Lionsgate has chosen Francis Lawrence to direct The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. The search ended with Lawrence (I am Legend) and Bennett Miller the director behind Moneyball. Lawrence will be replacing Gary Ross, who directed the first film that grossed over a half billion dollars globally.
Lawrence was more appealing for the job due to his open schedule. Miller will soon begin work on Foxcatcher, a project he has invested in for several years. He managed to sign on Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo and delaying the project could set everything back.
Lionsgate’s short list of directors included Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy), Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu (Babel), Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre) and Duncan Jones (Moon Source Code).
The clock is ticking since Lionsgate has commited to a November 22, 2013 release date for Catching Fire. Another problem Lionsgate faces is the film star Jennifer Lawrence could possibly begin shooting the sequel to X-Men: First Class early next year, a commitment that overrules her commitment to Lionsgate.
There will be a total of four films based on the books written by Suzanne Collins that will be adapted by Simon Beaufoy the writer behind Slumdog Millionaire.