As we all know, Hunger Games is the most popular film in America right now. It’s been on top of the box office charts for a month straight, and it doesn’t look like its reign at the top will end any time soon.
The next story in the series, Catching Fire, is hitting theaters next November, and since Gary Ross has left the franchise, Lionsgate needs a new director and fast.
There’s already been speculation on the ‘Net that eight different helmers were being looked at, including David Cronenberg (A History of Violence, Naked Lunch), and Alfonso Curon (Harry Potter).
The speculation hit the L.A. Times that it came down to two directors, Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend), and Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote). Well, a director has been selected, and Catching Fire will be directed by... (Drum roll please...)
Francis Lawrence. Yes, the director of I Am Legend will helm Catching Fire. The Times reported that Lawrence may have had an inside track because he had an open schedule, where Miller has another film to helm before he’d be free. It also makes sense because I Am Legend is one of the most iconic end of the world stories, and therefore the Hunger Games series could clearly be right up Lawrence’s alley.
As the Times also tells us, Lawrence now has to jump on a fast moving treadmill, and get the script in shape with Simon Beaufoy, who also wrote Slumdog Millionaire, before the movie is ready to start production in August.
Lawrence may not be the greatest director in the world, it would have been much more interesting to see what someone like Cronenberg could have done with it, but at the same time the franchise isn’t being turned over to the worst possible people you could pick, like Joel Schumacher or Brett Ratner, and Lawrence should do just fine.