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Francis Lawrence Will Direct Catching Fire
by Jamie Frevele | 11:03 am, April 20th, 2012
Francis Lawrence, who directed I Am Legend and Water For Elephants, is the official choice to direct the sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, replacing the now-departed Gary Ross. It was down to Lawrence (no relation to the movie’s star, Jennifer Lawrence) and Bennett Miller (Moneyball), but it came down to whose schedule would best accommodate their November 2013 release date. We won’t get upset that Lionsgate couldn’t have thought outside the box and chosen a female director, but allow us a moment to wallow for exactly five seconds over this missed opportunity. 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1. Okay! Moving on.
Timing was the key in this decision, and now that Lawrence has been chosen, he can dive right into production so his star, Jennifer Lawrence, can begin work on the sequel to X-Men: First Class. Lionsgate had been hoping to start production in late August, and Miller wanted to push that back so he could direct Foxcatcher, which will star Steve Carrell. Clearly, Lionsgate is not going to try to accommodate a director when they’re dealing with a brand new blockbuster franchise. They want this thing done.
Not that Lawrence is a bad choice, or even a runner-up to Miller, who was genuinely interested in the movie, according to Deadline. He has a dystopian sci-fi background (with I Am Legend), and his experience directing music videos might make for a really fun movie to watch while Katniss Everdeen begins her fight against the Capitol. It will certainly look different from Ross’s work in the first installment, but then again, having a variety of directors didn’t hurt the Harry Potter movies.
But okay, yes, there was never a female contender to direct Catching Fire, and that is disappointing. Especially considering there were at least 15 great choices for such a gig. But it seems like this was not just a good moneymaker, but an exciting project for any director. And as long as Lawrence is as psyched about this movie as the fans are (and Ross was about the first movie), we’re sure he’ll make us a great movie.
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