Lionsgate Eyes Simon Beaufoy to Pen HUNGER GAMES Sequel CATCHING FIRE; Gary Ross Expected to Return

     November 16, 2011

The first real trailer for director Gary Ross’ adaptation of The Hunger Games was unveiled this past Monday, and as an avid fan of the books I was wholeheartedly pleased. Lionsgate appears to be happy with the footage as well, as they’re moving right along with the sequel Catching Fire. A release date for the follow-up (November 2013) was announced this past August, and now the studio is getting to work on the script. Lionsgate is courting Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) to pen the script, and Ross is expected to return to the director’s chair as well. Hit the jump for more details.

catching-fire-book-cover-01Deadline reports that Ross’ intention was to write the outline for Catching Fire and pen the script alongside the book series author Suzanne Collins, but he’s deep in post-production on Hunger Games with a March release date looming. As they plan on having the second film ready for screens by Thanksgiving 2013, Lionsgate is getting a headstart on the screenplay after the positive reaction to this week’s trailer.

Beaufoy isn’t locked in, but the sequel is a high priority for the studio so they’re working hard to get him onboard. Catching Fire is my favorite book of the series and features a much wider range of locations (and some tricky technical logistics), so I’m excited to see it brought to the screen. The entire book series is actually ripe for feature film adaptation (even the lackluster Mockingjay), so I’m hoping for the best. Beaufoy seems like a fine choice, and I’m sure Ross and Collins will have input as well. Although there are only three books in the series, Lionsgate has an option for four films so it’s presumed that Mockingjay will be split in half, as has become the norm for book series adaptations.

Here’s the trailer for The Hunger Games:

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