Francis Lawrence Offered CATCHING FIRE Directing Gig

     April 19, 2012


Following a bit of a mad scramble to replace departing director Gary Ross, Lionsgate seems to have settled on his replacement for the impending Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire.  We recently learned that the studio had narrowed their list down to two choices: Moneyball director Bennett Miller and I Am Legend’s Francis Lawrence.  Now comes word that Lionsgate plans to extend the offer to—drumroll please—Mr. Lawrence!  Hit the jump for more.

francis-lawrence-catching-firePer Heat Vision, Lawrence will receive an offer to direct Catching Fire this afternoon.  The choice isn’t exactly surprising, as Miller was busy prepping his next feature, the drama Foxcatcher starring Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo, for a December start date.  Moneyball was my favorite film of 2011, so I would have absolutely loved to see Miller tackle Catching Fire.  The problem with the sequel is that Lionsgate is moving forward with an incredibly rushed pre-production schedule.  Filming has to begin in August so that star Jennifer Lawrence is wrapped before moving on to the X-Men: First Class sequel in January.  Moreover, the studio has a prime November 2013 release date to make.

Ross’ exit was said to be the result of not only monetary negotiations, but also the lack of prep time given to hone the screenplay.  Author Suzanne Collins is heavily involved in the development of Catching Fire and is said to want a heavily faithful film adaptation from screenwriter Simon Beaufoy.  The book does have some great cinematic qualities, but also features a heavy share of problems that need to be altered for a better film adaptation.  Nevertheless, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

jennifer-lawrence-catching-fireLawrence doesn’t have a terrible resume, but it’s not exactly inspiring either.  He proved he can do action just fine with I Am Legend, and he tried his hand at romantic drama with last year’s Water for Elephants.  I’d love nothing more than to be pleasantly surprised by a stunning and inventive adaptation of Catching Fire, but given Collins’ heavy involvement, the lack of prep time to get the script in perfect condition, and Lawrence’s journeyman qualities, I’m not necessarily holding my breath.

Other (arguably superior candidates to Lawrence) said to have been considered by the studio include Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu (Babel), Duncan Jones (Moon), and my personal pick, Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre).  Apparently Lawrence and Miller were the top candidates, though, and Lionsgate met with both directors earlier today before making their final pick.  Now on to predicting who’ll try to adapt the severely flawed final book, Mockingjay.

the hunger games catching-fire-book-cover

Around The Web

Latest News

George Miller’s Abandoned JUSTICE LEAGUE Movie Getting the Documentary Treatment

Australian filmmaker Ryan Unicomb will direct a documentary exploring the DC Universe that might have been.

Director Gil Kenan Talks POLTERGEIST, Why He Made the Film, and Future Projects

Plus, Kenan talks about knowing he'd face criticism no matter how good the film ended up.

JURASSIC WORLD: New Featurette Welcomes You to the Park with Tons of New Footage

"To see 'Jurassic World' come to life is like seeing 'Jurassic Park' come true."

Cary Fukunaga Will Not Direct Stephen King’s IT for New Line

Reasons ranging from the poor box office take of 'Poltergeist' to plain old budget cuts have been cited.

3 New ANT-MAN Images Size up Paul Rudd, Michael Doulgas, and Evangeline Lilly

Marvel’s next film is less than two months away.

9 Movies You Forgot Were Scored by Hans Zimmer

One of the best composers of our time has a resume that's both extensive and versatile, ranging from 'Cool Runnings' to 'Mission: Impossible 2'.

FANTASTIC FOUR International Trailer Brings New Footage; Josh Trank Denies Reshoot Rumors

The director takes to social media to debunk troubled word on the upcoming blockbuster.

More THE MARTIAN Images Feature Matt Damon Surviving Ridley Scott’s Red Planet

The upcoming film also stars Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, and Jeff Daniels.

DHEEPAN Review | Cannes 2015

Jacques Audiard's latest film won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Bad Weekend: The Last 10 Memorial Day Movies, Ranked

It turns out most Memorial Day movies aren’t very good.

Page 1 of 3,96412345...102030...Last »