Francis Lawrence Offered ‘HUNGER GAMES’ Sequel ‘CATCHING FIRE’, Odds Not In Our Favor.

Francis Lawrence is the directorial powerhouse behind Constantaine  and I Am Legend. With such remarkable feats such as those, it makes sense why Lionsgate would court him for Catching Fire.  


After narrowing down the field to two possible contenders earlier this week, Lionsgate has finally settled on a new director to replace Gary Ross for its Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. Francis Lawrence has just received the offer to helm the sequel, beating out fellow finalist Bennett Miller (Moneyball). Though Lawrence and Lionsgate have yet to finalize the deal, considering how quickly the studio is moving on this project, we can probably expect them to do so soon. More after the jump.

Rumblings that Ross could be exiting the franchise began in early April, just a week or two after the blockbuster opening of the first Hunger Games movie. Ross then confirmed his departure last week, and Lionsgate immediately started its search for a new helmer. Among the other names reportedly on the shortlist were Alfonso Cuarón, David Cronenberg, and Alejandro González Iñárritu, Tomas Alfedson, Cary Fukunaga, and Duncan Jones.

One of Ross’ reasons for leaving the series – and one major issue that newcomer Lawrence will have to deal with – was Catching Fire‘s compressed production schedule. Because star Jennifer Lawrence is obligated to shoot Fox’s X-Men: First Class sequel in January, Lionsgate needs to get Catching Fire into production by August in order to hit its targeted November 22, 2013 release date. Fortunately, (Francis) Lawrence’s late summer schedule looks free and clear, and he should have no problem getting right to working on the script with screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) and author Suzanne Collins.

Pretty, pretty, pretty fucking disappointing, given the rest of the people on the list. Hunger Games  wasn’t fantastic, and the source material for the second movie isn’t either. Let’s be honest though. It doesn’t matter how good the second book is, or  the director for the second movie. It’s going to make a fucking killing.