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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