installment is his previous film experience is just as apocalyptic as The Hunger Games. He definitely knows the genre and has a love for it. He has proven through his past films that he can create a post-apocalyptic world that is not only familiar but also far removed from the society we know. Creating the tone of Catching Fire should be easy for him.

Also, the second book and upcoming movie will have a ton of new elements including characters, settings, and most importantly the Arena. Lawrence won’t be boxed into being influenced by Ross’ directing style. He can strike out with his own style while creating a world fans already love.

On the professional side of things, however, Lawrence is basically guaranteed that he will have a hit film. With the large fan base already in place, the movie is going to take off. Thankfully, Lawrence is willing to compromise with the studio to make the film happen, and to further the creation that Ross began. Catching Fire HAS to begin very soon if it expects to stay on track and based on Lionsgate offering Lawrence the job, they must have faith that he can get the ball moving on the project.

It seems that Catching Fire might just be a fantastic blend of the Lawrence’s directing strengths.

Catching Fire has a release date of November 22, 2013 with the major stars all confirmed for the sequel.

Francis Lawrence Offered Catching Fire Directing Gig

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.