This just in: Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) has been chosen to direct Catching Fire, the sequel to the recent Hunger Games adaptation that has been tearing its way through box office dollars with a vengeance (over $530 million worldwide so far). Lawrence was selected after Gary Ross declined to return to direct, and now it's Lawrence's turn to run the ship as the franchise continues in a more genre-riffic direction.
Bennett Miller (Moneyball) was another contender, as was Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), but neither could fit the fall shoot into their schedule. So it seems like Lawrence may have been the back-up choice (or just the only one available), but he should have the chops for this series. He's done genre with I Am Legend and Constantine, and he can give you the relationship stuff (Water for Elephants was a pretty good adaptation). So on paper, Lawrence seems like a guy who can pull this off. It'll be interesting to see how the switch in filmmaking styles plays into the look and feel of Catching Fire (Hunger Games felt very chaotic and in your face, and many complained of the skaky-cam vibe), and if anything Lawrence should bump up the genre factor and hopefully color this world a bit more than Ross did. We'll see. Look for plenty of opinion on both sides of the fence to pour out of the internet over the next 24 hours. This is Hollywood's hottest new franchise. This is kind of a big deal.
Catching Fire hits theaters on November 22, 2013.
What do you think about the choice for director?
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