CATCHING FIRE Adds Bennett Miller and Francis Lawrence to Potential Director List

     April 17, 2012


With Gary Ross’ non-return to direct the follow up of his blockbuster film, The Hunger Games, Lionsgate turned to a wish-list of directors that included David Cronenberg, Alfonso Cuaron and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.  While those names were merely placeholders for a director with an arrow’s chance in Panem at getting the job (something we waxed poetic about in our recent podcast), two more names have cropped up that seem to have a bit more validity to them.  Reportedly, some conversations have already taken place with directors Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and Francis Lawrence (Constantine) to helm the sequel, Catching Fire.  Hit the jump for more on these potential candidates.

hunger-games-catching-fire-bennett-millerNews of Lionsgate’s interest in Miller and Lawrence comes via The Playlist. Let’s take Miller first: the Moneyball director may have just cashed in because Ross was busy playing hardball.  Puns aside, the baseball drama garnered six Oscar nominations (including a Best Picture nod) and was accomplished by Miller replacing Steven Soderbergh at the last minute.  However, Miller is currently putting together his true life crime drama, Foxcatcher, which recently added Mark Ruffalo, who joins Steve Carell and Channing Tatum. The picture, which had a fall shoot scheduled, would have to be  bumped back again to accommodate Catching Fire. Time will tell if the Capote director is willing to make that sacrifice.

Lawrence (Francis Lawrence, that is; not star, Jennifer Lawrence) has a much clearer schedule ahead of him and could conceivably set to work on the Simon Beaufoy script.  With lensing tentatively scheduled to begin this August, the bird in the hand might win out.  However, for my money’s worth, Lawrence’s credits are a bit suspect for my tastes.  While I haven’t seen his Water for Elephants, I rather enjoyed Constantine, but will admit that it’s not a very good movie.  Lawrence’s I Am Legend speaks for itself.


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  • keith

    both of those choices make me sad.

    • Diane

      Agree. First list was way better. I don’t like Lawrence and didn’t enjoy Moneyball, despite it has Oscar nominee. This will be very sad if they choose one oh those. But actually I didn’t think that they will be able to have director from the first list.

      • Richard of Norway

        You guys have zero imagination. Who would have thought Pleasantville director would make a good Hunger Games movie? Probably none of you who are complaining about this list.

        I think either one of these two could pull it off swimmingly!

  • MatthewM

    If they take too long they are going to wish they had given Gary Ross the time he wanted and needed to do it right. I’ve got a bad feeling about this!

  • FincherFan

    All I can say is (excuse my language) FUCK NO to Lawrence, but I wouldn’t be all that upset if Miller got it as he has a pretty flawless and memorable track record. Personally, I’m still holding out strong hope for Alfonso Cuaron but who knows how likely that will be. But, pleeeeaaassee, God, no to Francis Lawrence!

  • Carlos

    what’s next? They’re gonna add Spielberg and Tarantino to that list? not a single one of these directors will do this

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  • T.King

    I nominate Duncan Jones.

  • JustDave

    Forget these two. Bring on Croenberg, Cuaron or Innartu.

    • Richard of Norway

      Yeah, join the chorus of zero-imagination rehash ideas.

  • James

    Cuaron would be a great choice for Catching Fire, but I just don’t see it happening. Not sure about Innartu, but Cronenberg would be a horrible choice.

    If I had to make a shortlist, the directors I would definitely have on it would be Alfonso Cuaron, Duncan Jones, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Joe Wright.

    • dana

      Yeah, good luck with that. Hope for Miller or Lawrence before you end up with a hack like Ratner. Cause an A-list director ain’t gonna happen.

  • James

    My shortlist would be Alfonso Cuaron, Duncan Jones, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Joe Wright.

  • Suua P.

    Either Alfonso Cuaron, or Bennett Miller, please not Francis Lawrence.

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  • Chris Etrata

    While not the worst director, Francis Lawrence isn’t really the best choice. I understand that Lionsgate is in a rush but there are other directors that are better that have also open schedules. Lawrence can be faithful but Catching Fire has a lot of character driven emotion, something that Lawrence isn’t really capable of doing. The best way to sum this up is that Lawrence can adapt scenes but somehow make them more boring to watch.

    Miller on the other hand can handle all of this. I still say that Patty Jenkins or Alfonson Cuarion should handle the job although they probably would be passed over.

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