No one truly saw it coming when The Hunger Games exploded earlier this year. It was certainly expected that it would be popular due to an already massive fan base from the books, but the scale of that success (nearly $700 million worldwide) ended up being much larger than both Lionsgate and rival studios were expecting. So it's not entirely surprising that Lionsgate, a studio that has never had a monster, mainstream franchise like this, is already taking careful steps to plan out the rest of The Hunger Games' lifespan.
After original director Gary Ross passed on the sequel to his own hit film, the studio hired Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) to direct Catching Fire. They also announced that the final book in the trilogy, Mockingjay, would be split into two parts, and that Danny Strong would write both entries. What they hadn't announced, however, was who exactly would be directing Mockingjay. Now Collider has revealed that the studio has decided to keep Francis Lawrence around to finish out the entire franchise.
We won't know entirely what Lionsgate fell in love with in Lawrence's take on the dystopian world where kids fight kids for the entertainment of the ruling powers for over another year. Catching Fire doesn't release until November 22, 2013, but their tipster says Lawrence will start working on both parts of Mockingjay immediately after finishing up the film, since those already have release dates as well: November 21, 2014 and November 20, 2015, respectively.
So, if you're a die-hard Hunger Games fan, how do you react to this news? It's hard to speculate since we haven't seen what Lawrence brings to the table, but would you have rather seen the franchise go with a different director for each entry?
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