We have just learned that Francis Lawrence, who was hired to direct The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, has now been tapped to helm the remainder of the series. While author Suzanne Collins‘ The Hunger Games books amount to a trilogy, Lionsgate has split the final novel, Mockingjay into two parts, as is now the custom for major adaptation of best-selling book series.
It is worth noting that Gary Ross, who directed the first film, decided to pass on Catching Fire because he felt he wouldn’t have enough time to write and prep and the movie he wanted to make because of the tight production schedule. For Lawrence, this is apparently not an obstacle. He is currently filming Catching Fire, and will then presumably set to work immediately on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. Catching Fire will open November 22, 2013. Part 1 is due out on November 21, 2014 and Part 2 is set for November 20, 2015. Hit the jump for a synopsis of Mockingjay. [Update: Lionsgate has now sent out a press release confirming our report. We've added the press release after the jump.]
Here’s the synopsis of Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay:
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year. [Amazon]
Here’s the press release:
Lionsgate has tapped Francis Lawrence to direct THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 and THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2. Based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling series, the films will be written by Danny Strong and star Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth.
Lawrence is currently directing Lionsgate’s THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, the second installment in the series that features a score by James Newton Howard and new roles played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone and Amanda Plummer.
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PARTS 1 & 2 make up the third and fourth installments of heroine Katniss Everdeen’s journey as she leads the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol. As the war that will determine the fate of Panem escalates, Katniss must decipher for herself who she can trust and what needs to be done, with everything she cares for in the balance.
Lawrence’s other directing credits include WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, I AM LEGEND and CONSTANTINE.
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PARTS 1 & 2 make up the third and fourth films in a series that has captivated audiences around the world. The blockbuster first installment of THE HUNGER GAMES franchise has already grossed nearly $700 million at the worldwide box office with the second film THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE opening in theaters on November 22, 2013. THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 comes to theaters on November 21, 2014 and THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2 opens November 20, 2015.