Mockingjay Officially on the Hunt for New Directors

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Well, Summit certainly knows what it wants, and that is absolutely nothing standing in the way of their Hunger Games release dates. The production company are reportedly on the hunt to replace Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence for the third in the trilogy, seeing as it would be incredibly difficult for Lawrence to finish up his work on the second film in time to start pre-production on the third. “Time is money!” I can hear some Hollywood exec screaming across a conference table as the decision was made. 

Other film series have taken this route before: Harry Potter, perhaps most notably (Eight films in ten years would have been a lot of work for one director), and the Twilight Saga. Many times, however, the decision regarding re-casting the directors for the Harry Potter films came from directors jumping ship or wanting to move on with their lives; scheduling probably did play a role in it, but perhaps not to the same degree that it is with Summit.

Summit–the same studio behind Twilight–already let go of the film’s first director, Gary Ross, because he refused to compromise the work he had planned for the second film in order to do it on such a tight schedule. Ross’ official announcement reflected this:

“Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire. As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.

We won’t say the strict schedule the studio is enforcing for the film doesn’t worry us; we think all the books have the possibility of being great movies, but sometimes good work takes time. If seasoned directors are either jumping ship or being pushed out because of an inability to mesh with the schedule, it might be a problem.

The rapid revolving door of directors can also lead to issues in the consistency when bringing the books to the screen; the Harry Potter movies, when watched back-to-back, are hardly cohesive entities when it comes to things like cinematography, sound, design, and even overall tone. Who know, this might actually work to the benefit of the Hunger Games films, given that the three books in the series are already quite different from one another to begin with.

The studio is reportedly looking for different directors for the two Mockingjay films, though, which worries us. The films will release in the Novembers of 2014 and 2015, respectively, and won’t be shot back-to-back. The logic behind this is apparently “it worked for Twilight.”

Nevertheless, the pressure is most definitely on: Scholastic has announced the series as the best selling books of 2012, with over 50 million copies of the novels in print. The first novel is even beating fan-fiction-turns-best-selling wunderkind Fifty Shades of Grey for best-selling title of the year.

So who do you think should direct the final two Hunger Games films? Do you think the revolving door of directors will hurt the films creatively?

(via MTV, Digital Spy)

(Photo via The Telegraph)

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Alanna Bennett
Alanna is a pop culture writer who works as the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, an entertainment writer for Bustle, and a freelancer for everywhere. She has a lot of opinions about Harry Potter and will 100% bully you into watching the shows that she loves. Don't worry, it's a sign of friendship.